Over-Drainage and Overlooking the Obvious, Florida Legislature 2015, SLR/IRL

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Cartoon Everglades Drainage, 1916 Swamp Land Act of the late 1800s.. (https://historymiamiarchives.org/online-exhibits/everglades/glades.htm.) (Shared by Sandra Henderson Thurlow)

The 1916 ad says it all, doesn’t it? “You can have it all, if you drain it….”

How does the saying go? “Be careful of what you wish for…”

We sure got “it” and more. We’ve gotten so much we’ve killed, it or are in the process thereof….Uncle Sam gave us a gift in the Swamp Land Act of the late 1800s and we, the State of Florida, have killed it–the Swamp that is…and even with the “retched swamp mentality” of the 1800s, no one, not even Governor Napoleon Broward himself, envisioned real estate surrounded by putrid, polluted water…

This year our state legislature did not seem to recognize the sense of urgency in Florida regarding clean water and the health of the state’s natural resource’s as reflected in their decisions made, or not made, this 2015 legislative session. Amendment 1 was all but ignored. But from north Florida’s springs, to the estuaries of the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon and Caloosahtchee, to  Biscayne Bay the people of the state still recognize this urgency. And this urgency is not just answered by money. It can be answered by beginning to have real discussion state-wide on these issuers. Florida voters know our past and we know what we want for the future.

The will of the people will be done.

Repressed desires only get stronger….

We all know that there are many ways to help, and we must do all we can, but in the long run there is only one way to change the “big picture,” for South Florida.

There must be a  third outlet south of Lake Okeechobee as discussed since the earliest days of water management…we  must stop wasting 1.7 billion gallons of water to tide every day, stop creeping development into the remaining Everglades, and most important, the agriculture community in the EAA must actively become part of the land acquisition solution for reconnection of Lake Okeechobee to Everglades National Park.

Drainage canal being dredged Davie 11913.
Drainage canal being dredged Davie 1913.
Map showing Everglades National Park boundaries as well as Water Conservation Areas north of the park and other areas. (Map courtesy of Backroads Travels website, 2013.)
Map showing estuaries– now drainage ditches, Everglades National Park boundaries as well as Water Conservation Areas north of the park and other areas. (Map courtesy of Backroads Travels website, 2013.)
West of the red lines shows the edge of what was once the Everglades in South Florida. Development has crept and continues to creep over this edge. (Photo/map courtesy of Chappy Young,/GCY Surveyors, 2014.)
West of the red lines shows the edge of what was once the Everglades in South Florida. Development has crept and continues to creep over this edge. (Photo/map courtesy of Chappy Young,/GCY Surveyors, 2014.)
EAA below Lake Okeechobee. (Public map.)
EAA below Lake Okeechobee. (Public map.)

This excerpt is from SOFIA, USGA web site. They are a scientific, arm’s length division of the Federal Government: (https://sofia.usgs.gov/publications/fs/61-99/)

“Drainage and development of south Florida has had major environmental consequences in the Everglades. Saltwater intrusion into freshwater aquifers has extended as far as 6 miles inland from the coast in some areas. The land surface has subsided as much as 6 feet in some agricultural areas because of lowered water tables, oxidation of drained peat, and subsequent peat fires.

Mercury contamination of fish has resulted in a ban on the consumption of fish from the central part of the Park, WCA-2, and WCA-3 and is implicated in the deaths of endangered Florida panthers. Populations of wading birds have decreased by almost 95 percent from 1870 to 1973. In high-nutrient areas, cattails are replacing native sawgrass.

Plant and animal communities in the Everglades have been altered by changes in timing and duration of inundation; invasion of exotic plants as a result of drainage and land clearing, nutrient, and (or) contaminant-enrichment of water that flows into Everglades from agricultural and urban areas; and loss of habitat…”

Dead panthers from eating fish full of mercury?

This is not what we will leave our children…is it?

Toxic Algae bloom washes up  along the shoreline, St Lucie River, Riverside Drive, Stuart, Florida. (Photo Jenny Flaugh, 7-13)
Toxic Algae bloom washes up along the shoreline, St Lucie River, Riverside Drive, Stuart, Florida. (Photo Jenny Flaugh, 7-13)
Sign with Seminole in canoe 1913, Tamiami Trail. (Public photo)
Sign with Seminole in canoe 1913, Tamiami Trail. (Public photo)
Original flow everglades. https://seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov/jason/HTML/EXPEDITIONS_JASON_7_croc_model.html )
Original flow Everglades. https://seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov/jason/HTML/EXPEDITIONS_JASON_7_croc_model.html
)
Drainage today via canals.
Drainage today via canals.
Sofia map 2015.
Sofia Everglades drainage map 2015.
Our flag.
Our flag.

 

headshot-jtl-2013About Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch:

Although born at Travis Air Base, California, Jacqui considers herself a native of Stuart, Florida, having moved there at eight months old. Her father’s family, originally from Syracuse, New York, has lived in Stuart since 1952. Her mother is a 5th generation Floridian from Gainesville. Jacqui is a Daughter of the American Revolution.

Jacqui is journalism graduate of the University of Florida, and an education master’s graduate of the University of West Florida. She went on to teach English and German and later after a serious accident of breaking her neck, started selling real estate. Later, she ran for public office having served on the Town of Sewall’s Point Commission since 2008, and is former mayor. During this time she saw the opportunity to help showcase the work of a locally formed river group, the River Kidz, and this has been her passion ever. She incorporates youth/river education  into her political work for the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon.

Jacqui is the treasurer/secretary of the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council; has chaired the Florida League of Cities Environmental and Energy Committee; was chair, and a six year member of the Treasure Coast Council of Local Governments; is an alternate for the Water Resources Advisory Commission for the South Florida Water Management District; and is a board member for Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Foundation, in St Lucie County.  She also serves as a board member (ex-officio) for the Rivers Coalition Defense Fund, and is head administrator for her beloved River Kidz, now a division of the Rivers Coalition.

Jacqui’s reach involves not only local, but state and federal government. In 2013,  she served on Senator Joe Negron’s panel for the Select Senate Hearing on the Indian River Lagoon and Lake Okeechobee. In 2014, she actively supported the elections of both Senator Joe Negron and Congressman Patrick Murphy who have both been strong supporters of  Indian River Lagoon issues. In 2015, she is part of the Florida League Cities Treasure Coast Advocacy team to influence and educate Tallahassee. Jacqui received the Everglades Coalition’s 2015 “John V. Kabler Award” for “Grassroots Activism” working to organize and educate the public, generating grassroots support for Everglades restoration.

– See more at: (https://evergladescoalition.org/awards-kabler.html#sthash.lt7eGpIp.dpuf)

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