River Science: Lesson 1 The C44 Reservoir

River Science: Lesson 1 The C44 Reservoir

Guest video blogger: Kenny Hinkle Jr

Here’s a little science lesson by my talented friend Kenny Hinkle Jr. from over at Bullsugar.

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When will our medical community step and do something about people getting sick and dying in the Indian River Lagoon

When will our medical community step and do something about people getting sick and dying in the Indian River Lagoon?

I just want to say THANK YOU to our TC Palm reporters and also to Eye on Miami for actually paying attention to this issue and being a supportive voice and advocate for our Indian River Lagoon.

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Three years ago we were talking about this. Before I even got involved in the water but doing research for a potential documentary I read reports about people going into the water and getting sick and dying. Then when we got organized and starting talking to each even more information came forward. One of our local citizens has been collecting data but there is really nothing that is out there and a part of our hospital system and health department.

Here is Robert Lord from Martin Memorial talking about our unhealthy water at our rally last year.

Our friend, Cliff Barnes suggested we called it Lagoon water born flesh rot disease after Gov. Scott.  I said “Rick Rot.” Some people said “Rick Scott Rot.”

Some one even invented this.

RIVER_ROT_RX_WEBSITE_PIC_grande

(Here is the website https://www.facebook.com/PrepConsultantsPC/app_410312912374011?hc_location=ufi)

Last year this happened.

http://www.tcpalm.com/news/indian-river-lagoon-bacteria-killed-fort-pierce-man-in-2014_97423759

Bill Benton went swimming in the Indian River Lagoon on a Saturday afternoon. He was dead by Tuesday, a rare fatality from Vibrio vulnificus bacteria.

The bacteria occurs naturally throughout the lagoon year-round, but infections increase in summer, according to researchers at Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Fort Pierce.

Benton was among seven people who died from Vibrio vulnificus in Florida in 2014. It’s unknown whether Vibrio vulnificus is to blame in the July 20 death of Port St. Lucie resident David Trudell, two days after a fin fish punctured him while fishing in the lagoon. Doctors attributed his death to the incident, but did not determine what type of bacteria it was.

Then this happened.

http://www.tcpalm.com/franchise/indian-river-lagoon/health/bacteria-from-indian-river-lagoon-fish-fin-puncture-kills-port-st-lucie-man_79674879

We all knew what it was.

“A 65-year-old Port St. Lucie man died Monday, two days after being stuck by a fish fin while fishing in the Indian River Lagoon.

David John Trudell died from a blood infection as a result of a bacteria that entered his body because of the fin prick, said Treasure Coast medical examiner Dr. Roger Mittleman.

The type of bacteria could not be determined, Mittleman said.”

Why were there no blood cultures drawn at the time?

Then it happened to one of our own River Warriors. Because our friend Gayle posted the above article our friend Barb took her husband Bruce to the ER.

She wrote this

Took Bruce to the ER yesterday for an infected left leg. He had a sore on his knee on Monday, went in the IRL on Wednesday. We took several church families out on our new catamaran and anchored off Sailfish point (near the Walgreen house). Of course they all jumped into the IRL from the deck of the boat.

Yesterday Bruce’s knee and leg was black and swollen, hot to the touch and oozing. He had a fever. He NEVER complains of pain but I forced him to the ER. GOOD thing. The doctor thinks it is a blood infection from the bacteria from the IRL water on Wednesday. We will get the culture back on Monday to see what the bacteria actually is.

Gayle Ryan’s link to the TC Palm article regarding the local man who died within two days of a fish fin puncture bringing in bacteria from the IRL into his system, probably saved Bruce’s life. I wouldn’t have taken a closer second look at Bruce’s knee had I not read her article link. The doctor lanced and drained the “volcano” the size of a grapefruit on his knee. His whole leg was swollen and hot to the touch.

Today Bruce’s leg ‘s swelling is down and it is not throbbing anymore. He is on Bactrim and Keflex. Doctor said he was so correct to come into the ER when he did, could have become so dangerous to Bruce. Thank you Gayle Ryan.”

It looked like this.

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Here’s is a great piece from our friend at Eye on Miami.

http://www.eyeonmiami.blogspot.com/2015/07/floridas-water-crisis-impacts-compound.html

“This post on Face Book should remind Miami that the current water crisis is not just one in a series of crises: it is a cumulative event where impacts are compounded. The mismanagement of fresh water resources in South Florida is mainly to benefit the big campaign contributors to state legislators and to Gov. Rick Scott. Big Sugar.

In a just world, state legislators would be made to swim in the Indian River Lagoon, then see how much they like gambling with people’s water to benefit their patrons.”

You got that right  Mista Gimleteye!

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A friend of mine asked me if I would go on the news. I said no. This is not about me. What I will say is our local Health Department and People running the hospital need to read the newspaper. Then they need to come up with a plan to alert the physicians in the area and come up with some sort of tracking system and people need to be warned before they go in the water.  I know that everyone has a lot on their plates but this is something we have to do. What if I didn’t know any of this and my grandson had a cut and I took him in the lagoon and he died?

You can check the salinity level

http://www.tcpalm.com/franchise/indian-river-lagoon/health/worried-about-vibrio-check-salinity-levels

“Water quality sensors in the lagoon and its tributaries can’t detect the deadly bacteria’s presence, but the salinity level is a good indicator of whether there’s Vibrio. The bacteria can’t live in saltwater, but thrives in stagnant, nearshore, freshwater — particularly near rainfall runoff discharges.”

Really so the millions of gallons of freshwater discharges have nothing to do with that? Really?

SFWMD and ACOE you need to be aware. After all we have begged you to fix the issue with the discharges. It comes down to one thing: Salinity of the water. So besides all the other damage that you do we can add killing people to the list.

So we know this

http://www.tcpalm.com/franchise/indian-river-lagoon/health/cuts-are-key-to-infection-by-indian-river-lagoons-deadly-bacteria_66884711

“Healthy people who boat, fish and swim in the Indian River Lagoon are not likely to get a potentially deadly bacterial infection, especially if they take certain precautions, according to a researcher conducting a premier study of Vibrio vulnificus.

It’s people with cuts and weak immune systems like the elderly, infants, alcoholics, diabetics and those with other long-term illnesses who are at most risk and need to take the threat most seriously.”

HEALTHY PEOPLE ARE NOT LIKELY TO GET AN INFECTION! NOT LIKELY.

But

“The people most likely to get it — in this order — are: lagoon fishermen, seafood processors and waders or swimmers.”

http://www.tcpalm.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-health-officials-must-improve-tracking-reporting-of-waterborne-illnesses_15574383

And the longer this vacuum persists, the greater the threat to Treasure Coast residents who swim, boat, wade, paddleboard and fish in the waterway.

“The bacteria, which is also found in estuaries like the St. Lucie and St. Sebastian rivers, occurs naturally and is not linked to pollution, Barbarite said. Quantities vary depending on climatic conditions.”

But it is connected to the Salinity of the water which also is what kills everything else like our oysters. So by forcing millions of  gallons of fresh water down the river into the lagoon the salinity is changed.

“Most likely in spots near freshwater discharges.”

“29.5 percent of cases resulted in deaths (2004-13)”

People affected: Those with Alcohol Abuse, Liver Disease, Diabetes, Heart Disease

I can’t wait to see the spin. Because just two years ago we were assured there was nothing wrong with the water.

http://www.tcpalm.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-health-officials-must-improve-tracking-reporting-of-waterborne-illnesses_15574383

“and the longer this vacuum persists, the greater the threat to Treasure Coast residents who swim, boat, wade, paddleboard and fish in the waterway.

Two recent incidents — one fatal — have ratcheted up the importance of identifying the microbial culprits, case by case, and establishing cause-and-effect relationships between exposure to tainted lagoon water and bacterial infections.”

“Health officials and health care providers need to get ahead of the issue. Given the fact doctors don’t have a protocol for testing or reporting waterborne illnesses, it’s easy to see why so many questions remain unanswered.”

It should be standard procedure for doctors to report all suspected cases of waterborne illnesses to the Florida Department of Health.

Moreover, this information needs to be collected in a database. Over time, this knowledge may reveal trends that prove beneficial in protecting lagoon aficionados and treating those who contract waterborne infections.”

http://www.floridahealth.gov/about-the-department-of-health/about-us/mission-and-vision.html

MISSION :

To protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

VISION :

To be the Healthiest State in the Nation

VALUES (ICARE) :

I nnovation: We search for creative solutions and manage resources wisely.

C ollaboration: We use teamwork to achieve common goals & solve problems.

A ccountability: We perform with integrity & respect.

R esponsiveness: We achieve our mission by serving our customers & engaging our partners.

E xcellence: We promote quality outcomes through learning & continuous performance improvement.

” Salt is the key to safe water.”  by Tyler Treadway

I’ll post the link when I can find the article. According to Gabrille Barbarite death are rare but how do we even know this if no one is reporting or logging water born illnesses?  So I would refraise  that to ” We have no earthly idea how many people have gotten sick from the Indian River Lagoon.”

“Some areas of the lagoon are safer than others.”

You can check the LOBO and Kilroy water sensors.

http://sea-birdcoastal.com/lobo

http://www.oceanrecon.org/cfiles/kilroy_manateepocket.cfm

But keep in mind salinity can change with rain or out going tide.

What do we need now?

Our local lawmakers need to all talk to our health departments and our hospitals and doctors and urgent cares and come up with some kind of reporting system.

Warnings need to be posted for people with immune system disorders, alcoholics, people with liver diseases, diabetes, heart disease , the elderly and infants etc. We have this information now. We have a duty to warn people.

Our wonderful Dr Edie Widder from Orca said in this piece that she suspects these cases have gone unreported for years. She also said she does not think that clinics and doctors are not taking the time to culture the bacteria. How hard is that? One Agar plate zoom zoom zoom done! Or a blood culture. 2 second blood draw.

The world has gone a little wild and we have seen it up close and personal this past year with our legislators. Lets not let this  happen with the people are suppose to be taking care of us. I’m sure there is a grant out there that someone can get to do what needs to be done and there are plenty of volunteers in the medical field that would be willing to help.

If we don’t speak up nothing will be done.

Where do we start? Please add your suggestions to this blog post!

Let’s make this happen.

Florida! Let the Good Times Roll!

Florida! Let the Good Times Roll!

florida-fun

Sometimes I think I live in this other world where we see things and then there is this other place where things get reported and the only thing I can say is “huh?”

From the Florida Water Daily

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/palm-beach/fl-lake-water-waste-20150704-story.html

What if instead of draining away about 2 billion gallons of water a day, there were better ways to put that water to use?

“nearly 200 billion gallons of Lake Okeechobee water was drained to the east and west coasts to ease the strain on the erosion-prone dike that protects South Florida from flooding.”

*SEVEN MONTHS OF DRINKING WATER: The amount of Lake Okeechobee water drained east and west and out to sea was enough to supply about seven months of drinking water for the nearly seven million people in Palm Beach County, Broward County, Miami-Dade County and the Florida Keys. Water plants in southeast Florida churn out about 840 million gallons of drinking water a day.

*NEARLY 40 PERCENT OF EVERGLADES’ WATER NEEDS: Everglades advocates have called for moving almost 500 billion gallons of Lake Okeechobee water south each year to help replenish Florida’s struggling River of Grass. The volume of lake water drained east and west for flood control between January and June equated to almost 40 percent of that Everglades restoration goal.”

What can I say. I have posted hundreds of hours of video of people pleading to save our water.

This is recent letter to the Miami Herald from Maggy Hurchella.

http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article28476553.html

When you kill the environment to get more water, you end up with less water and you end up with very dirty water.

This is the same James Moran who lectured a crowded meeting room in May.

The crowd was there to ask the SFWMD Board to buy land and send the water south.

Moran said that was impossible and unnecessary, “And I don’t know why you claim it will save the Dade County water supply. They get their water from wells.”

He finally seems to have figured out that Miami-Dade’s wells are in aquifers that are recharged by water flowing south from Lake Okeechobee.

Too late.

Maggy Reno Hurchalla, Miami”

These are people in charge of our water. We know what’s happening. They don’t.

http://www.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/levelthree/water%20conservation

On the website on SFWMD they have loads of information about water conservation and have been on the news multiple time even having the nerve to tell us to conserve ( I don’t have an issue conserving but I do have an issue with them not conserving. Not just not conserving. Just totally wasting millions and millions of gallons of water send out to tide and destroying our estuary.

Then this happened and i knew the world was just turned upside down.

Rick Scott gets an environmental award.

http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/miami-developer-to-give-gov-rick-scott-environmentalist-award-7782775

“But Rodney Barreto thinks Scott has been a tree-hugging warrior for Mother Gaia. The Miami developer, who also chairs the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida, announced via email this week that at the BlueGreen gala this fall, he’ll honor Scott for his conservation work.

“Governor Scott has been instrumental in helping develop a strong connection between fish and wildlife conservation and traditional outdoors activities like hunting and especially fishing,” Barreto says in a release.

Local environmentalists are aghast at the news. “It’s laughable,” Alan Farago, president of Friends of the Everglades, tells New Times. “In terms of the environment, I think he’s the worst governor in modern Florida history.”

Aghast doesn’t even cover it.”

Fishing. Yes I dare you Rick Scott to come swimming in the Indian River Lagoon.

http://eyeonmiami.blogspot.com/2015/07/gop-puzzled-by-gov-rick-scotts.html?spref=tw

“Today, a report by AP’s Gary Fineout, “Florida Gov. Scott against at odds with Florida Republicans” sheds light on the award, in the context of a deeply strained relationship between court-penalized Republicans, shuddering at the prospect of having to draw fair districts, and an isolated governor.

What to do with a governor hunkered down in his coastal multi-million dollar estate from which he doesn’t emerge, except to his private jet clutching talking points? Give him an environmental award! Cheer up his mysterious spirits, unknowable except to special interests and cronies.”

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/os-environment-award-rick-scott-maxwell-20150728-column.html

“On Tuesday morning, I began reaching out to other sponsors of the event. But Tuesday afternoon, the foundation had removed all the sponsors’ names from its website.”

You can’t make this stuff up.

Even the sponsors know its BS. But it will interesting to see who sponsors this event. Let’s stay tuned for that one.

Here is the new guy he picked for the SFWMD board.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article29209648.html

Accursio, 52, whose family owns and farms 2,000 acres in South Miami-Dade County, has been among farmers bitterly complaining about Everglades restoration efforts flooding fields and causing crop losses in the region.

Florida Back Roads: Kissimmee River Restoration

Florida Back Roads: Kissimmee River Restoration

Ever since I’ve been involved with water issues I’ve heard about the restoration of the Kissimmee River.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kissimmee_River

The Kissimmee River arises in Osceola County as the outflow from East Lake Tohopekaliga, passing through Lake Tohopekaliga, Lake Cypress, Lake Hatchineha and Lake Kissimmee. Below Lake Kissimmee, the river forms the boundary between Osceola County and Polk County, between Highlands County and Okeechobee County, and between Glades County and Okeechobee County before it flows into Lake Okeechobee. The river was originally 134 miles (216 km) in length, 103 miles (166 km) of which was between Lake Kissimmee and Lake Okeechobee. It forms the headwaters of the Kissimmee River-Lake Okeechobee-Everglades ecosystem.

The Kissimmee River watershed of 3,000 square miles (7,800 km2) is adjacent to the Eastern Continental Divide, with triple watershed points at the Miami (north), Withlacoochee (northwest), and Peace (west) rivers’ watersheds and the Lake Okeechobee watershed (southwest).The floodplain of the river supports a diverse community of waterfowl, wading birds, fish, and other wildlife.

Every time I drove out there all I saw was this.

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Kissimmee River at Basinger

and this

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Kissimmee River looking north at Basinger

I was always whizzing through and  I never took the time to stop and explore.

It took us a while to find what we were looking for.

http://www.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/xweb%20protecting%20and%20restoring/kissimmee%20river

“The Kissimmee Basin encompasses more than two dozen lakes in the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes (KCOL), their tributary streams and associated marshes and the Kissimmee River and floodplain. The basin forms the headwaters of Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades; together they comprise the Kissimmee-Okeechobee-Everglades (KOE) system. In the 1960s, the Central and Southern Florida Flood Control (C&SF) Project modified the native KOE system extensively throughout South Florida, including construction of canals and water control structures to achieve flood control in the Upper and Lower Kissimmee basins.

Major initiatives in the Kissimmee Basin are the Kissimmee River Restoration Project (which includes Construction Projects), the Kissimmee River Restoration Evaluation Program, the Kissimmee Basin Modeling and Operations Study and the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes Long-Term Management Plan. A number of activities are associated with these projects, including ecosystem restoration, evaluation of restoration efforts, aquatic plant management, land management, water quality improvement and water supply planning.”

We ended up here.

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Whoops.

Then we ended up here .

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It was one of those “It’s got to be here somewhere!”

Then we found this

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You are here!

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We were disappointed that you could not walk out on the lock.

and a little down the road heading south you can put in with your canoes or kayaks.

So this was great right!

http://www.protectingourwater.org/watersheds/map/kissimmee_river/

“The very northern end of the Kissimmee River Basin is primarily urban and includes a small portion of the city of Orlando, three large theme parks (Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, and Universal Studios), Orlando International Airport, and the cities of Kissimmee and St. Cloud. There are some pockets of residential development along the Lake Wales Ridge (in the cities of Lake Wales, Avon Park, Sebring, and Lake Placid) and a military installation (Avon Park Air Force Range). However, agricultural lands (citrus groves, cattle ranches, caladium fields, and sod farms) as well as wetlands and upland forests dominate the remainder of the Kissimmee River Basin and all of the Fisheating Creek Basin.”

So every time someone flushes a toilet at Mickey’s a seahorse dies in the Indian RIver Lagoon.

It was everything I imagined except for the lock part. If we have Locks that go down the river why do we need water storage and farming to hold the water back?

I tried to find a map but I couldn’t but I did find this. I found four locks.

http://www.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/xrepository/sfwmd_repository_pdf/nr_2011_0131_kissimmee_lock_renovations.pdf

Just as a reminder here is our great teacher Mark Perry telling us how important the restoration of the Kissimmee River is.

Throwback Thurs: What was penny a pound and make the polluter pay?

Throwback Thurs: What was penny a pound and make the polluter pay?

As always, if you have something to add please add it.

What was penny a pound?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restoration_of_the_Everglades

“Restoration of the Everglades, however, briefly became a bipartisan cause in national politics. A controversial penny-a-pound (2 cent/kg) tax on sugar was proposed to fund some of the necessary changes to be made to help decrease phosphorus and make other improvements to water. State voters were asked to support the tax, and environmentalists paid $15 million to encourage the issue. Sugar lobbyists responded with $24 million in advertising to discourage it and succeeded; it became the most expensive ballot issue in state history.[62] How restoration might be funded became a political battleground and seemed to stall without resolution. However, in the 1996 election year, Republican senator Bob Dole proposed that Congress give the State of Florida $200 million to acquire land for the Everglades. Democratic Vice President Al Gore promised the federal government would purchase 100,000 acres (400 km2) of land in the EAA to turn it over for restoration. Politicking reduced the number to 50,000 acres (200 km2), but both Dole’s and Gore’s gestures were approved by Congress.

http://aec.ifas.ufl.edu/agcommcase/sugar.html

The purpose of this case study was to examine the impact that environmental activism can have on agriculture by focusing on the Florida sugar industry’s reaction during the 1996 “sugar tax” amendment campaign. During the campaign, proponents and opponents of the three proposed Everglades-related amendments to Florida’s constitution spent more than $40 million to sway the public. As a result of the public relations and political campaigns, communicators from Florida agricultural industries realized that they must increase their efforts to project a positive public image.

In 1996, the issue finally was contested when a small, but well-funded environmental activist group named Save Our Everglades Committee authored three proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution, collected enough signatures to get the proposals on the November 1996 ballot, and began a campaign aimed at voters in support of the amendments (U.S. Sugar Corporation, 1997). The Florida sugar industry spent $24 million and the Save Our Everglades Committee (SOE) spent over $14 million on the most expensive public relations campaign in the state’s history (Marcus, 1997). The three proposed amendments were as follows:

• Amendment Four: if passed, this amendment would put a penny-a-pound tax on all sugar grown in Florida. If passed, it has been estimated that sugar farmers would have had to pay $1 billion (U.S. Sugar Corporation, 1997).
• Amendment Five: this proposed amendment, commonly known as the “polluters pay” amendment stated that those in the Everglades Agricultural Area “who cause water pollution within the Everglades Protection area or the Everglades Agricultural area shall be primarily responsible” for paying the costs of clean-up (Kleindienst, 1997).
• Amendment Six: this amendment was designed to establish a state trust fund reserved for Everglades clean-up.

The fight

For several months before Election Day in November, Florida voters were the targets of television and radio advertisements, direct mail pieces, persuasive phone calls, and door-to-door campaigning — all related to the proposed amendments. The sugar industry, which is comprised of two large corporations, a farming cooperative, and numerous small, independent farmers, was unprepared to face a serious challenge from a well-organized activist group. In addition, the industry was surprised by early polls that indicated widespread public support for the measures.

The sugar industry considered the proposed amendments a threat to its very existence. Seldom if ever before had a single agricultural commodity been singled out as “primarily responsible” for nonpoint-source pollution (pollution that is not the result of a direct, detectable environmental accident or contamination). One sugar industry statement said that “there are few times in the life of a business when one event can have a literal life or death impact; for U. S. Sugar and the Florida sugar industry, the threat of the $1 billion tax was such an event” (U.S. Sugar Corporation, 1997).

For two months, the public relations battle continued, with each side of the argument accusing the other of distorting facts and deceiving the public. On November 6, Amendment Four was defeated, while Amendments Five and Six passed. Although the second two amendments passed, the sugar industry claimed the victory since the penny-per-pound tax was voted down.

Over the course of the campaign, the sugar industry responded to being referred to as “Big Sugar” (a derogatory term) by attacking the founders of SOE. The industry referred to chairperson Mary Barley as “a millionaire land development heiress” and to financial supporter Paul Tudor Jones as a “mega-wealthy Connecticut commodities broker” (U.S. Sugar Corporation, 1997). In addition to attempting to promote a negative image of SOE, the sugar industry also aired television and radio advertising portraying employees of the South Florida Water Management District (the regulatory agency with primary jurisdiction over the Everglades) as bureaucrats with a reputation for squandering public money on luxuries such as limousines and jet planes. This particular advertisement provoked then-Governor Lawton Chiles (who had remained quiet about the amendments issues thus far) to write a letter to the sugar industry chastising it for intentionally damaging the reputation of the water management district’s employees (Marcus, 1997).

saveeg

The sugar industry also distributed a number of press releases geared toward informing the public about the progress the sugar industry had already made toward cleaning up farm run-off. The message conveyed in several of the releases (that phosphorous levels in farm water had been reduced by 68% in just three years of voluntary management practices) was well-received by the mass media. In addition, just two weeks before the election, the start of the sugar harvest was delayed so that almost 2,000 employees could go door-to-door and personally ask communities to vote “no” (U.S. Sugar Corporation, 1997).”

An amazing effort by Save the Everglades!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polluter_pays_principle

In environmental law, the polluter pays principle is enacted to make the party responsible for producing pollution responsible for paying for the damage done to the natural environment. It is regarded as a regional custom because of the strong support it has received in most Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and European Community (EC) countries.

http://www.everglades.org/2012/02/enforce-polluters-pay/

(Miami Herald LTE, Jan 31, 2012) For 15 years Florida taxpayers have been carrying dirty water for the sugar billionaires. When Florida’s voters passed the Polluters Pay Amendment to Florida Constitution, the sugar industry was supposed to pay 100 percent of their pollution cleanup costs. In one of the most cynical abdications of governance in history, the Legislature has refused to implement Polluters Pay. In doing so, they have dumped billions in extra property taxes on the homeowners of South Florida and enabled Big Sugar to dump millions of tons of excess pollution on the Everglades.

So not only do the sugar billionaires get unearned taxpayer dollars through unnecessary federal import quotas and subsidies, but they get their pollution cleanup costs paid by the taxpayers of South Florida. Our legislators need to swear off their addiction to sugar campaign money and make them pay all their cleanup costs.

Albert Slap, Key Biscayne

Fast forward to our present legislators and Rick Scott and you’ll hear in the video they changed the law.

http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-make-polluters-pay-in-everglades/2109203

The measure, HB 7065, would rewrite the state’s plan to clean pollution flowing from farms in the Everglades’ agricultural zones to the protection areas in the south. Supporters say the legislation is needed to codify the agreement between Scott and the federal government that calls on Florida to spend $880 million over 12 years to build storm water treatment and water storage to intercept runoff from the farms, preventing further pollution of an ecosystem that is vital to the state’s economy, environment and drinking water needs.

The legislation, though, does far more than that. It would roll back the enforcement of water discharge permits, clearing the way for farming operations to pollute regardless of how much the state erred in issuing them a permit or policing it. That opens a door for polluters and increases the pressure on regulators at the South Florida Water Management District to follow the Legislature’s lead in going soft on the industry. Even the district opposes that measure. It would rather keep the permitting process intact than create a public impression that the system is corrupt.

The measure also caps the industry’s financial obligation for funding the cleanup. While the legislation would extend the $25 per acre agriculture tax until 2024 — eight years longer than under current law — it holds that those payments and improved management practices would “fulfill” the industry’s obligation for the cleanup under Florida’s “Polluter Pay” requirement in the state Constitution.

That is an outright sellout. Extending the agriculture tax generates less than $7 million per year — pennies compared to the $880 million that taxpayers will spend to treat the polluted water. The very governor who forced the water management districts to cut their budgets now intends to ask Florida taxpayers to commit $32 million a year for 12 years for this program — all in addition to the money that will come from property owners in South Florida. Meanwhile the industry responsible for two-thirds of the pollution entering the Everglades walks away from any long-term obligations even before the new water projects are in place.

Just two weeks into the legislative session, HB 7065 has sailed through two committees and is headed for the House floor. This bill has leadership’s blessing, which is why Scott and the Senate are likely the last defense. Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-New Port Richey, who is shepherding the Senate bill, which is much better, needs to do what the House and several of his bay area counterparts failed to do and insist that the polluters pay their share. Shifting these costs onto the public is unfair, and every dollar the state spends on behalf of polluters is a dollar it won’t have for police, schools and other legitimate priorities.

http://audubonoffloridanews.org/?p=13332

Audubon and other organizations have objected to these changes to the Everglades Forever Act. We are hoping for some serious discussions about increasing the amount of money sugar growers pay to clean up the pollution coming off their land. We have also objected to the part of the bill that nullifies enforcement of discharge permits. This section of the bill seems deliberately written to eliminate the basis of a recent legal challenge to three discharge permits for the dirtiest Everglades farms.

The Senate companion bill – SB 768 – has none of the offending provisions.

Why Your Voice is Important

The sugar industry has dozens of lobbyists.Money has been given to legislators and political committees. Many members of the Florida House have already made up their mind on this bill. Some have been, by their own admission, heavily lobbied by the sugar industry.

– See more at: http://audubonoffloridanews.org/?p=13332#sthash.Lbu29sfm.dpuf

 hypocracy

“Back when he first ran for governor of Florida as a self-styled outsider, Rick Scott lambasted his opponent in the Republican primary for taking campaign money from U.S. Sugar, one of the worst corporate polluters of the Everglades.

Scott indignantly squeaked that Bill McCollum had been “bought and paid for” by U.S. Sugar. He said the company’s support of McCollum was “disgusting.”

“I can’t be bought,” Scott declared. Seriously, that’s what the man said. Stop gagging and read on.

Four years later, the governor’s re-election campaign is hungrily raking in money from U.S. Sugar, more than $534,000 so far.”

 So to review, and please if I got this wrong help me out!
In 1996 the Save the Everglades Committee authored three proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution, collected enough signatures to get the proposals on the November 1996 ballot.

Amendment Four: if passed, this amendment would put a penny-a-pound tax on all sugar grown in Florida. If passed, it has been estimated that sugar farmers would have had to pay $1 billion (U.S. Sugar Corporation, 1997).
Amendment Five: this proposed amendment, commonly known as the “polluters pay” amendment stated that those in the Everglades Agricultural Area “who cause water pollution within the Everglades Protection area or the Everglades Agricultural area shall be primarily responsible” for paying the costs of clean-up (Kleindienst, 1997).
Amendment Six: this amendment was designed to establish a state trust fund reserved for Everglades clean-up.

We lost the penny-a -pound tax but we got polluters pay and the Everglades trust. Then under Rick Scott, The measure, HB 7065, would rewrite the state’s plan to clean pollution flowing from farms in the Everglades’ agricultural zones to the protection areas in the south. Supporters say the legislation is needed to codify the agreement between Scott and the federal government that calls on Florida to spend $880 million over 12 years to build storm water treatment and water storage to intercept runoff from the farms, preventing further pollution of an ecosystem that is vital to the state’s economy, environment and drinking water needs.

What it ended up doing was rolling back the enforcement of water discharge permits, clearing the way for farming operations to pollute regardless of how much the state erred in issuing them a permit or policing it. This opens a door for polluters and increases the pressure on regulators at the South Florida Water Management District to follow the Legislature’s lead in going soft on the industry.

Then, the very governor who forced the water management districts to cut their budgets now intends to ask Florida taxpayers to commit $32 million a year for 12 years for this program — all in addition to the money that will come from property owners in South Florida. Meanwhile the industry responsible for two-thirds of the pollution entering the Everglades walks away from any long-term obligations even before the new water projects are in place.

So we went from polluters paying to us paying, the voters.

Remember us.

Slick.

Sick.

Slicky RIcky

omg

But don’t forget folks your getting ten bucks back on your inflated cell phone bill and no taxes on your textbooks.

Where was the news when this happened?

So it all comes down to one thing really. We have to make sure that we have legislators that cannot be bought off by an industry that pollutes, that really does nothing for our economy and fills the pockets of corrupt politicians. We have to pay attention and we must vote.

 

Sugar U: The US Sugar Corp

@sugarcard2

In a few week we’ll be going to the Sugar Summit that is being put together by our great friends, the Florida SIerra Club. I thought it was a good time to bone up on who’z who and what’s what.

Please feel free to chime in. Even at sugarcard2 – we want to hear from you!

Yesterday, my friend Jules and I went out to Clewiston. The headquarters for US Sugar Corporation resides there.

They call themselves ” America’s Sweetest Town.” Maybe sweet in sugar but not sweet people. The last time I went out there was to shoot “The Sugarland Rally”

Sugarland-540x675The Sugarland Rally was a really sincere effort to bring people together to discuss our water issues together. Lead by our friend Justin Riney. This was their message.

An open letter to Florida residents from The Sugarland Rally Committee:

Dear Florida,

Please read these important details regarding a bicoastal rally we have planned for September 1st on Lake Okeechobee. There are multiple organizations involved in planning this event, and we need your help immediately to get the word out.

 The Sugarland Rally will unite the east and west coasts of Florida in a peaceful, historic demonstration to speak out against the pollution of our estuaries from Lake Okeechobee discharges. We support both immediate and long-term solutions, but ecosystems and communities along the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Estuaries are in crisis. We cannot afford to wait for ecological and economic collapse. We urge all stakeholders–especially local, state and federal governments–to act immediately.

 We chose Clewiston as a central location to unify east and west at Lake Okeechobee, the source that is polluting our estuaries, and because we believe Florida’s sugar industry can be part of the solution. Please don’t misinterpret our intentions–we are NOT holding a rally at Clewiston to protest or point fingers at “Big Sugar.” It’s quite the opposite, actually. We invite Florida’s powerful sugar industry to join us in crafting an immediate solution to the ecological and economic crisis caused by discharges from Lake Okeechobee. Here’s a golden opportunity to earn the respect, loyalty, and trust of Floridians for generations to come–to squash the stereotypes–by standing with the people in support of a solution. Without the healthy longevity of Florida’s land and water, we’re all out of business. Our children and grandchildren are out of business. We invite Florida’s sugar industry to stand with us in support of preserving the wonderful land and water that keeps us all in business. We must think longer term, we must think sustainably, and the time to act is now.

 Our message is a peaceful one to emphasize a powerful sense of unity needed among ALL Floridians, and to urge local, state, and federal governments to act immediately to stop the pollution of our estuaries from Lake Okeechobee discharges. We are all entitled to healthy land and water, and it is our responsibility as citizens, working with our government, to preserve these treasured assets and ensure their longevity for generations to come. Let’s all unite as Floridians in support of both immediate and long-term solutions. The Sugarland Rally will be a peaceful demonstration that we can all be proud of.

 Join The Sugarland Rally conversation on the event page at http://www.bit.ly/sugarlandrally, and please share this post with as many concerned Floridians as possible. This is a call to action, and we need your help.

 Respectfully,

The Sugarland Rally Committee

This was a rally to have a discussion to pull us all together.  US= east coast, west coast, and the people of Clewiston. For us it was to make sure we respect the people that live in the south of the lake and make sure they are safe. Human being stuff. Community stuff.

Here is the video I shot. As you can see at the beginning we were quit stoked to be there.

After the rally we went on the invitation of the Mayor to the Roland Martin Marina for some food. When we got there they refused to serve us. Every person in the room stared us down and honestly if they had guns they would have shot us down.

We went next door where I met up with friends Bob and Lisa Riney (parents of justin) and ate lunch and my friends did end up getting a few drinks because Mayor Roland showed up.

Mind you, I’m the video girl, who’s only job was to document the event. And I was starving, hot, tired. So so much for Southern Hospitality. So much for olive branches.

Afterwards in the Clewiston New’s more hate came from the people who were quite verbal, quite nasty and totally unwilling to listen to any kind of reason.

To this day, I still believe in the mission of the Sugarland rally and our extended Olive Branch.

olive branch

I can’t tell you why. I’m not a psychic. I can only tell you what happened.

In spit of that, I still worry about the people who live there and how much work is being done on the dike and always hope they will be safe.

When we went out yesterday I even wore my Marshall Tucker Band T shirt. I mean who would shoot a video girl with a Marshall Tucker Band Shirt? (Really didn’t stay there long enough to find out)

This stop BTW just a pit stop on our way to STA 5/6.

On the corner of “Happy and Healthy”

DSC_0016

US Sugar

US Sugar

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_Sugar_Corporation

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They also run the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Central_Florida_Express,_Inc.

South Central Florida Express, Incorporated (reporting mark SCXF) (originally known as the South Central Florida Railroad (reporting mark SCFE) and run by the Brandywine Valley Railroad until September 17, 1994) is a short line railroad in southern Florida run by US Sugar Corporation. It serves customers at 26 locations.

U.S. Sugar, the only sugar company in the continental U.S. to transport sugarcane by rail, owns private trackage to take the cane to the SCFE. From there, the SCFE runs around both sides of Lake Okeechobee. The west side connects to CSX‘s Auburndale Subdivision at Sebring, and the east side crosses CSX at Marcy and interchanges with the Florida East Coast Railway at Fort Pierce, with haulage rights to CSX and Norfolk Southern at Jacksonville, Florida.

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US Sugar Corp campaign to help cancer

Here are some people you may know that work there.

Robert Coker

coker-full

http://www.ussugar.com/press_room/bios/coker_bio.html

Robert Coker is Senior Vice President, Public Affairs, of United States Sugar Corporation. He is responsible for managing the company’s federal, state and local government affairs department and the company’s corporate and charitable giving programs encompassing numerous community and employee-relations activities. As a member of senior management, Coker also actively participates in corporate matters involving real estate, environmental regulation, budgeting and allocation of capital.

He is a former Chairman of the Board of Regents for Leadership Florida. 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 is a member of the Board of Trustees and serves on the Executive Committee of Florida Taxwatch.

Malcolm “Bubba” Wade

mbw

http://www.ussugar.com/press_room/bios/wade_bio.html

Malcolm S. Wade, Jr. is Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Business Development of United States Sugar Corporation. He has been employed by the Company for more than 27 years and has been a member of the senior management team for over 20 years. Wade, a certified public accountant, joined the company as Director of Internal Audit in 1982 and subsequently was named director, vice president and senior vice president of the Administrative Service Group and is currently senior vice president of sugar operations.

For more than 20 years, Wade has been involved in developing and overseeing the Company’s environmental responsibilities. Through his appointments by two governors and the South Florida Water Management District to working groups on South Florida environmental issues, Wade has helped shape public policy regarding Everglades Restoration.

In March 2005, Governor Bush appointed Wade to a four-year term on the South Florida Water Management District’s Governing Board, a position he resigned in 2008 due to the State’s proposed acquisition of U.S. Sugar. Previously, Wade was a member of the team representing South Florida farmers that spent more than a year negotiating with the Interior and Justice Departments, the State of Florida and the South Florida Water Management District to resolve the legal disputes over Everglades Restoration. He represented farmers on the technical mediation committee that crafted the Technical Mediated Plan for Everglades Restoration, which was adopted by the Florida Legislature in the spring of 1994.

He was appointed by Gov. Lawton Chiles to the Governor’s Commission for a Sustainable South Florida, which worked for four years to establish a consensus plan for Everglades Restoration. The work of the commission became the framework for the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) approved by Congress and is currently being implemented throughout south Florida.

Wade’s work on restoration issues continued with his appointment by Gov. Jeb Bush to the Governor’s Commission for the Everglades. He is a past member and co-chair of the South Florida Water Management District Water Resource Advisory Commission (WRAC) as well as a past member and chairman of the Lake Okeechobee Advisory Committee of the WRAC. He is also a past member of the District’s Lower East Coast Water Supply Planning Committee and the Budget Review commission. In addition, Wade served on the South Florida Agricultural Council Water Commission, the Caloosahatchee Water Management Advisory Committee and is a director of the Everglades Agricultural Area Environmental Protection District.

Wade is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Internal Auditor. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Institute of Internal Auditors.

JUDY C. SANCHEZ

sanchez-full

www.ussugar.com/press_room/bios/sanchez_bio.html

Judy C. Sanchez is the Senior Director of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs for United States Sugar Corporation. She joined U.S. Sugar in 1994, transferring from its South Bay Growers vegetable division where she worked as a Marketing Specialist.

Mrs. Sanchez attended the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications and graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a degree in communications. A fourth generation farmer, she has spent most of her life in and around the sugar cane industry, both in Florida and Louisiana. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Western Palm Beach County Farm Bureau, Childcare of Southwest Florida, and the Agricultural Institute of Florida.

She lives in Belle Glade, Florida, with her husband and two sons.

Judy follows me on twitter so I hope she reads this. We night not like what Judy does or says but for her boss’s she does a great job! Check out the tweets!

I think this tweet says it all.

Here are some fun videos for our friends out in Clewiston.

Don’t be a bad arnie!

Sure glad my visit to Clewiston yesterday didn’t end like this.

or this

What can we do about the death of Florida Bay, our water, our river, our eastuaries? Bring me the person in charge!

What can we do about the death of Florida Bay, our water, our river, our estuaries?

Feeling frustration? Yes me too.

This just in from the keys free press.

Why is Rick Scott destroying Florida?

http://pdf.keysnews.com/weeklys/freepress.pdf

 Opinion piece that is in this weeks Florida Keys Free Press at http://pdf.keysnews.com/weeklys/freepress.pdf that reads as follows:

Florida Bay needs clean water now

Unless the South Florida Water Management District takes immediate action to restore flows of clean fresh water to the southern Everglades, its governing board and the man who appointed them, Gov. Rick Scott, will go down in history as the people who destroyed South Florida’s coastal fisheries.

Most estuaries in the district’s jurisdiction are on the verge of collapse. By assaulting the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers with billions of gallons of filthy runoff and depriving Florida Bay of clean fresh water, the district is knowingly destroying many of the iconic waters that make Florida the Fishing Capital of the World.

The discharges out the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers get the most media attention, since they’re urban waterways and always in the public eye. But what’s going wrong in Florida Bay is also reprehensible and costly, especially in the context of Florida Keys tourism. One of Florida Bay’s most popular and prolific fish species, the spotted sea trout or “speckled trout,” has virtually disappeared. Recent studies confirm what veteran anglers like me witness on the water — a near absence of the second most commonly caught fish in Florida Bay, which also happens to be the state’s most commonly targeted species.

You really have to work hard at destroying an estuary to crash spotted sea trout populations. Female trout spawn as frequently as each full and new moon from March through October, broadcasting hundreds of thousands of eggs into waters where they’ve spawned for millennia.

These offspring can survive in a pretty wide range of salinity levels. However, water that’s too salty causes brown algae blooms that block sunlight from reaching seagrass meadows, killing seagrasses and depriving juve- niles of essential cover. Annual hatches of shrimp and crabs, which provide nutrition for juvenile trout, depend upon spring- and summertime influxes of fresh water as well. Without clean, fresh water mixing in the bay, the little trout and many other species don’t get enough to eat. Extremely salty water also interferes with a juvenile trout’s ability to breathe.

Boating and fishing are two of Florida’s biggest economic engines. So you’d think the state that touts itself as the Fishing Capital of the World would bend over backwards to ensure that its most fertile coastal waters get the right amount of clean water at the right times, to maximize the numbers of fish and other marine life these waters can produce. After all, recreational fish- ing in salt water alone generates at least $7.6 billion, with more than $1 billion of that income generated in Everglades watersheds.

Instead, fishermen like me embrace science-based fisheries management and adhere to catch limits recommended by scientists, only to watch fisheries and the ecosystems they belong to crash because of water mismanagement.
We’re tired of being ignored. Florida Bay needs more fresh water, the same water that’s destroying the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee. To restore our coastal fisheries, the district needs to expand water storage, clean the water and send it south from Lake Okeechobee to the Everglades and Florida Bay. … Our fisheries are running out of time, our jobs are on the line and our patience has run out.

Capt. Matt Bellinger, Bamboo Charters, Islamorada

One way you can help this weekend is to attend one of these rallies.

http://floridawaterlandlegacy.org/sections/page/may30events

Finish the Job: May 30 Eventsmay30eventsmap-updated

Click on any city below for more information.

Alachua

When: 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Where: 15935 NW US Hwy 441, Alachua, FL 32615
(Parking at Lowes, Sonny’s BBQ, or other nearby lots. This is the stretch of 441 that everyone uses to get to Spring Country!)

Lead organizers: Heather Culp, hculp@floridaspringsinstitute.org and Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, merrilleeart@aol.com

Bradenton

When: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Where: Manatee County Courthouse, 1115 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton, FL 34205

Lead organizer: Sandra Ripberger, sandrarip@yahoo.com

Fort Myers

When: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Where: Lee County Alliance of the Arts, 10091 McGregor Blvd., Ft. Myers, FL 33919

Lead organizers: Ray Judah, ray.judah@icloud.com and John Scott, greenguy@smartgreenhelp.com

Jacksonville

When: 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Where: Walter Jones Historical Park, 11964 Mandarin Rd., Jacksonville, FL 32223

Lead organizers: Jimmy Orth, jorth@ju.edu and Lisa Rinaman, lisa@stjohnsriverkeeper.org

Melbourne

When: 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Where: Grills Riverside, 6075 N US Hwy 1, Melbourne, FL 32940
On the Lagoon, east side of US Hwy 1, just north of Pineda Causeway.

Lead organizer: Spence Guerin, spenceguerin@earthlink.net

Miami

City of South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard invites you to a public meeting with the Water and Land Legacy Coalition.
When: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Where: South Miami City Hall Commission Chamber, 6130 Sunset Dr., South Miami, FL 33143

Lead organizer: Tabitha Cale, tcale@audubon.org

Orlando

When: 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Where: Eagle’s Nest Park, 5165 Metrowest Blvd, Orlando, FL 32811

Lead organizer: Deborah Green, watermediaservices@icloud.com

Stuart

When: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Where: Terra Fermata, 26 SE 6th St., Stuart, FL 34994

(Stick around for the Dirty River Jam, benefiting Indian Riverkeeper!)

Lead organizer: Marty Baum, indianrivguy@yahoo.com

Tampa

When: 10:30 am – 11:30 am

Where: Cypress Point Park, 5620 W. Cypress St., Tampa, FL 33607

Lead organizers: Elizabeth Fleming, efleming@defenders.org, Kent Bailey, kent.bailey@florida.sierraclub.org, Frank Jackalone, frank.jackalone@sierraclub.org

ToDo%20FB%20EventBannerWithDate

This has got to be fixed. All these people are in charge

SFWMD

The Legislature

Rick Scott

Seems to me like its a concerted effort to destroy Florida. or at least privatize it.

or even better!

and we are still being destroyed