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FORCE - FRIENDS OF THE RIVERS COALITION eNEWSLETTER July 2011 2010 PO Box 2627 Stuart, Fl 34995 772-225-6849
July 20, 2011

Noted Expert to Reveal Warning about Mercury Threatening St. Lucie Estuary and Everglades at Rivers Coalition Public Meeting
An increasing and deadly problem--methylmercury--will be described to Rivers Coalition members and guests by a water quality specialist from the Everglades Foundation.
Dr. Melodie Naja will provide new research in person at the Coalition meeting at 11 a.m. July 28 at Stuart City Hall. Admission and parking are free, and even a donut and coffee await you.
This is an important meeting you won't want to miss as the state is asked to address the mercury that can in some cases cause brain retardation and other symptoms in humans, as well as a host of injuries in wildlife. Many citizens say that local officials also should research the subject and help demand preventative action.
Prior to joining the Everglades Foundation, Naja—a former resident of Montreal, Canada, and graduate of University Henry Poincaré in Nancy, France--was a research officer at the National Research Council of Canada and visiting professor at McGill University in Montreal. She holds a bachelor’s degree in physical chemistry, a master’s degree in molecular and physical chemistry and her doctorate in environmental physical chemistry and chemical engineering, all from the University Henry Poincaré.
Naja has conducted research as a consultant for government institutions, non-governmental organizations and the corporate sector.
Click here for more information.
What's Happening at the July Meeting?
Thursday July 28, 2011
11am to 12:30pm at:
City of Stuart Commission Chambers
121 SW Flagler Ave, Stuart, Fl 34994
Business Matters
• Chairman’s Comments - Leon Abood
• Committee Review - Leon Abood
• Guest Speaker - Dr. Melodie Naja
“Mercury Threatens St. Lucie Estuary and Everglades”
• Legal Update - Karl Wickstrom
• WRAC “Water Resources Advisory Commission” - Mark Perry/George Jones
• Speakers Bureau - Todd Weissing
• ROGER “River of Grass Estuary/Everglades Restoration” -  Ted Guy
• Surfrider Foundation TC Chapter - Greg Gardner
Coalition Committee Reports
• Water Quality - Mark Perry
• Local Issues - Mark Perry/George Jones
• State / Federal Issues - Kevin Henderson / Paul Gray
• IRL / CERP -  Kevin Henderson / Paul Gray
• Martin County Updates - Paul Millar
• ROG “River of Grass” Update - George Jones/John Marshall
Speakers Bureau Update!
If any of our newsletter recipients belong to or know of an organization that would benefit from having the Rivers Coalition speak at one of their meetings, we would love the opportunity. Please email the Rivers Coalition or contact Todd Weissing directly at 772-223-6743 or
Click here to email us.
Rivers Coalition is a supporter of Eco-Voice!
How to Become a Member?
Membership is free! If you are interested in helping save the environment of SW Florida, you may join Eco-voice by going to and selecting subscribe.
Click Here to Join Eco-Voice on FaceBook.
Help Support the Indian River Keeper!
Come out and show your support! The event is on July 30th at Harry and the Natives. It starts at 6:00 PM. Dinner will be served. Tickets are $65 each or two for $100.00. Tickets can be purchased directly at Harry's or from Henry at the Snook Nook.
In Case You Missed the Article in the Stuart News from Chairman, Leon Abood
Leon Abood: Meilssa Meeker has background to do great job at South Florida Water Management District.
Leon Abood of Stuart is a founding member and chairman of the Rivers Coalition, a 55-member organization of business, environmental and civic groups. Abood represents the Realtor Association of Martin
Saturday, July 9, 2011
We have been cautiously optimistic since we received the news a few weeks ago that Melissa Meeker was appointed as executive director of the South Florida Water Management District.
Optimistic because she knows us better than anyone else who could have gotten that job. Cautious because Ms. Meeker will be dealing with huge budget restraints unlike anything her predecessors had to work with — not to mention the all-too-familiar political wrangling and influence-pedaling that has plagued us for decades.
Back to being optimistic: Her ties to us locally date to at least 1998, when the huge, damaging discharges from Lake Okeechobee caused the now-infamous "sick fish" outbreak. Ms. Meeker was stationed in the Florida Department of Environmental Protection mobile lab at the Snook Nook in Jensen Beach collecting lesioned fish and shipping them off for examination. She was in the room with us at the Realtor Association of Martin County when the Rivers Coalition was formed as a result of that outbreak.
She lives here. She knows all too well about the crippling economic ramifications of a sick and polluted St. Lucie River. Knowing Melissa Meeker as a result of working with her over many years in the different positions she has occupied, I can tell you that she is brilliant, a skilled politician and a deeply caring individual. How she steers this giant ship and maneuvers it through the rough and complicated waters of our time will set the stage for environmental restoration and effective water management generations to come.
We have a national treasure at stake in the Everglades. We have local treasures at stake in our beloved St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon, two of the most biodiverse ecosystems in North America.
Environmental restoration, moving water south out of the lake and creating storage reservoirs all are critical pieces of a very complicated puzzle that includes properly managing water for all of South Florida. There are huge demands for this fragile natural resource, our water. Agriculture, municipalities, environmentalists, everyone wants it, but not too much. There are huge monetary consequences for everyone involved.
Let's also not forget that public safety is the No. 1 mission of the district. A gigantic ship to be steered indeed, yet because we know the captain we can't help but feel optimistic, cautiously so.
T-Shirts Are Still Available Get Yours Now! HELP SAVE OUR RIVER!
"Save My River" T-shirts featuring an attractive painting of the St. Lucie River wildlife available for purchase.

Read about the T-shirts here:
Don't forget to get your name on the Donor Honor Roll!
Click here to see if your name is on the list.
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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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