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FORCE - FRIENDS OF THE RIVERS COALITION eNEWSLETTER December 2008 PO Box 2627 Stuart, Fl 34995 772-225-6849


TO: Supporters and Interested Parties

Dear Friends of the St. Lucie Estuary,

Thanks to members of the community for supporting the continuing campaign to stop the unnatural discharges from Lake Okeechobee that have devastated our estuary.

It's a long, tough battle. We've made progress but there is much to be done.

Riparian Rights Lawsuit: Pre-trial discovery is complete in our action against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the Court of Federal Claims in Washington. Both sides will seek summary judgments in early '09. Judge Lynn Bush then is expected to conduct conferences on the issues and a trial may ensue in South Florida. Our attorneys, Marzulla & Marzulla believe that significant progress has been made in establishing our case.

Our basic contention is that discharges from Lake Okeechobee into the St. Lucie estuary violate our plantiffs' constitutional rights to enjoy water free of damaging pollution. Prolonged, tainted fresh water kills vital marine seagrasses, oyster beds and other life.

Results: The case has caused considerable concern in the Corps and the South Florida Water Management District, which work as "partners" in causing our drainage woes. The Rivers Coalition's claims have spotlighted the need for a south outlet from the Lake and played a role in bringing about the current plan to acquire U.S. Sugar Corp. acreage.

Water Transfer Rule: Separately, we are plaintiffs in a lawsuit handled by Earthjustice seeking to overturn an EPA rule that would make easier the transfer of water between dissimilar bodies. We contend that the St. Lucie estuary should be protected from discharges made without permits.

The Defense Fund continues to raise money for these and other related activities. Although it can't be established at this point how much funding may be required, the non-profit group is committed to using all of its resources to restore and protect the estuary.

Find out how you can help! Click Here!
We'll See You Jan. 29 at City Hall!
The new year should be an exciting time for the Rivers Coalition as the campaign continues to bring back and nurture the St. Lucie estuary and neighboring Indian River Lagoon and nearshore reefs.

If we hang in there tough, we can restore this natural wonder and greatly enhance our quality of life as well as economic well being.

Mark your calendars for meetings the last Thursday of each month, January through October at the Stuart City Hall. We'll have special programs and the latest news about the ongoing battle against the river degradation.

Meantime, have the happiest of holidays. We'll keep the light on for you.
2009 Meeting Dates and Time

Meetings for 2009 will be held at the City of Stuart in the Commission Chambers at 121 SW Flagler Ave in Downtown Stuart.

All meetings will be the last Thursday of each month January through October.
11:00am to 12:30pm

January 29, February 26, March 26,
April 30, May 28, June 25, July 30,
August 27, September 24, October 29,

Click here for ongoing updates & add to your favorites!
Make the Honor Roll!
Don't forget to get your name on the Honor Roll.

Donate today!

The Rivers Coalition Defense Fund is a Non-Profit 501c3.

Go to to make your donation today.
Click here to view the honor roll!
Pass This Newsletter on!
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Thank you for all your support and Happy Holidays!
Editor: Jessica Briske
Click here to donate!

Rivers Coalition • PO Box 2627 • Stuart • FL • 34995

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