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PO Box 2627 Stuart, Fl 34995


April 2012

Note New Time and Day This Month for

Rivers Coalition




As the future of our troubled St. Lucie estuary remains unknown, the director of the South Florida Water Management District will appear at the Rivers Coalition on April 25 to give the District and Corps of Engineers perspective on what improvements may be ahead.


Concerned citizens should be sure to notice that the meeting will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, at Stuart Hall. No admission, and parking is free.


Whether the St. Lucie river gets the long-term help it needs depends to a large extent on involvement by the public.


Melissa Meeker, executive director of the District since last June under the Scott administration, plans to describe ideas for various projects that may lessen the discharges and pollution the estuary has suffered for many years.


Meeker's appearance will be an opportunity for river advocates to ask hard questions on just what may be done to improve the estuary and overall Everglades.


Discharges from Lake Okeechobee into the St. Lucie canal totaled more than 300 billion gallons in 2005 alone, though dry years since then have held down the onslaughts.


The Rivers Coalition has fought for creation of a flowway that would take up to six billion gallons or so a day south from the lake instead of officials' sending it to the two large east and west estuaries, as is done in wet years.


A question sure to be asked of the District director is this: How much of that desired six billion gallons would be addressed by plans being discussed?


When the big rains return, assuming they do as predicted, the public outcry will intensify once again, but now is the time to take preventive steps. Let's restore the the St. Lucie to its once pristine condition as North America's most biologically diverse estuary.



Upcoming Meetings

Wednesday April 25 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm - Night Meeting

Thursday May 31 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

Thursday June 28 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

Wednesday July 25 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm - Night Meeting

Thursday August 30 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

Thursday Sept 27 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

Wednesday October 24 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm - Night Meeting

What's Happening at the April 25th Meeting?

Starts at 6:00 PM

Rivers Coalition public meetings are held at the city of Stuart commission chambers, 121 SW Flagler Ave. Everyone's support is needed.


Free parking, coffee & donuts!

Business Matters

•    Chairman’s Comments - Leon Abood

•    Special Presentation - Melissa Meeker, Executive Director, SFWMD

•    River Kidz - David Brown/Nicole Mader

•    Committee Reports - Leon Abood

•    Legal Update - Karl Wickstrom

•    Speakers Bureau - Todd Weissing

Coalition  Reports

•    Local Issues & Estuary Water Quality - Mark Perry/George Jones

•    WRAC    “Water Resources Advisory Commission” - Mark Perry/George Jones

•    Federal & State Issues-CERP/IRL - Kevin Henderson / Paul Gray

•    ROGER “River of Grass Estuary/Everglades Restoration” - Ted Guy/John


Government & Agency Progress Reports

•    Martin County Updates - Don Donaldson

•    South Florida Water Mgmt District - Boyd Gunsalus

•    FDEP - Mary Murphy

Speakers Bureau Update!

Pictured (from left) are Leon Abood, chairman of the Rivers Coalition; Nicole Mader, with MARS; Dianne Pierce, Environmental Studies Center coordinator; and Todd Weissing, Rivers Coalition Speakers Bureau coordinator.


JENSEN BEACH — With more than 60 people in attendance, Leon Abood, chairman of the Rivers Coalition, presented to MARS at the Environmental Center, on March 26. His educational presentation included information on how discharges from Lake Okeechobee damage the St. Lucie Estuary and Indian River Lagoon.


We are very fortunate that our area has one of the world’s most diverse animal and plant life populations. However, when it is subjected to periods of high fresh water releases from Lake Okeechobee, oyster beds and marine sea grass communities, home to hundreds of life forms, are eliminated. Manatees, porpoises and coastal birds also lose their habitat and leave.


These are just a few of the many ongoing issues the Rivers Coalition is fighting against. For ways you can help please visit For more information on the Rivers Coalition Speakers Bureau contact Todd Weissing at 772-223-6743 or



Click here to email us.

In late March the Felix Williams River Kidz group sung their "River Anthem" for US Senator Bill Nelson at the "Restore Our Rivers" event organized by Martin County. The event was in celebration of  phase two of the multi million dollar oyster restoration project Florida Oceanographic and other agencies have done such a stellar job implementing. The River Kidz were a big hit and made the front page of the "Stuart News" and definitely made an impression on the Senator.


In another great move to improve county wide environmental awareness in youth, the River Kidz were invited to read environmental poems and sing their "River Anthem" on MCTV20. Public service announcements featuring the environment and our rivers should start running next week. A big thank you for Martin County's Gary Roderick's idea to Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch which became a reality only with the help of Gabriella Ferraro and her staff and the hard work of Parentz and Kidz.


Also seen below is this month's winning Facebook artist entry,"Baby Woodstork and Mother" by Mary Thurlow, age 9. Please "friend" River Kidz  on Facebook and join at, RIVER KIDZ.

Kidz carry oysters to the river.


Front page photo of River Kidz with Bill Nelson.

Singing their River Anthem.

Mary Thurlow's winning Facebook art entry. "Baby Woodstork and Mother."

The River Kidz after MCTV20 taping with producer, Gabriella Ferraro.

Sign the River Kidz petition on! The petition is asking for all government agencies to limit agricultural fertilizer running into the rivers.

This is an ongoing petition. Please show your support and sign!

Click Here to Sign the Petition!


Please friend us on Facebook or go to to learn about all the cool things we are doing!


Rivers Coalition is a Eco-Voice Sponsor!

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.

Ted's Articles of Interest

Guest column: Sun Sentinel's Environmental Reporter - South Florida


Historical Vignettes - Martin County 'Robinson Crusoe Movie Filmed in Stuart' (User story from Alice L. and Greg E. Luckhardt)


Crocodiles Make Comeback In South Florida | Fox News


Opinion | The News-Press |


Editorial: Time is long past due for Big Sugar to begin paying proportionate share of clean-up costs for pollution it causes in Everglades


WRAC Meetings


Painting To Be Raffled in 2012!

"Save Our River" T-shirts featuring an attractive painting of the St. Lucie River wildlife available for purchase at our next meeting. You still have a chance to win the original painting by Mark Johnson.


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.

Pass This Newsletter On!

Use the buttons at the bottom of the newsletter to pass this on to a friend, to subscribe or unsubscribe.


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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