P.O. Box 146 • Key West, FL 33041

February 22, 2022

Via Email:

Mayor John Bartus (bartusj@ci.marathon.fl.us)
Vice Mayor Dr. Daniel Zieg (ziegd@ci.marathon.fl.us)
Council Member Steve Cook (cooks@ci.marathon.fl.us)
Council Member Luis Gonzalez (gonzalezl@ci.marathon.fl.us)
Council Member Robyn Still (stillr@ci.marathon.fl.us)

Dear Honorable Mayor, Vice Mayor and Council Members,

Our organizations represent thousands of residents of the Florida Keys who join Friends of the Lower Keys (FOLKS) in opposing the use of shallow sewage wells. We all know our nearshore waters are connected.  And a recently released study by the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust shows some water quality impacts from sewage effluent affecting the fisheries throughout the Keys. (See https://fb.watch/aXMSjkbX59/).

The study found the presence of pharmaceutical drugs in bone fish and their prey (shrimp, crab, and small fish).  Jim McDuffie, president and CEO of the BTT, stated, “Pharmaceutical contamination was detected at levels high enough to have biological effects on the fish, thus posing a risk or a threat to our fishery.” And, that “The source of this contamination is human waste and a wastewater infrastructure that has been pressed beyond its technological capability and capacity.”

Please do your part to protect the water quality and fisheries of the Florida Keys.


Cc: Steven Williams, City Attorney/Deputy City Manager (williamss@ci.marathon.fl.us)



Florida Bay Forever
Emma Haydocy, Executive Director

Reef Relief
Mill McCleary, Executive Director

Florida Keys Fishing Guides Association Inc.
Capt. Steve Friedman, Commodore


Evan Haskell, President
Key West Committee for Safer Cleaner Ships

Key Deer Protection Alliance
Board of Directors

Sugarloaf Shores Property Owners Association, Inc. (SSPOA)
Stuart Schaffer, President

Capt. Andrew Tipler, President
Lower Keys Guides Association


Michael Chenowith, President
Isaak Walton League of America
Florida Keys Chapter


Cudjoe Gardens Property Owners Association
Kathy Niemann-Winters, President


Florida Keys Environmental Fund, Inc.
Charles Causey, President

North Cow Key Boater Association
Christine Liniger, Spokesperson

Derke Snodgrass
30-year Fishery Biologist