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January 2014
For a very special program on how to really fix our St. Lucie estuary and get beyond the meaningless generalizations which only perpetuate the discharge pollution that swamps us in wet times, don't miss the Rivers Coalition meeting Jan. 30. Circle the date, big time.
The Rivers Coalition meeting at 11 a.m. at Stuart City Hall will feature Dr. Gary Goforth, a veteran "insider" who's seen our river woes from every angle. Goforth sees both long and short-term ways to address the pollution machine, and he'll answer your questions without equivocating.
An expert engineer without political ties, Goforth worked for more than 25 years in the trenches of water management, notably in the development of stormwater treatment areas. He now heads his own consulting firm. (He's unrelated, by the way, to Stuart News columnist Michael Goforth.)
At the Jan. 30 RC meeting, Dr. Goforth will disclose unique findings and insights about the drainage system which has resulted in immense damage to the St. Lucie over more than a half-century.
All concerned citizens are welcome, as always. There's plenty of free parking, and even coffee and donuts will await you.
Agenda for Thursday, January 30
Meeting - Thursday January 30
11:00am-12:30pm at: The City Hall - Commission Chambers
121 SW Flagler Ave Stuart, Fl 34994
Business Matters
• Chairman’s Comments - Leon Abood
• Special Presentation - Dr. Gary Goforth
• River Kidz - Nic Mader/Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch
• Rivers Coalition Defense Fund Update - Charles Grande
• Speakers Bureau - Todd Weissing 
Blessing of the Fleet - Darrell Brand 
Coalition Reports
• Local Issues & Estuary Water Quality - Mark Perry
• Indian Riverkeeper Update - Marty Baum
• 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    - Deborah Drum/Don Donaldson
• South Florida Water Mgmt District - Kathy LaMartina
• FDEP - Jason Storrs          
Dear River Kidz,
Happy New Year and hope you are doing well! We are going to make an effort to communicate through a monthly email this year. This letter will share some of the things that have been accomplished and what you hope you will join us for in the future. We treasure all of you and of course "every kid is a river kid!" Everyone is always welcome!
Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch, Nic Mader, and Jessica Waugaman
River Kidz are selling beautiful note card sets by noted photographer Carlton Ward Jr. for $10, produced by ORCA (Ocean Research Conservation Association). All proceeds to go to ORCA and the River Kidz.
On January 11th the River Kidz welcomed Congressman, Patrick Murphy and Secretary Jo-Ellen Darcy Army Corps at Witham Field to encourage Secretary Darcy to Save our River. 
Upcoming Events:
For the 3rd straight year in a row The River Kidz have been nominated for an Environmental Stewardship Award through Keep Martin Beautiful on February 5th at 6PM. The River Kidz are being recognized for advocating to save our river. The Kidz are making a difference!
Youth Driven Cinema's mission statement is to educate and engage the youth of Martin County by fostering community involvement within the arts and sciences. This new generation of stakeholders is our future as a community, both on the local and global scale. Youth Driven Cinema is a synergistic approach between technology and environmental advocacy. The showcase will be featured at the Lyric Theater on February 28th - for more details please visit the website: River Kidz can enter by February 5th. 
Coming up on March 1st join us for our first event of 2014!
GET THE MUCK OUT EVENT from 10am-1pm at Harbor Bay Plaza in Sewall's Point. We will be tye-dying tees with the St. Lucie Muck! River Kidz will be there along with Jensen Beach High School's Marine Science 2 class, and the Environmental Studies Center's EarthSaver Crew. Eco-artist Brenda Leigh will participate, there will be a special muck speaker, lemonade, music and fun! 
River Kidz will be participating in the Martin County River Reef Project ( building Nursery Reef Balls in the late spring (date to be determined) with Benjamin D'Avanzo, Enviroforce.
Environmental Studies Center Earth Day (Saturday, April 12th): River Kidz will be there painting kidz faces and playing spin the Earth Day wheel!
River Kidz Power Point presentation at Crystal lake Elementary on Wednesday, Jan. 29th, organized by Mr. Chris Shultz, father of River Kid, Aiden!
Our mission is to speak out, get involved, and raise awareness  because we believe kids should have a voice in the future of our rivers.
Please friend us on Facebook or go to to learn about all the cool things your River Kidz are doing!
10 Things Every River Kid Should Know!
How to Become a RiverKidz Member!
Follow RiverKidz on Facebook!
Check out what we are up to!
2014 Meeting Schedule
The 2014 meetings will be held at The City Hall - Commission Chambers
121 SW Flagler Ave Stuart, Fl 34994
January 30 - Thurs 11:00am – 12:30pm
February 27 - Thurs 11:00am – 12:30pm
March 26 - Weds 6:00pm – 7:30pm
April 24 - Thurs 11:00am – 12:30pm
May 29 - Thurs 11:00am – 12:30pm
June 25 - Weds 6:00pm – 7:30pm
July 31 - Thurs 11:00am – 12:30pm
August 28 - Thurs 11:00am – 12:30pm
September 24 - Weds 6:00pm – 7:30pm
October 30 - Thurs 11:00am – 12:30pm
Plan 6 Executive Summary!
New and Broader
Plan 6 Flowway
 Overview of an expansive Plan Six Missing Link Flowway that incorporates the flowway as first described by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the acquisition of limited agricultural property and inclusion of some projects outlined in the Central Everglades Planning Project.– Rivers Coalition Defense Fund, 2013 
Facing sieges of disastrous discharges from inland, the St. Lucie river estuary, as well as the Caloosahatchee river to the west, must gain emergency measures to stem the releases permanently.
This “New and Broader Plan 6 Flowway” program would simply create a vitally needed flowpath to let water move south from Lake Okeechobee to the Everglades instead of to the coastal estuaries.
A broadened approach includes acquisition of about 50,000 acres of the 700,000 acres in the Everglades Agricultural Area (7%). The new acreage would be tied into lands already in public hands to form the overall Plan 6 flowway.
The new Plan 6 program also would embrace the most helpful features in the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP), recognizing, however, that the CEPP changes by themselves will reduce discharges by no more than 14%.  A much greater reduction is necessary if estuary life and benefits are to be brought back.
The Rivers Coalition Defense Fund concludes that the broader Plan 6 Missing Link Flowway would be simpler, faster and less expensive than alternatives.It should be emphasized that two-thirds of the Plan 6 path is already in public hands. The remaining one-third is potentially available under a state option to purchase lands from the U.S. Sugar Corp. or other sources.
Although present state officials have not pursued the sugar purchase, it had been strongly supported by the previous state administration and South Florida Water Management District. Funding was found to be practical via restructured bonding. Potential benefits were judged to be far greater than costs.
The Water Management District’s website includes this 2008 statement regarding the purchase:
“Acquiring the enormous expanse of real estate offers water managers the opportunity and flexibility to store and clean water on a scale never before contemplated to protect Florida’s coastal estuaries and to better revive, restore and preserve the fabled River of Grass.”
A majority of other public and non-government entities also supported the purchase, which drew international favorable attention. Political changes and the economic recession, however, led to setting aside the Missing Link purchase, while preserving an option to buy that extends to 2020.
The Defense Fund finds that the option, or similar acquisition, must be implemented in order to provide a meaningful solution to the estuary and Everglades drainage woes that beset us. It is now up to the Water Management District, coordinating with other state officials, to execute the purchase and flowway.
Continuing damages to our eco-system, to our quality of life and to our economy are far too severe to accept do-little measures or distractions that only preserve the destructive status quo.
Resistance to the flowway comes basically from industry lobbyists and allied political forces, who make two main claims.
One is that a series of aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) wells proposed for locations around Lake Okeechobee could drain,  store and supply water, negating the need for the flowpath south.
The deep-well technology is highly controversial, however. Many scientists contend that the wells would handle only a tiny fraction of the water involved and that they would be subject to dangerous exposures of pollution such as arsenic.
Moreover, the wells would preclude vitally needed re-hydration and re-creation of historic wetlands.
Costs estimates for ASR run to $1.8 billion, whereas Plan 6 outlays are estimated to be less than half of that.
The state of Georgia has banned ASR injections into the same Floridan Aquifer present in Florida. A wealth of information about ASR is readily available via web search engines.  
A second claim against the flowway concept is that the natural downward slope through the agricultural area has been disrupted by loss of soil, causing a supposed blockage of potential flow.
This claim is still voiced by some key officials, although it has been thoroughly discredited for many years. A careful analysis of the topography involved shows that the Plan 6 flow would work well. An evaluation of the bowl claim may be seen at
Plan 6 can do more than any other program to curtail the discharges and restore wetlands. It was originated by the Corps itself and is supported by a host of veteran engineers and conservationists.
The public must demand real action for a new and broader Plan 6 Flowway,  as well as support any other potential remedies.
For more information see the Plan 6 Concept report at, the Florida Oceanographic Society and other sources.
It is up to both state and federal authorities to move the ball. Your insistence and support can make it happen.
The contracting party for purchasing the Missing Link land is the South Florida Water Management District, headquartered in West Palm Beach. It operates as an arm of the Florida Legislature. The District’s Board of Governors is appointed by the governor.The state SFWMD works in partnership with federal entities, notably the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Department of Interior,  which in turn operate under the U.S. Congress.
Yes, it’s complex and there are numerous players. In the end, all of us must demand the flowway and drainage reforms.
10 Key Points
River of Grass, the Missing Link
• Stops polluted discharges from Lake O to estuaries
• Needs just 15% of “Big Sugar” fields
• Simpler and cheaper than current plans
• Brings back estuary wildlife and plant life
• Restores crucial natural sheetflow to Everglades
• Stops pathogens dangerous to humans and others
• Reduces risk of Lake O Hoover dike failure
• Curtails tons of muck that degrade waters
• Restores wetlands lost to overdrainage
• Helps recharge Biscayne Aquifer and cuts waste to ocean
The River Has a Voice and It Is Yours!
SPEAK UP FOR THE RIVER! Sign our petition, let your voice be heard!
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 you know!
Please join this campaign: Click Here to Sign - Make a difference!
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.
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Thank you for all your support.
Editor: Jessica Waugaman
PO Box 2627
Stuart, Fl 34995
Rivers Coalition • PO Box 2627 • Stuart, FL 34995
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