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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