individual then transports the EMTs, and if necessary, the patient to the mainland where the EMTs vehicle is waiting. In other instances, friends and neighbors of the patient immediately transport the patient by boat to the mainland marina where the county EMTs have been dispatched to meet them.
Law enforcement on LGI is provided by the county Sheriff’s Department. A sheriff’s deputy conducts routine patrols of the island on a four-wheeler during holiday periods when the island population is at its greatest. At other times, the Sheriff’s department responds by boat to specific complaints by island residents. Generally speaking, standards of civil conduct are “enforced” on LGI by the social pressures of living in a “small town” environment where one’s misdeeds are quickly known by the neighbors with whom one must continue to live. As a result, nuisance behavior is kept to a minimum and usually is confined to those with no long term stake in the LGI community. Periodic thefts of boats and motors by non LGI residents are the most serious law enforcement problem on the island.
Boat access to the single family homes on LGI is primarily by small privately owned boats. These boats are stored on the mainland at either Gasparilla Marina or Eldred’s marina, or are brought to the public launching ramp by their owners. Parking for island residents while on the island is at either Gasparilla Marina or Eldred’s Marina. Parking at these two facilities has become extremely tight in recent years. There are two private water taxi services that can be used to travel from the mainland to the island. It is unclear where users of these ferry services park their cars on the mainland when they travel to the island. Both condominium complexes on the island maintain regular ferry service to the island for their condominium residents and provide parking for their condominium residents at the shore base of their ferry services.
All boat traffic to LGI from the mainland crosses the bay that is known as either south Lemon Bay or Placida Harbor. In the fall of 2002, the Florida Wildlife Commission enacted a rule designating the entire bay between LGI and the mainland as a manatee protection zone where a maximum 5 mph boat speed was permitted. The rule permitted a 25 mph access channel to LGI but did not specify the location of the permitted channel. Because it was not possible to serve the three sections of LGI (north, middle, and south) with a single channel, extensive three-party negotiations involving the FWC staff, the county, and the Navigation Committee of the LGPOA were undertaken. It was decided in February of 2004 that the authorized channel would be located in a way that served the middle of LGI and then turned north to serve the north end of LGI.