FORCE - Friends of the Rivers Coalition eNewsletter
May 2007 ~ P.O Box 2627, Stuart, FL 34995 ~ 772-225-6849

Next Public Meeting June 8, 2007
The next meeting of the Rivers Coalition will be held this Friday at 11:00 a.m. at the Blake Library, 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart, FL (near Ocean Blvd.) This is our regular monthly meeting and public participation is encouraged.

Business Matters
• Chairman’s Comments Leon Abood
• Policy/Organizational Document Leon Abood
• SFWMD Governing Board Candidates Leon Abood
• Legal Update Karl Wickstrom
• Special Event Jamie Burns
• Finance Committee Lisa Wigley
• TMDL Presentation Jennifer Gihring/ Eric Livingston

Coalition Committee Reports
• Water Quality Mark Perry
• Local issues Mark Perry / Ed Fielding
• State / Federal Issues Kevin Henderson / Paul Gray
• IRL / CERP Kevin Henderson / Paul Gray

Progress Reports
• South Florida Water Mgmt
• DEP / Issues Team

Next month's meeting will be Friday, July 27, 2007. NOTE Change of LOCATION...Hoke Library, 1150 NW Jack Williams Way, Jensen Beach

View the entire year's meeting schedule on our website!

Click Here To See 2007 Meeting Schedule

One Ticket Wins It!
A single $5.00 ticket won the first prize for the Rivers Coalition $50,000 Boat Raffle!

First prize winner, Henry Westcarth of Belle Glade took home the Hewes 16' Redfisher flats boat that included a 90hp Yamaha, an E-Z Loader trailer, Power-pole, Minn-kota trolling motor, HumminBird GPS/sonar and Quantum poles and reels courtesy of Snook Nook. Henry has been driving in to Stuart from Belle Glade, and as he put it, "Been fishing the ten cent bridge (Evans Crary) and the 25 cent bridge (Ernie Lyons) for forty years now. Gotta fish the bridge when you don't have a boat, he said."

Henry couldn't recall when he bought his winning ticket but he knew it was at the Snook Nook where the boat had been parked to sell tickets. His fishing buddy, Walter remembered and said. " I talked him into buying just one. Come on Henry, I said, just one for the river. I can't believe his ticket won!"

Henry was already back from fishing the Roosevelt bridge that day, when the winning call from Leon Abood, Chairman of the Rivers Coalition, was answered by Henry's wife Lena. Henry said "I felt really good about winning but I had to be sure." When he came in to Lindsay Marine two days later, he was sure. After seeing the tricked out red-hulled Hewes, both he and his buddy said "We're gonna try out some new spots now!"

Second prize of the Ocean Prowler 13' kayak was the catch of the day for Reverend Jim Nimmo of Port St. Lucie. And Joe Rosetti, of Delmar, NY and Jensen Beach, FL planned ahead by providing his NY phone number as the winner of their third prize, a pair of Crowder Rods & Penn reels.

Joe said he bought several tickets, several times over the winter months and was really sure he was going to win the boat. He pulled his tickets out and put them on his fridge on the morning of May 1st. His wife got tired of hearing about it so she arranged a cousin to call as a joke that morning saying he had won second prize. Joe said " He was really good at it, very professional. I thought it was really happening!" Apparently, by the time the actual call came through in the afternoon, Joe's wife had already confessed. Needless to say, Joe's wife was shocked to learn that her husband really was a winner for third prize, the Crowder rods with Penn reels!

Three fifth grade students from Felix Williams Elementary School, Chris Justice, Jake Stewart and Annie Majette, came to Lindsay Marine to have the honor of pulling the winning entries. A crowd that gathered to watch and learn firsthand if they were among the lucky winners.

The Rivers Coalition Boat Raffle started the same day our lawsuit was filed in federal court in November 2006. We raised over $62,000 from the sale of tickets locally and with online purchases at the website from concerned citizens as far away as Hawaii.

Pictured; First Prize winner Henry Westcarth and his boat!

Water Management District Appointments
Many Rivers Coalition advocates are optimistic that a new day of better conservation service is dawning for the South Florida Water Management District as a number of changes are being made to the District's governing board.

Governor Charlie Crist already has made several new appointments to the board and more are coming this year. More than two dozens persons have applied for seats being vacated. Rivers Coalition members frequently have objected to heavy influence on the board by intrerests connected to the Everglades Agricultural Area, home of drained sugar farms that cause immense discharges to the coasts.

The proposed candidates will be discussed at this weeks Rivers Coalition meeting.

New Sponsorship Program Launch
To finance our historic federal lawsuit to stop the discharges from Lake Okeechobee that have devastated the St. Lucie estuary in most years, a Rivers Coalition sponsorship program is being launched by our newly formed Finance Committee.

Community support is needed as never before to accomplish the goal of restoring and protecting the estuary. Sponsors on all levels will be sought, including businesses, various groups and individuals.

Requests for sponsorships will be made over the weeks ahead from Finance Committee Chair Lisa Wigley, overall coordinator Karl Wickstrom, board members of the Rivers Coalition Defense Fund and other supporters of the million-dollar fundraising campaign. We have raised $300,000 so far but the legal actions against the Army Corps of Engineers will require substantially more. A healthy St. Lucie River Estuary needs everyones contribution.

Participation will include attractive Sponsor stickers (pictured here is our for business windows and vehicles, sponsorship certificates and business or personal recognition in various publications and on our website.

Persons willing to contribute or help in other ways are asked to contact the Rivers Coalition.

If we stand strong and united, we can save our estuary for ourselves and future generations.

Our quality of life and our property values depend on it.

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Pass This Newsletter On!
If you would like to represent your organization as a member of the Rivers Coalition, eMail us at
Application is free and you need only represent an organization of 25 or more members.

Visit our website at or call us at 772-225-6849

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Editor: Jamie Burns

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