Lie Down on the Tracks? St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch

Railroad Bridge, Stuart Florida. (Photo JTL) Railroad Bridge, Stuart Florida. (Photo JTL, 2014.)

Classic photo of original wooden trestle bridge over the St Lucie River and train-- courtesy of the Historical Society and Sandra H. Thurlow.) Classic photo of original wooden trestle bridge over the St Lucie River and train, courtesy of the Historical Society and Sandra H. Thurlow.)

train Train going over new steel railroad bridge in 1905 before it was double tracked. (Archives of Sandra Henderson Thurlow, Stuart on the St Lucie.)

Did you know that Henry Flagler’s East Coast Railroad was originally named “Jacksonville, St Augustine and Indian River Railroad? ” I didn’t until I reread my mother’s “Stuart on the St Lucie” book. The name was changed on September 9, 1895 to the infamous and famous East Coast Railroad. The train did and does, massively affect our Indian River Lagoon Region.

Yesterday, All Aboard Florida had a poster presentation at the Kane Center where the public was allowed to view and then put hand written comments in boxes. The Stuart News said 800 people showed up…

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Aerial Tour of October 17th’s Polluted Runoff, C-44, C-23 and C-24 Canals, SLR/IRL

Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch

Plume from canal runoff C-44, C-23 and C-24, October 17,2014. (All photos Jacqui Thurlow Lippisch and Ed Lippisch.) Plume from canal runoff C-44, C-23 and C-24, October 17, 2014. (All photos Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch and Ed Lippisch.)

Today, I will take you on an air tour, hopefully one of the last of this year’s rainy season. In Florida, rainy season corresponds with hurricane season that lasts June through November. Nonetheless, typically the rains start to wind down towards the end of October.

The Army Corp of Engineers has not released from Lake Okeechobee this years so it has given us an opportunity to see what the runoff  in our area is “in and of itself.” I refuse to use the words “local runoff” because the St Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon’s runoff is over 50%  of what is was before the Water/Flood Control Districts and the ACOE created since the 1920s in order to drain the land for development and mostly agriculture.

It is the runoff of these…

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Historic Mistreatment of the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch

This is a photo of a sewer pipe going straight into the Indian River Lagoon. (ca. 1950 photo courtesy of Sandra Henderson Thurlow.) This is a photo of a sewer pipe going straight into the Indian River Lagoon. (Royal Poinciana Cottages, Jensen, ca. 1950 photo courtesy of Sandra Henderson Thurlow.)

Draining oil, changing oil, over the IRL. Jensen 1930s. Photo courtesy of Thurlow archives. Changing oil over the IRL, Pitchford Filling Station, Jensen 1920/30s. (Photo courtesy of Thurlow archives.)

As bad as things are today for the St Lucie/Indian River Lagoon, in the past we did things that today would be inconceivable, like having sewer lines drain directly into the river, or draining oil into the lagoon from a car…. For centuries people have put waste into the water so it could just “flush away.” Things  like this were done when very few people lived along the river and the waterways  could actually handle this misuse. Today with over a million people living along the 156 mile lagoon such ignorance  is not an option; we know better now. It is interesting to wonder what photos from today…

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A Surprise Visit by Gubernatorial Candidate, Charlie Crist, St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

i love you so much! The truth is when I moved up here the water was fabulous and there had not been discharges for a long time. The mothers day before the discharges i was at boy scout island playing the water. when i spoke to you how many years had it been with out discharges.
There also a reporter from the Palm Beach Post who wrote an article and she got all her facts very wrong saying there were only 100 people at the locks when scott came and that after that we liked scott. It was a crazy article and honestly after years of the Palm Beach Post not even commenting on this issue they wrote an article and got it wrong.
Thank you stepping in. We are all in this together. I know reporters have to do their job. Tyler is an extraordinary journalist and we are blessed to have him. The Palm Beach post could take some lessons from the Stuart News.
I tell all the politicians to read “The Swamp” know your history. We’re a tough crowd. We live breath and eat this issue.

Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch

Charlie Crist visits the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon October 3, 2014. Photo by Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch.) Charlie Crist visits the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon October 3, 2014. (Photo by Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch.)

As you probably saw in the paper, Charlie Crist, Democratic gubernatorial candidate for Florida, visited Stuart on Wednesday, October 3, 2014. Very exciting! I have been waiting for the governor’s race to crank up and for the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon to be in the spotlight as it should be.

In my dream of dreams Governor Scott and Charlie Crist would come to Stuart debate. For now, I will be satisfied that this year both have visited and spoken and are aware of health issues facing the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon.

I had seen Charlie Crist speak before at the Florida League of Cites, in Hollywood, but it was fun to see “the man, the myth,” our former governor, up close, face to face, along with his beautiful wife Carol.

I shall…

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SFWMD Recommends Against Approval of Sugar Hill, An Aerial Tour, St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

pat attention!

Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch

Water Structure Flying west towards Clewiston and the proposed Sugar Hill development, along the southern rim of Lake Okeechobee, looking north, one sees wet lands inside of the lake, the rim canal, a water structure, a southerly canal, agriculture lands, and highways…(All photos, Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch.)

Black Gold. An open field exposes the land’s black gold. Pahokee area heading to Clewiston.

On Sunday, a beautiful day, Dr Shaun Engebretsen flew my husband and I, in his Piper Lance, to get a “higher view” of the  proposed Sugar Hill Sector Plan around the area of Clewiston in Hendry County and to get a shot of its heart, Airglades Airport.

I decided to continue this planned trip even though on Friday, October 3rd, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) sent a letter to the state land planning agency “recommending against approving the proposed Sugar Hill Sector Plan, DEO #14-3SP, as it does not provide sufficient…

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What Are “Rain Gardens” and How Can They Help Our Indian River Lagoon?

a wonderful idea to help runoff from going into the river.

Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch

Farmer Fred, Mr Fred Burkey stands in front of the entrance of the new  rain garden at the Hoke Library in Jensen. (All photos by Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch 9-27-14.) “Farmer Fred,” Mr Fred Burkey, stands in front of the outlet of the new rain garden just installed by Martin County at the Hoke Library in Jensen. (All photos by Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch 9-27-14.)

Recently, I kept hearing about “rain gardens,” and how they could be used in the Town of Sewall’s Point to help the Indian River Lagoon. I kept nodding my head, but I really had no idea what they were.  A “garden for rain” obviously, but nonetheless, no image would  crystallize in my mind.

After a field trip with UF IFAS extension office representative, (http://martin.ifas.ufl.edu), Mr Fred Burkey, I now know, so today, I am going to share with you about a very cool, beautiful, and useful thing Martin County and others are promoting to help our ailing St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon and waterways across our nation.

The idea of a rain garden to hold water and…

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