Citizens concerned about polluted discharges into our St. Lucie Estuary may sound off at a meeting of the South Florida Water Management District Board of Governors at the Blake Library Auditorium this week in Stuart.
The subject involving Lake Okeechobee discharges and related factors is expected to come up between 10 and 10:30 a.m. Thursday, May 13, according to District spokesperson Annette Carter. The meeting itself starts at 9 a.m.
Included will be a report from Col. Alfred Pantano, director of the Jacksonville district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Local residents will be given opportunities to speak (three minutes each) to the extent the Board of Governors allows.
"It's important that we speak up once again against the devastating discharges from inland that kill virtually all estuarine life in wet years," said the Rivers Coalition Defense Fund. "Predictions call for alien discharges this summer of disastrous proportions. In fact, they're already under way, by the many billions of gallons of polluted fresh water."
The federal Corps is opposing a lawsuit by the Defense Fund. The suit contends that the discharges from another watershed constitute an unconstitutional taking of riparian property rights. (See www.RiversCoalition.org)
The Martin County Commission is among many supporting the Defense Fund lawsuit. In an amicus petition to the federal court, the commission says its purpose is to:
"Make the court aware of the extent of public anger and frustration caused by the federal government's continued abuse of the St Lucie River and Estuary."
In addition to the Thursday session, the Water Management District board will conduct a "workshop" on Wednesday, May 12.
SFWMD website: http://www.sfwmd.gov