To the Editor:
The Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway (MHCCFG) is being considered for invasion by Duke Energy. The animals, plant life and preservation of the overall scenic beauty will need our help.
In September 2023, Duke associates held an informational forum at the Ocala Hilton explaining their ‘plan’. With the electricity needs of Marion County exploding, space is needed for new, hi-voltage transmission lines. Of course, the historic green space corridor of the Florida Barge Canal came up on their radar.
While researching this greenway, I discovered some exceptional history. The MHCCFG is a 110-mile, 70,000 plus acre, cross-Florida stretch of pristine green space, rich in wildlife. Scrub Jays, an endangered bird species, call this space home. Florida black bears, gopher tortoises, deer, wild turkeys, owls, and so much more will be pushed out because of the planned demolishing of the landscape. Regional plant studies have led to the increase of some near-extinct species. These will be decimated with Duke’s habit of widespread spraying of pesticides in order to keep the transmission corridor clear.
If you read Duke’s overview, they would like you to believe that their plan is a good thing. But realizing the devastation their intrusion would cause, it is difficult to agree. Electricity has to get from location to location, but their plan across the MHCCFG is not the solution.
Duke does not need to intrude into our corridor. They already have existing utility/transportation routes for this line, and we are asking they use them.
To Duke: KEEP THE GREENWAY – Green. Use another, already existing corridor to move your electricity. Spend the extra money to go around the Greenway. Keep the legacy for ours & future generations. Green space kept in its natural state has no price. The legacy of this undeveloped land needs to remain.
Please, Gov. DeSantis – DO NOT authorize Duke’s request for this invasion. The Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Barge Canal is one of the most visited state parks in Florida. Visitation estimates along the Ocala/Marion section alone, exceeds 1 million visitors. Thus, having an economic impact of many millions of dollars. Confirming it benefits many in its current, unspoiled state. Currently, Florida greenspaces are under constant attack. Preserving this one, needs our help! My goal, by providing this information, is that you will be persuaded against Duke Energy and their pursuit of compromising the historic Florida Barge Canal.