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FORCE - FRIENDS OF THE RIVERS COALITION eNEWSLETTER PO Box 2627 Stuart, Fl 34995 772-225-6849 Special issue, Sept. 1, 2009

Citing a need for more legal briefs, a federal judge has postponed a hearing on the Rivers Coalition Defense Fund's federal lawsuit seeking to stop polluted discharges into the St. Lucie estuary.
The hearing now will be scheduled in Washington on a date after Oct. 27, when parties will submit three suggested dates, after first filing briefs on several legal questions specified by the court.
Rivers Coalition Chair Leon Abood said the postponement was disappointing but not a major setback for the eventual outcome. "The new arguments will simply clarify points raised by both sides. This may actually be a good sign that the judge is keenly interested in the case."
Abood added: "We're fully committed to do whatever it takes. And it should be noted that over the three years the suit has been pending, our estuary's problems with the pollution from the lake have finally gotten major attention."
The Defense Fund lawsuit contends that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers took riparian rights from waterfront property owners by discharging hundreds of billions of gallons of polluted fresh water through man made canals from Lake Okeechobee. The case targets the heavy-discharge years of 2003-2005. The releases killed oyster beds, marine grasses and other life and brought in up to 70,000 tons of muck per year.
Defending the discharges, the Corps claims that since the releases also were made in some earlier years, the statute of limitations bars the claim. The government also claims that a priority for "navigational servitude" should block the suit. The Defense Fund points out, however, that the discharges in question are unrelated to navigation, their function being to provide drainage from inland.
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Save the Date

Rivers Coalition participating in the Martin County Nautical Flea Market and Seafood Festival September 18, 19, and 20.
Stop by and visit our booth!

Gates open 9am till 6pm everyday.

Festival will be at the Martin County Fairgrounds is located at 2616 SE Dixie Highway, Stuart FL and is easy to access from the Florida Turnpike and I 95. There is plenty of free parking.

Visit the Martin County Nautical Flea Market website for more information.

New "Save My River" T-shirts featuring an attractive painting of the St. Lucie River wildlife.

Read about the T-shirts here:
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Thank you for all your support.
Editor: Jessica Briske
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Rivers Coalition • PO Box 2627 • Stuart • FL • 34995

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