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FORCE - FRIENDS OF THE RIVERS COALITION eNEWSLETTER March 2010 PO Box 2627 Stuart, Fl 34995 772-225-6849
March 19, 2010

While problems never seem to end due to agricultural discharges into our St. Lucie estuary, one arm of government is getting it right, and deserves our praise and thanks.
That's the city of Stuart, whose projects and monitoring have kept our home-grown pollution to a minimum. The works will be summarized at the Rivers Coalition meeting at 11 a.m. March 25 at Stuart City Hall. You're invited.
Rivers Coalition Board Member Kevin Henderson noted:
"The City of Stuart has the most comprehensive watershed improvement program within the St. Lucie Estuary Watershed. Every location in which stormwater leaves the City and enters the St. Lucie has been identified and programs to improve stormwater quality implemented upstream of each. To the extent stormwater quality data are available for City watersheds, the City's stormwater is within both the FDEP TMDL nutrient limits and the draft EPA nutrient limits."
RC Chair Leon Abood will present the city with a special award for its work for a clean estuary.
Meanwhile, you may have noticed the sudden browning of the river due to a new round of heavy discharges from agricultural properties to the west. The releases have plunged the salinity level to death-dealing levels for seagrasses, oysters and other life, especially if they are prolonged.
We'll see you at city hall march 25. We'll have the light on for you, and some coffee and donuts. Plenty of free parking next door.
Click here for more information.
By unanimous vote (with one abstention) the South Florida Water Management District Board has extended a time clause for gaining court approval of loan procedures for the state to acquire 72,800 acres owned by US Sugar for the purpose of establishing a "missing link" flowway to take excess water south from Lake Okeechobee.
Oh what a relieve that can be for the the St. Lucie estuary. It won't happen overnight by a long shot, but the flowway south should prevent much of the discharges that are now shot east into the St. Lucie. The discharges totaled more than 300 billion gallons of polluted water in 2005. Health authorities had to warn citizens (and their pets) not to touch these normally wonderful waters.
Click here to View the Honor Roll
On a closely related note, the Rivers Coalition Defense Fund's federal lawsuit attacking the discharges is moving forward in Washington on an appellate level. Next steps will be legal briefs from the Defense Fund and the defendant U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
According to the suit, the discharges constitute an unconstitutional "taking" of plaintiffs' riparian rights to enjoy water reasonably free of pollution. The Corps, funded publicly of course, contends that such discharges have happened many times and therefore the statute of limitations bars action.
A lower court sided with the government and said the plaintiffs do not have riparian rights of the kind claimed, and also ruled that "navigational servitude" precluded the action.
The Defense Fund contends the trial court was "flat wrong."
The case focuses attention on the estuary's plight as the sugar purchase is pursued, and as Congress deals with other aspects of stopping pollution of the estuary and Indian River Lagoon.
What's Happening?
Thursday March 25, 2010 
11am to 12:30pm at: 
City of Stuart Commission Chambers 
121 SW Flagler Ave, Stuart, Fl 34994
Business Matters
• Chairman’s Comments - Leon Abood
• City of Stuart Award - Kevin Henderson
• Membership & Organizational Policy Review - Leon Abood/Marge Ketter
• Special Presentation - Sam Amerson, City of Stuart,
“City of Stuart’s Watershed Program”
• Legal Update - Karl Wickstrom
• Fundraising - Karl Wickstrom
• WRAC “Water Resources Advisory Commission” - Ted Guy/Mark Perry/George Jones
Coalition Committee Reports
• Water Quality - Mark Perry
• Local issues - Ed Fielding
• State / Federal Issues - Kevin Henderson / Paul Gray/Ian Pollack
• IRL / CERP - Kevin Henderson / Paul Gray
• Martin County Updates - Paul Millar
• ROG “River of Grass” Update - George Jones
Progress Reports
• South Florida Water Mgmt - Jayne Bergstrom
• DEP - Jerilyn Krug
New "Save My River" T-shirts featuring an attractive painting of the St. Lucie River wildlife will be available for purchase at the March 2010 meeting.

Read about the T-shirts here:
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Thank you for all your support.
Editor: Jessica Briske
Learn how to help, click here.

Rivers Coalition • PO Box 2627 • Stuart • FL • 34995

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