Dolphin Ecology Project: Let’s help our Southern IRL Dolphin Family

Dolphin Ecology Project

dolphineo

Yesterday, I caught up with Nik Mader of the Dolphin Ecology Project at Paddlefest 2015.

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We have around 100 resident dolphins in the southern Indian River Lagoon. They live here like we live here.

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Nik reminds us what happens to the water happens to the Dolphins.

So if this happens to us it happens to the dolphins.

St Lucie River middle estuary, February 2015.

We can go to our houses. This is their house.

http://www.dolphinecology.org/FindOut/

The Dolphin Ecology Project is establishing a long-term field research and monitoring program to collect these data and evaluate how dolphins respond to changes in ecosystem health. Throughout the year, Project staff, scientists and volunteers photograph individual dolphins for identification and observe their activities, along with sampling environmental parameters and identifying and measuring the abundance of important dolphin prey species. Over time the Project intends to gain a better understanding about how dolphins utilize the different habitats that comprise the Florida Keys. The Project’s educational goal is to increase public awareness about dolphins and the interrelated nature of the Florida Keys’ habitats and the importance of South Florida ecosystem restoration efforts.

http://www.dolphinecology.org/help/index.html

Volunteer to help with this exciting Project! Contact the Volunteer Stewardship Exchange of The Nature Conservancy at 305-289-9060. Become a Dolphin Ecology Project Member. Your contribution will support the ProjectÕs research and education programs, ensuring a sustainable future for humans, dolphins, and the ocean environment. 

If you go to the link above there is a  membership form link on the left, you can print the form and send it in with your tax deductible contribution.

They also have a nice poster with all the local dolphins on them and their t-shirts are beautiful.

Let’s make sure we support this wonderful project that supports our neighbors, the dolphins of the southern indian river lagoon.

Most of all lets support our good neighbors the dolphins of the southern indian river lagoon.

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Who could blame them if this happened?

“So long and thanks for all the fish” from the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy.

Big Sugar Summit Buy your tickets now

bigsugarsummit

Thanks to the Sierra Club, Florida

@SierraClubFL

Buy Your Tickets Here Now!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/big-sugar-summit-tickets-16963454148

he Big Sugar Summit will pull the curtain back on the sugar industry. We’ll dig as deep into the muck as we can, in one day, to uncover just how profoundly Big Sugar affects us all. You’ll get the facts regarding the sugar industry’s influence and impact on Florida and its citizens. Our speakers will represent a wide spectrum of the political, academic, scientific and advocacy realms.
The following topics will be covered:

History of Big Sugar in the EAA

Sugar’s impact on the Everglades

Sugar burning practice and impacts

Health impacts

State-level political influence

Federal-level political influence

U.S. Sugar Program

Local economy in the EAA

Sugar Hill Sector Plan

A full agenda and speaker list will be available soon.

Note:  There will be a social hour immediately after the program.

Get to Know Know Your SFWMD Board of Govenors: Kevin Powers: Friends and Neighbors

@SFWMD

http://www.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/xweb%20about%20us/governing%20board

“The South Florida Water Management District is directed by nine Governing Board members who set policy for the agency. They reside within the agency’s 16-county region and represent a cross section of interests, including the environment, agriculture, local government, recreation and business. Governing Board members are unpaid citizen volunteers appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Florida Senate. They generally serve four-year terms.

 

Kevin Powers
Vice Chair

[Term: 5/2013 – 3/2017]

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At-large member for an area that includes St. Lucie, Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.

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Occupation: Partner, Indiantown Realty Corp

Professional, Business and Service Affiliations:

Director, Stuart Martin County Chamber of Commerce

Member, Indiantown Western Martin County Chamber
of Commerce

Former Director, United Way of Martin County

Former Vice President and Director, Martin County
Taxpayers Association

Former Director, Economic Council of Martin County

http://www.mceconomy.org/p/7/board-committee-leaders

and this was part of their objectives

Economic Council’s 2015 Legislative Delegation Strategic Priorities

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Martin County Legislative Delegation
Monday, December 8, 2014

  

A. Waterways & the Environment
  1. Support continued funding to store, clean and move more water south from Lake Okeechobee, rather than having it discharged to tide through our estuary.  Recognize that CERP and CEPP projects need to be consistently funded until their completion.  Note that all projects help to protect the environment while providing Jobs and Economic benefit to all communities in South Florida.

A while back I wrote a piece about Kevin.

https://cyndi-lenz.com/2015/03/20/kevin-powers-were-your-best-friends-us-hahahahahaaaa/

I wrote that A few weeks before  Kevin Powers called Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch and asked about the Solidarity Fish.

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http://jacquithurlowlippisch.com/2015/02/24/helping-the-sfwmd-catch-a-fish-solidarity-st-lucie-riverindian-river-lagoon/

I wrote that Janeen was kind enough to give him some fish to bring to Tallahassee and he was going speak to some people on our behalf. So for five minutes we were hopeful.

It must must have been quite a trip because he came back and told us that RIck Scott, The legislature and SFWMD was our best friends. So where did the fish go? Did he just say this because some people wanted some for their desk? Did some people take the fish and then say FU to all of us? What happened in Tallahassee?

You can hear it for yourself.

The last meeting I went to I honestly thought I could a glimpse of  human  being on his and others faces when I asked them what was their plan to stop the discharges. Kevin spoke about being a kid on the Indian River Lagoon and going to Boy Scout Island.

He must have gotten something really good in Tallahassee. Something better than saving our drinking water, saving South Florida from salt water intrusion, recharging the aquifers, stopping the toxic discharges.

He lives here. He can’t even run away from the damage that he has done. And during this whole time he couldn’t call his friends? He couldn’t call his neighbors and say “Hey, this is what the story is. But you know what let’s figure something out. Let’s a find a solution for the pollution!”

I totally understand people having a difference of opinion. But I also expect when people are in charge and there is a problem they find solutions and they don’t play games. We have had nothing but games played. Us. The citizens of Martin County. Your friends and neighbors.

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My Dad always told me to be a good friend and neighbor.  Here are 10 worse neighbors in movies.

http://listverse.com/2008/03/02/top-10-worst-neighbours-in-movies/

http://screenrant.com/bad-neighbors-movies/

What we need is a good neighbor. Someone who is concerned about us, our economy, our water, our real estate, our welfare.

We need to have a neighbor like Wilson.

or even these guys.

than this guy

Carter Hayes (played by Michael Keaton) moves in to an apartment in a nice townhouse in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights then refuses to pay rent. Not only that, he locks himself in his room and begins to tear the place apart. Then he begins introducing thousands of cockroaches in to the house! His aim? To make the house unlivable so the owners are forced to move out of it and sell it.

And I have to wonder- is this whats happening  to us?

Get to Know Know Your SFWMD Board of Govenors: Daniel O’Keefe and Festivus

@SFWMD

http://www.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/xweb%20about%20us/governing%20board

“The South Florida Water Management District is directed by nine Governing Board members who set policy for the agency. They reside within the agency’s 16-county region and represent a cross section of interests, including the environment, agriculture, local government, recreation and business. Governing Board members are unpaid citizen volunteers appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Florida Senate. They generally serve four-year terms.

The South Florida Water Management District encompasses two major watershed basins, the Okeechobee Basin and the Big Cypress Basin. The Big Cypress Basin also has a Basin Board, with appointed members setting policy. One Governing Board member also serves as the chair of the Big Cypress Basin Board.

The Governing Board appoints the Executive Director, who directs all South Florida Water Management District activities. The Florida Senate confirms this candidate.”

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Daniel O’Keefe
Chair
[Term: 5/2012 – 3/2016]
dokeefe@sfwmd.gov

Glades, Highlands, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola and Polk counties

Education:

  • J.D., with honors – University of Florida College of Law
  • B.S. in Business Administration, Business & Finance – University of Florida

Occupation:
Attorney with Shutts and Bowen LLP

Professional, Business and Service Affiliations:

  • Board Member, Smart Growth Alliance
  • Wekiva River System Advisory Management Committee
  • Member, West Orange Chamber of Commerce
  • President, West Orange Political Alliance
  • Former Member, East Central Florida Regional Planning Council

From wikipedia:

“Shutts & Bowen LLP is an Am Law 200 Florida-based law firm with over 240 attorneys in seven offices in the State of Florida and one office in Europe. Shutts & Bowen was founded in 1910. Frank B. Shutts came to Miami in 1909 and became the legal representative of Henry M. Flagler and the Florida East Coast Railway Company. In 1910 he formed a professional association with Henry F. Atkinson. In 1912 Crate D. Bowen joined the firm which settled on the name Shutts and Bowen in 1919. In 1910 Shutts organized the Miami Herald Publishing Company and was its President and principal stockholder.[2] Shutts and Bowen is among the List of largest U.S. law firms by number of lawyers. Its offices are located in the Florida cities of Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Orlando, Tampa,[3] and Tallahassee. Its Tallahassee office is headed by Bobby Brantley.[4] According to statistics submitted to American Lawyer, Shutts & Bowen recorded $127.5 million in revenue for the year 2012 with profits per partner averaging $682,000.”

http://www.floridatrend.com/article/15847/water-challenges

“Daniel O’Keefe, a real estate attorney in the Orlando office of Shutts & Bowen, is the new chairman of the South Florida Water Management District, the state agency that oversees water resources in the Everglades and 16 counties.”

What he wanted to do when he started.

Our runoff from (Orlando’s) Shingle Creek makes it to the Kissimmee chain and Lake Okeechobee, and that’s ultimately got to be cleansed. Storing more on private and public lands during the wet season, rather than just flushing it out — that’s been a successful and effective strategy, paying for that storage instead of just buying more land.

» Two other items also are a focus of mine: An assessment of lands — the district owns something like 1.4 million acres. We really need to take a serious look at that and ask ourselves, ‘Is it serving its purpose?’ If some is not, and we’re just paying to own it, should it be (sold as) surplus? We could take the money and find better ways to use those dollars. And the last thing is water supply. Just how much do we have? From all sources, surface, aquifer and alternatives such as reuse and desal, and what about the next 30 to 40 years? We expect to have a draft water-supply plan by September.

He puts out a report. You can read it here.

http://www.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/common/newsr/enews/ripple/code/pages/ripple_index.html#article02

“Recognizing that a healthy ecosystem is vital to a healthy economy, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) is making significant progress on dozens of initiatives and projects to improve water quality and increase storage.

“The most effective way to achieve restoration is by completing the host of projects now being designed or under construction across the region,” said SFWMD Executive Director Blake Guillory. “Major progress is being made, from wildlife returning to the Kissimmee to heavy construction work south of Lake Okeechobee on reservoirs and treatment wetlands that will help protect coastal estuaries and the Everglades.”

Reservoir south of lake Okeechobee? no kidding. do tell!

There are other Daniel O’Keefes.

This one is missing in Australia if you come across him.

446745-daniel-o-039-keeffe

http://www.dancomehome.com

My favorite one is this one.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_O%27Keefe_%28writer%29

He invented “Festivus.”

Daniel Lawrence O’Keefe (February 25, 1928 – August 29, 2012) was an editor at Reader’s Digest,[1] author, and the inventor of Festivus, an annual secular holiday now celebrated on December 23.[2] His son, Dan O’Keefe, was a writer for the Seinfeld[3] television show and incorporated the family holiday into an episode of the program,[1] and in 2005 published The Real Festivus.

Why bring this up? Because of Daniel Lawrence O’Keefe we have some great memes for Daniel O’Keefe
Chair
of the Board of Governors at SFWMD.

check em out.

festivus festivus2 festivus3

Need I say more?

well just a little more.

I think Daniel O’Keefe understands our disappointment. My main one is his seeing us as “uneducated”  and not taking the  time or having respect to sit down and hash this out.

SFWMD: Employee Review: Advice to Management. Pray for no catastrophe because you won’t be able to deal with one.

@SFWMD

@JaxStrong

@joenegronfl

@RepMurphyFL

@SteveCrisafulli

Remember this day. The day of Issac. I’ll never forget. I thought I was going to marooned on Floresta. I thought the river was overflowed.. The water was half way up the mailboxes , the ground was caving in on Primavista, Federal was totally flooded. All the news channels were focused on down south and boy did those folks have it bad.

http://gotowncrier.com/2012/09/letter-sfwmd-to-blame-for-the-flooding/

shot the day of issac going north on the Roosevelt bridge

shot the day of issac going north on the Roosevelt bridge

But the SFWMD is pointing their long fingers at everyone else. First, they blame Acreage residents for “building in a swamp, and they deserve what they get.” Well, for the record, The Acreage is not and never was a swamp — at least not before the SFWMD came onto the scene. The vast majority of land in The Acreage is scrub land, not swamp land. Pine trees don’t grow in swamps.

Now, more recently, the SFWMD is blaming Gov. Rick Scott for the flooding. They claim that he cut their funding, which somehow caused the canals not to work right. But Rick Scott has been governor for only a few years. Why hasn’t the SFWMD fixed the canals previously? So basically, the SFWMD can try blaming others for their negligence, but ultimately, the flooding was all their fault — not the Indian Trail Improvement District, not the Acme Improvement District, not Rick Scott, not Isaac, not Santa Claus and not anyone but the management of SFWMD.

Employee Review from Indeed

http://www.indeed.com/cmp/South-Florida-Water-Management-District/reviews

Best Days are in the Past
HR Professional (Former Employee), West Palm Beach, FLMay 8, 2014
Pros: benefits and co-workers, working in beautiful s fl
Cons: executive management, hr and compensation
Politics overwhelmed every work day with the science and technology taking a back seat.
Yes (9)No (1)

employee review

http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Employee-Review-South-Florida-Water-Management-District-RVW5935370.htm

FEB 2015

OK place to work, but VERY political environment.

Current Employee – Senior Real Estate Professional in West Palm Beach, FL

I have been working at South Florida Water Management District full-time (More than 10 years)

Recommends
Positive Outlook

Pros

Benefits such as health insurance, vacation leave, sick leave and holidays are all very good. The work itself is fulfilling. Central Palm Beach County, Florida location is good.

Cons

Three words – Political, Political, Political. The SFWMD is dictated by the Governor, and it was never so bad as now. Since the new governor came into office four years ago, the organization has become mediocre (versus the envy of the world) and the employees have lost numerous benefits including paid vacation accrual, holidays, educational reimbursements, leave buyout at termination and a much weakened defined benefit program.

Advice to Management

Do the right thing regardless of what the state politicos want you to do. Make efforts to regain trust and loyalty of your employees.

JAN 2015

Used to be a family, now it is a political whip for the Gov.

Former Employee – Anonymous Employee

I worked at South Florida Water Management District full-time (More than 10 years)

Recommends
Neutral Outlook

Pros

Great benefits, however getting worse with the current political agendas. Great work life balance and investing opportunities. For an agency of the State, they provide a semi-competitive salary. Excellent computer technology and top of the line systems. Better than even some large private companies, this organization attempts to provide the best tools to it’s employees in order to be more efficient.

Cons

After the reorganization, moral has dwindled. Benefits continue to be cut, and the agency is headed toward being run like a state agency. Highly political. Decisions often made contradict laws and rules of Florida.

Advice to Management

Don’t lose the “family” feeling by beating up employees just to satisfy the Governor.

Dec 2014

Used to be a great place to do great work

Current Employee – Anonymous Employee

I have been working at South Florida Water Management District full-time (More than 10 years)

Doesn’t Recommend
Negative Outlook

Pros

The work has the potential to be very fulfilling and meaningful. Above average benefits.

Cons

Working for a governor and state legislator who think government employees are akin to welfare cheats. Pay is below the market rate (and that’s OK) – but now no raises for 7 years, people who are working at higher levels still aren’t getting promoted, and work that is supposed to be getting done, isn’t because the staffing has been cut back too far.

Advice to Management

Pray for no catastrophe because you won’t be able to deal with one. No enough of the right (trained) staff and funds.

Yikes. Not what you want to be reading right before Hurricane Season.

This is already happening.

Yes they have used eminent domain before.

http://florida.newszap.com/okeechobeenorthlake/119601-113/luna-family-continues-to-fight-sfwmd-in-court-over-land

“OKEECHOBEE—During eminent domain trial proceedings Wednesday, surveyors from the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) admitted that property the district is trying to take was never surveyed.

The district is trying to acquire over 300 acres along the Kissimmee River in northern Okeechobee County that belongs to members of the Luna family. The district now says the property is needed for the Kissimmee River Restoration Project.

“The family is willing to grant them easements, that’s all they (SFWMD) need,” said Mr. Wright.

But instead of taking easements, the district is also wanting to take approximately 263 acres in fee simple. This means the SFWMD would then own that property outright and could do whatever it wants with the land.”

As we can see SFWMD is not the happiest place on earth. Not only have they screwed up but somehow they have made what was a non partisan issue partisan. All this time we have been going there they just told us they couldn’t do what we asked but they never said “We think we have a better idea.” Why?  Because they don’t.  They apparently don’t believe in sea level rise, or salt water intrusion, or in CERP that was suppose to be a water storage project south of the lake, or the fact that Everglades are dying, and wells in south florida are filling up with salt water.  They are full speed ahead to privatize our water. Stay tuned to a water bill near you.

what ever happens we’re gonna need a bigger boat.

DIrty Rats: SFWMD kicks us in the head

@SFWMD

@JaxStrong

@joenegronfl

@RepMurphyFL

@SteveCrisafulli

nail

Nail in the Coffin.

http://www.tcpalm.com/franchise/indian-river-lagoon/health/sfwmd-board-to-discuss-likely-reject-us-sugar-land-buy_14943889 “WEST PALM BEACH — As expected, the South Florida Water Management District board Thursday rejected the proposal to buy U.S. Sugar Corp. land south of Lake Okeechobee.

Board member Kevin Powers of Stuart made the motion to “irrevocably” terminate the option to buy 46,800 acres of U.S. Sugar land by Oct. 12. The motion was approved unanimously.”

“The deal, set to expire in October, had been fiercely championed by environmentalists as the best option for storing water from Lake Okeechobee. They envisioned the land being used to ease pressure to release polluted water into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers, allowing water managers to instead hold it until it could be moved south to Florida Bay. Parts of the bay have become far too salty, killing sea grass that provides critical habitat for marine life and driving down the number of sea trout, a fish used to measure the health of the bay.”

There are really and truly constraints out there. For me, the biggest one is financial,” said board member Sandy Batchelor.”
This is what Eric Draper had to say about her when she was reappointed

Director Eric Draper:

“During her service Sandy has always put the Everglades first. She does her homework, is careful with tax dollars, and shows up to make the right decisions. Governor Scott made the right call.”

Good Call Eric Draper

Apparently, she has never heard of Amendment One.

“Our frustration comes from the fact that you do not have a Plan B,’’ said former Martin County Commissioner Maggy Hurchalla. “You keep telling us what we can’t do, not what we can do.”

Well this is it isn’t it. This entire time we’ve been going no one from SFWMD has ever suggested what they would do about the issues.

Michael Grunwald at the Elliot Museum

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Last night, with a sold out crowd,

Michael  Grunwald came to talk to us all at the our new and improved Elliot Museum. The event was sponsored by BullSugar and anonymous supporters. It was first of what I hope will be many lectures we can attend at Elliot.

The video taken will be available at Elliot and also from Bullsugar so other’s will be able to watch.

I bought my third copy of this book last night. I have no idea where the first copy went and the second is out there somewhere. This one is signed so it stays in the bookcase.

This is one of my top ten favorite books ever. It’s not an easy read not because it’s hard to understand. There is a huge amount of detail. In order to understand the sad sad story of Everglades you have to understand the detail.  You have to understand the plumbing. The Universe created The Everglades. Man screwed it up. We screwed up the plumbing

 

This was suppose to be a storage project yet there is no storage.

 

and he also said “There is no Plan B”

Which is correct. I think I said the same thing yesterday because we never asked (or maybe we did and they just never answered)  them what was their plan to stop the discharges, recharge the aquifers, send water to the Everglades, stop salt water intrusion and prevent sea level rise. What are the people who are in charge of the plumbing doing to protect our water and deal with these issues?

https://cyndi-lenz.com/2015/05/13/if-its-thursday-its-sfwmd/

https://cyndi-lenz.com/2015/04/10/so-here-i-am-telling-the-board-of-govenors-about-my-trip-to-the-beach/

 

Also noted Rober Coker     was in the house. Robert is Senior Vice President, Public Affairs, of United States Sugar Corporation. He serves on the board of directors for the Florida Sugar Cane League, the Board of Trustees of BIZ-PAC of Palm Beach County and is a member of the Board of Governors for the Florida Chamber of Commerce. He lives here. He is also a trustee on the http://www.stuartmartinchamber.org/trustees.asp

(That’s interesting)

 

People got frustrated at the end because they felt Michael was defending big sugar by saying they had a right to be a business, and they have cleaned up their act. (you’ll have to watch the video when its released).

I think at the end it got a little mooshed up and Michael does not quite understand what our particular issues are  here right now.

Yes, big sugar has a right to be a company, but most companies have to live and die by their own devices not on subsidies created by Corporate Wellfare. So Big Sugar pull yourselves up by your bootstraps. We don’t get Medicaid Expansion why should you get corporate subsidies.

Next, we went out there to talk to talk to these  guys and they  vilified us.

When this whole thing happened in 2013 we were told we had to have discharges to protect the people south of the Lake. What has been done to fix this particular spot so these people will be safe and the lake can hold more water? Why is this not fixed two years later?

The Big sugar corporation is the one behind us not getting the land to build the reservoir. It’s their influence in Tallahassee and SFWMD that is in the way of stopping our discharges, recharging the aquifers, stopping salt water intrusion, and sea level rise. Big Sugar is standing in the way of fixing the plumbing.

 

I could write forever and bore you all to tears but the bottom line is the bottom line.

The plumbing has to be fixed and what is the plan to do so?

Thank You Michael for coming! Hopefully one day you can come back and bring your family and go swimming in our lagoon.

Everyone else be sure to look for this video on Bullsugar.