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March 2013

South Florida Water Management District

to Present at the March 21st Meeting!

Boyd Gunsalus with the South Florida Water Management District will discuss "Dispersed Water Management Program"

Shallow Water Retention Benefits Water Resources & the Environment


Since 2005, the South Florida Water Management District has been working with a coalition of agencies, environmental organizations, ranchers and researchers to enhance opportunities for storing excess surface water on private, public and tribal lands. In addition to utilizing regional public projects, the Dispersed Water Management Program encourages property owners to retain water on their land rather than drain it, accept and detain regional runoff, or do both. Managing water on these lands is one tool to reduce the amount of water delivered into Lake Okeechobee during the wet season and discharged to coastal estuaries for flood protection. Shallow water retention also provides valuable groundwater recharge for water supply, opportunities for water quality improvement and rehydration of drained systems.  This presentation will discuss the dispersed water management activities currently on-going within the watershed of the St. Lucie Estuary.


Boyd Gunsalus is a Lead Environmental Scientist with the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD).  Boyd has been with the SFWMD for 26 years.  He is the Co-Author of the “Wetland Rapid Assessment Procedure” (WRAP) which is used to evaluate wetland functions in the field.  He served as a member of the State Delineation Team responsible for establishing reference wetland delineation sites for Florida’s Environmental Resource Permitting process.  He also served as a member of the Assessment Team for the Federal Hydrogeomorphic Assessment of Wetland Functions and worked specifically on the development of the Florida Depressional Wetland Model and the Everglades Flats Model.  He was also responsible for conducting water quality assessments within the watersheds of the St. Lucie Estuary and southern Indian River Lagoon and providing technical support to the North Palm Beach Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Project and the Restoration Plan for the Loxahatchee River. Currently, he is working with the Dispersed Water Management Program utilizing interim lands (publicly owned lands slated for regional water management projects in the future) to retain stormwater and developing the “water farming” concept for storing water from regional canals on fallow citrus lands. 


Rivers Coalition public meetings are held at the city of Stuart commission chambers, 121 SW Flagler Ave. Coffee & Donuts will be provided, plenty of parking. Come show your support!


Click here to find us on Facebook!

What's Happening at the Thursday March 21st

Meeting at 11am?

Rivers Coalition public meetings are held at the city of Stuart commission chambers, 121 SW Flagler Ave.


Your attendance and involvement is more important now than ever!


Chairman, Leon Abood has a business meeting to attend so our Vice Chairman, Mark Perry will be this months Chairman. We hope to see you there!


Business Matters

•    Chairman’s Comments - Mark Perry

    Special Presentation: Boyd Gunsalus, SFWMD

"Dispersed Water Management Program"

    River Kidz - David Brown/Nicole Mader

•    Rivers Coalition Defense Fund Update - Charles Grande

•    Speakers Bureau - Todd Weissing

Coalition  Reports

•    Local Issues & Estuary Water Quality - Mark Perry

•    WRAC “Water Resources Advisory Commission” - Mark Perry

•    Federal & State Issues-CERP/IRL & Lake Okeechobee - Kevin Henderson/

      Paul Gray

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

     John Marshall

Government & Agency Progress Reports

•    Martin County Updates - Deborah Drum/Don Donaldson

•    South Florida Water Mgmt District - Boyd Gunsalus

•    FDEP - Mary Murphy



Upcoming Meetings

Mar 21 11:00am-12:30pm

April 25 (night meeting) 6:00pm-7:30pm

May 30 11:00am-12:30pm

Jun 27 11:00am-12:30pm

July 25 (night meeting) 6:00pm-7:30pm

Aug 29 11:00am-12:30pm

Sep 26 11:00am-12:30pm

Oct 24 (night meeting) 6:00pm-7:30pm

Speakers Bureau!

There is a solution. For ways you can help please visit also for more information on the Rivers Coalition Speakers Bureau contact Todd Weissing at (772) 223-6743 or


Click here to email us.

River Kidz had an amazing morning with Benjamin Davanzo on Saturday, March 9th, making Nursery Reef Balls!  We completed 6 Nursery Reefs for our local waterways. We had 24 Kidz and about 20 Parentz show up and give their support to this program made possible by Martin County, FOS and EnviroForce.


Kidz listening to instructions on how to make reef balls at Florida Oceanographic. This event was

sponsored by Martin County.

Benjamin Davanzo of Enviro-Force leading

Nic Mader and JBES teacher Mary Ann Conrad

River Young Women with tools are strong!

Making the cement

SP Commissioner, Paul Lugar and his River Kidz

A finished drying reef ball later to be deployed in the IRL to attract fish and water filtering critters.


Please come out to the Environmental Studies Center Earth Day Celebration with the Kidz on Saturday, April 20th.  More to come by email blast. 


These FDOT art signs are by the FELIX ELEMENTARY RIVER KIDZ and along with the others will be for sale by Jupiter Island’s Arts Committee in April for VIVA 500!





A huge THANK YOU goes out to Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch!

She has started a program at Felix Williams called Felix River Kidz. Check out the Felix Williams Newsletter!


Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch YouTube Video of FDot signs.


Upcoming Events!

The River Kidz will be at Environmental Studies Center, Saturday, April 20th for Earth Day, painting faces and creating river awareness!


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

Ted's Articles of Interest!

Mark Perry, Florida Oceanographic


Editorial: Treasure Coast needs to update lagoon's economic impact study


Sugar Bailout Is Govt. Policy at Its Worst: Hypocritical and Stupid


Everglades plan would cost more than $1 billion


Natural wonder


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.


Let's Restore the Florida Everglades! 


Stop Wasteful, Harmful Discharges to Sea. Send Excess Lake Okeechobee Water South instead of destroying our Coastal Estuaries.


We petitioners urgently ask that government agencies stop discharging unnatural flows from Lake Okeechobee into the St. Lucie River and restore the historic River of Grass southward.


Please pass along to everyone and get signatures.


Please join this campaign: Click Here to Sign - Make a difference!


Click here to find us on Facebook!

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


PO Box 2627

Stuart, Fl 34995





Learn how to help, click here.

Rivers Coalition • PO Box 2627 • Stuart, FL 34995
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