May the fourth be with us! Toxic algae, discharging St Lucie locks. We must keep going!

@JaxStrong

@BarackObama

@joenegronfl

@RepMurphyFL

@SteveCrisafulli

May the fourth be with you! Toxic algae, discharging St Lucie locks.

On May 4th our friend Katy Lewey,  river warrior, founder of the River Kidz of St Lucie and Indian River County put together a gathering so we could all be there when the locks open.

st lucie locks may 4, 2015

st lucie locks may 4, 2015

They have been open but were recently closed due to the discovery of Toxic green algae at Port Mayaca.

In the past few years we are blessed to have great news teams that show up and we show up for them.

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In between, the new’s cycle we decided to take a ride to Port Mayaca to see the green toxic algae for ourselves.

When we got there we found Ben, an employee of SFWMD.  I have lots of friends who work or worked for them. Good People. Dedicated Scientists.

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He was taking water samples of both sides of the locks.

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This is what we saw on the inside of the locks.

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Slime crimes.

We all documented.

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Algae buster mammas.

Algae buster mammas.

Then we went to the overpass for a nice wide shot.

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you can see the green by the gates. There is also a section off to the right that is not in the photo.

 

I was not there last week so I have no basis of comparison but I can say the weather has been cooler and this stuff thrives on two things according to my ORCA friend and past Indian RiverKeeper George Jones : Heat and nutrients.  So I have no idea what will come next because of the the cool weather. Will it come down and just hang stagnant until it gets hot and then bloom? George said it sucks the o2 out of the water and at night it goes underwater so it just doesn’t sit on the top it goes to the bottom and it sucks the o2 thus killing everything underneath.

Everything.

A big green blob.

kinda like this

Harmful algae Blooms

A harmful algal bloom (HAB) is an algal bloom that causes negative impacts to other organisms via production of natural toxins, mechanical damage to other organisms, or by other means.

armful algal blooms have been observed to cause adverse effects to a wide variety of aquatic organisms, most notably marine mammals, sea turtles, seabirds and finfish. The impacts of HAB toxins on these groups can include harmful changes to their developmental, immunological, neurological, or reproductive capacities. The most conspicuous effects of HABs on marine wildlife are large-scale mortality events associated with toxin-producing blooms. For example, a mass mortality event of 107 bottlenose dolphins occurred along the Florida panhandle in the spring of 2004 due to ingestion of contaminated menhaden with high levels of brevetoxin.[8] Manatee mortalities have also been attributed to brevetoxin but unlike dolphins, the main toxin vector was endemic seagrass species (Thalassia testudinum) in which high concentrations of brevetoxins were detected and subsequently found as a main component of the stomach contents of manatees.[8]

Immune system responses have been affected by brevetoxin exposure in another critically endangered species, the Loggerhead sea turtle. Brevetoxin exposure, via inhalation of aerosolized toxins and ingestion of contaminated prey, can have clinical signs of increased lethargy and muscle weakness in loggerhead sea turtles causing these animals to wash ashore in a decreased metabolic state with increases of immune system responses upon blood analysis.[10] Examples of common harmful effects of HABs include:

  1. the production of neurotoxins which cause mass mortalities in fish, seabirds, sea turtles, and marine mammals
  2. human illness or death via consumption of seafood contaminated by toxic algae[11]
  3. mechanical damage to other organisms, such as disruption of epithelial gill tissues in fish, resulting in asphyxiation
  4. oxygen depletion of the water column (hypoxia or anoxia) from cellular respiration and bacterial degradation

so when we get upset there is good reason.

Toxic Algae is also harmful to humans.

This is from the cdc.

http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/hsb/hab/default.htm

Algae are vitally important to marine and fresh-water ecosystems, and most species of algae are not harmful. Algal blooms occur in natural waters used for drinking and/or recreation when certain types of microscopic algae grow quickly in water, often in response to changes in levels of chemicals such as nitrogen and phosphorus from fertilizer, in the water. Algal blooms can deplete the oxygen and block the sunlight that other organisms need to live, and some can produce toxins that are harmful to the health of the environment, plants, animals, and people.

Please also see this blog post about pets and toxic algae.

https://cyndi-lenz.com/2015/05/03/preview-of-coming-attractions-toxic-algae-and-your-pets/

When all else fails. When everyone has closed their doors to us. The legislators, the Governor’s Board of South Florida Water Management.

Rick Scott himself.

What choice do we have then to defend our selves and the creatures of the Indian RIver Lagoon?

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Toxic Algae Eve : Protest: Buy the land! May 3. St Lucie Locks

@JaxStrong

@SteveCrisafulli

@JoeBiden

#buytheland #sendcleanwatersouth #nomoredischarges #saveflwater #savetheeverglades

On May 3 we had a protest.

https://www.facebook.com/events/831962766840242/

***VIDEO CHALLENGE AND PROTEST*** DEMAND CLEAN WATER! Meet us at Phipps park and we can all stand together! Ask your elected officials to CANCEL THE DISCHARGES and BUY THE LAND! This Sunday, make a video on your phone, make sure to include those two messages in a peaceful video and submit it on to FB. Tag 3 of your friends and ask them to make their own video and do the same about why we want to stop the discharges and buy the land. Time is running out! Enough is enough!

We came! We Marched! We uploaded video all at the same time.

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Why? To create awareness because apparently even after we were  dumped on,  had our estuary and economy destroyed, had multiple protests with up to 7,000 people, went  to DC, went to Tallahassee, had dozens of events, took thousands of hours of video, took a gazillion photos, wrote  hundreds of letters, emails and tweets  we are at this moment in time right back where we started from at the very beginning.

Toxic Algae Eve.

Why?

Because the ACOE thinks this stuff will dissipate when it hits the brackish water because that worked so well before.  We have been rejected by our own legislators, our water management district. Everyone. Poisoning us is ok with everyone. Except us.

The Speaker of House

@SteveCrisafulli

does not want to buy any conservation land. He won’t even discuss it. He won’t even let us know if he understands why this particular piece of land is important. Senator Alan Hay, the same thing. We’re paying attention.

@SteveCrisafulli

You want to make all the people behave and listen then you are responsible for the destruction of the St Lucie River and the Indian River Lagoon. This is on you.

@JoeBiden

We need you. Please come quickly

@JaxStrong

The lake is at 13 ft. Seriously are you kidding me.

Two years ago I bought that we had issues with dike. Millions of dollars later how can there be an issue?

This is whats coming.

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This is what we need to do.

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Here we are today.

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Green Toxic Algae. Poison Poised and ready to kill us.

@BarackObama

@joenegronfl

@RepMurphyFL

@SteveCrisafulli

@JaxStrong

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Green Toxic Algae is poised and ready to be sent down our water ways that will result in the horrible destruction of our Estuary, our sea grass, our oysters, our health and the health of all life that lives in the St Lucie River and the Indian RIver Lagoon.

You can go back and read this blog especially here.

https://cyndi-lenz.com/2014/11/03/a-river-warrior-gets-out-the-vote

I brought the issue up to date and included the video from the Sugarland Rally when we went to Clewiston with open hearts and the Sugar Rulers instead of seeing that one day we would need a solution to this issue basically blackballed our good efforts. Maybe if back then the people would have come and thought for themselves we could have come up with a solution.

and you can go here and read our documentation of this issue for the past 2 1/2 years

https://www.facebook.com/SaintLucieRiverofLight

and you can go here and read Jacqui’s blog

http://jacquithurlowlippisch.com

and you can go here and get some incredible insight into why this is happening. I think between these three blogs you can read all you need to know.

http://eyeonmiami.blogspot.com

We have truly done everything possible. We have confronted the ACOE, Rick Scott,  the South Florida Water Management District, our legislators. All have fallen on deaf ears.

On a positive note we have educated thousands of people to this issue.

We have documented these issues so no one can say this never happened.

We could write a book. ( and then leave town lol)

We, not being one or two individuals but an entire community of the most dedicated people I  have ever met. We are all part of one big puzzle. No one greater than the other. Without the pieces we are incomplete. We all have our jobs.  Organically. Not manipulated. And hopefully we’ll stay that way.

We all sit here today and worry about what’s going to happen on Monday when the locks open up.

I come back to my original question when this happened in 2013. How can the intentional destruction of the most diverse estuary in North America be legal? How is the intentional poisoning  of our St Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon allowed in the United States of America?

This has got to stop.

We have two events. One on Sunday and one on Monday.

Sunday:

https://www.facebook.com/events/831962766840242/834768046559714/

Sunday 2 pm Phipps Park

Monday:

Say No to the Toxic Flow 7 am 2175 SW Locks Rd, Stuart, Florida 34997

https://www.facebook.com/events/1563265363925897/

http://www.tcpalm.com/franchise/indian-river-lagoon/health/orca-bluegreen-algae-in-canals-poised-for-big-blooms_47535634

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Thank goodness for Orca and the Killroys and Edie Widder.

“Lead scientist Edith “Edie” Widder noted that high concentrations of algae are being found in canals that stretch into agricultural areas of western St. Lucie County but not in the creeks that run from suburban areas into the river and lagoon.”

Lake O May 1 facts:
1) 581 million gallons a day released to the St Lucie River.
2) 1.3 billion gallons a day released to the Caloosahatcee river
3) The discharges waste water that would replenish the Everglades.
4) The discharges strips our basic human right to clean drinking water.
5) The discharges will destroy water quality by moving a toxic into our homes resulting in massive fish kills and making the water unsafe for human contact.

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Other things that you can do. Thank goodness for our wonderful Maggy!

http://contextflorida.com/maggy-hurchalla-keep-fighting-until-legislature-buys-land-for-everglades-restoration/

Every one of us here needs to:

1. Call YOUR legislator. They mostly don’t care if you don’t vote in their district. Other than grabbing them and shaking them, nothing is more effective than a phone call. You can get the phone number of your representatives and senators from several websites – Audubon, cleanwater.com, the Everglades Foundation. The message is simple. Use Amendment 1 money to buy land. Exercise the US Sugar option.

2. Get two other people to do the same thing.

3 Send emails to your legislators. That’s not “instead of.” Call them AND send them emails. Get two other people to do the same thing.

4. Get the Dade County Commission and the Dade legislative delegation to take a strong public stand.

4. Email and call the governor, the president of the Senate and the speaker of the House.

5. Sign every online petition you can find that says, “Buy the land. Send the water south.” Get two other people to do likewise.

6. Go to rallies and wave signs.

7. Write letters to the editor.

8. Take names. Most legislators care only about their home district. Those running for higher office are aware that the rest of us matter. They think we are forgetful.

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and sign these petitions:

If you haven’t signed all these petitions, sign ’em and pass them on to others.

PETITIONS

http://www.sccf.org/content/298/Sign-the-Everglades-Trust-Petition.aspx

http://www.evergladestrust.org/petition

http://act.progressflorida.org/sign/everglades/

http://www.savingflwater.com/

https://www.causes.com/actions/1777289-sign-the-petition-to-florida-state-governor-scott

https://www.flsenate.gov/Media/Topics/wlc

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If you call a politician a vulture isn’t that an insult to the vulture?

Here is the fabulous Sharon Lux from the Treasure Coast Progressive Alliance.

I love Protest Art!

I also love Vultures!

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Vultures are defenders of the Environment. These are birds that have a job.

http://www.examiner.com/article/the-beneficial-buzzard-clearing-the-air-about-vultures

One of the main misconceptions about vultures is that they spread disease. This is absolutely untrue. In fact, the opposite is true… vultures actually prevent viruses, bacteria and other pathogens from spreading in the environment. A vulture’s stomach acid is a unique compound that not only allows the bird to ingest disease processes, but also removes said disease from the environment. Once a virus, bacterium or other type of disease goes into the vulture, it never comes back out! Vultures help stop the spread of rabies, anthrax, cholera, brucellosis and many other pathogens that could otherwise harm other wildlife and even humans!

Fun Fact: The Cherokee name for vulture means Peace Eagle – because unlike most meat eaters, vultures do not kill for food.

They don’t kill the alive. They only eat the dead.

Vultures are my spirit birds.

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http://www.linsdomain.com/totems/pages/vulture.htm

The Vulture is the symbol of death and rebirth, the mother symbol,
and represents purification.
For those with this totem,
you will be noticed more for what you do than how you appear.

Vulture or Condor
teaches us how to soar above our limitations.

The Vulture promises us that no matter
how difficult things are at the moment,
rescue and change are imminent.

http://seeingmiracleseveryday.blogspot.com/2009/11/behold-turkey-vulture.html

“I learned that the turkey vulture’s wing span is approximately 6 feet wide (I can vouch for their incredible size from this animal soaring within 10 feet of me on my deck!). Their task in life is to clean up the mess, but an even more interesting aspect of the turkey vulture is that it is the only bird (or presumably only animal) whose feces is disease free. So the turkey vulture kindly cleans up dead carcasses or rotting flesh, then purifies them from any bacteria – making them perhaps nature’s most perfect cleansing animal. They struggle with take off and appear awkward in early flight, but once they are off the ground, they soar like eagles (often mistaken as such at a distance), and can fly for hours without ever flapping their wings, riding thermals and currents. The turkey vulture that appeared to me did absolute acrobatics around me, looping effortlessly in glorious flight.”

http://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/profiles/birds/raptors-and-vultures/vultures/

“Vultures are under state protection, therefore it is unlawful to shoot or harass them without a permit from the FWC.  If however, the vulture is tearing up a screen porch, or chewing up shingles or roofs, then you may want to consider scaring them with Pyrotechnics.  The Wildlife Services group of the United States Department of Agriculture at 352-377-5556 can provide more information.”

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So in this video RIck Scott came to the locks and while he was there the vultures showed up and when he left they left.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjcgdTvgTB0

Post Earth Day Press Conferance (Video) Stuart FL April 29

Press Advisory

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STUART EVENT: Contact Cara Capp, (305) 546-6689, cara@evergladescoalition.org,
Mark Perry, 772-486-3858, mperry@floridaocean.org
CAPTIVA EVENT: Contact David Jensen, 239-470-5389, dave@gocaptiva.com; Rae Ann Wessel, 239-246-0100, rawessel@sccf.org
Two Coasts, One Message:
Buy the Land Now
Rallies to support State Senator Joe Negron for his efforts to open the door to a sugar land purchase and call for further action
When: Wednesday, April 29, 2015
East Coast *** THERE WILL BE VISUALS ***
Where: Flagler Park, 201 SW Flagler Ave, Stuart, FL
Time: 11 a.m. to noon (11 30 a.m. Press Conference)
WHO & WHAT: Elected officials, Everglades Coalition, Rivers Coalition, and River Warriors will laud Florida Senator Joe Negron (R) for planning on introducing legislation asking for $500 million for land purchases, money that could buy U.S. Sugar lands. Will present “Buy the land” letters to Governor, House Speaker, Senate President from 19 local elected officials and resolutions from 11 local governments. Florida Realtors’ water quality/home values study. People will sign a giant poster saying, “With Joe we stand. Let’s buy the land.”
West Coast *** THERE WILL BE VISUALS ***
Where: Jensen’s Twin Palm Resort & Marina, 15107 Captiva Dr, Captiva, FL 33924
Time: 10 to 11 a.m. (10:15 a.m. Press Conference)
WHO & WHAT: SW FL business leaders, Realtors and Chamber of Commerce officials. Boaters, fisherman, kayak and paddle boarders will take to the water in support. Singer/songwriters: North Captiva’s Bob Hipkens and Austin Church from Cocoa Beach. Florida Realtors’ water quality/home values study. Videotaping of messages to the Governor and Leadership will also be captured and Queenies ice cream will be served. Banners, posters. Painted fish.
Background: There is broad public support for exercising the 48,600 acre purchase option in the US Sugar contract, but water managers must take action now for the process to begin. As polluted water is dumped to the coasts, the Everglades multibillion dollar restoration project, is starving for water. The solution, according to the scientific community, is to pursue 48,600 acres of sugar land to store and clean the water.

Bustor Brown and his human Jennie Pawlowsky.

Bustor Brown and his human Jennie Pawlowsky.

Mark Perry, Florida Oceanographic

Jason Totoiu, Everglades Law

Ed Fielding, Martin County Commission

Irene Nethery Gomes and Takeata King Pang

Irene Nethery Gomes and Takeata King Pang

Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch Commissioner Sewells Point, Blogger, Tireless River Advocate, Plume Chaser

Mark Perry and Troy Macdonald, former mayor of Stuart, FL

Drew from Palm Beach Soil

Rebecca Fatzinger

Rebecca Fatzinger

Celeste De Palma, Audobon, FLorida

Mary Perry 2

Chris Dzadovsky, St Lucie County Commissioner

Celeste De Palma’s Speech in Spanish

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Who’s going to be the party of clean water and no more discharges?

@BarackObama

@joenegronfl

@RepMurphyFL

@SteveCrisafulli

@MaryLynnMagar

@Gayle_Harrell

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To our legislators in Tallahassee who do you represent? Because your not representing us!

Here is a video of 7,000 citizens of the Treasure coast marching to the locks after we were decimated in 2013. I don’t see anything about party. I do however see a lot of people that want this to stop.

It’s really painful to write this stuff. We have an awesome clean water movement. Its made up of a great group of people who never ask about party. Because clean water is for all not just for some. The toxic discharges affect all the people.

Here is party breakdown for Martin County. Republicans: 51,031 Democrats 26,292

MARTIN 51,031 26,294 5,437 20,630 103,392

So this year the Republicans have a super majority and they think they are so well organized that they leave  and go out of the sunshine to talk and they bully members of their party to follow “leadership.”

In Tallahassee people are cut off at the knees if they don’t vote as leadership intended and we all suffer. We’re certainly not represented.

I feel like the Republicans in Tallahassee are not even representing their own base. Because their base needs clean water.

So who are you representing when you do this stuff?

Seem’s like Big sugar is totally represented. Because if you represented us the land would be bought and the discharges would stop.

http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/legislature/as-us-sugar-flexes-muscle-amendment-1-supporters-fret-about-less-money-for/2226965

One thing these guys are really good at coming up with a message and repeating it over and over again until you yourself can’t remember whats true. That’s why excellent documentation is so important.

This is an excellent article written by our own Tyler Treadway. Thank goodness for him and our incredible journalists at the Stuart News.

As a reminder Sen. Joe Negron wanted the UF Study and he found the money to do so. Sen Negron waited for this study before saying anything. After all, he insisted it get done. So it comes out and instead of reading it people glom on to what they want. Which is natural.

The problem is the people who are making decisions about our discharges and our clean drinking water are glomming on also.

This article needs to be read by people who are REPRESENTING the citizens of Martin County.

http://www.tcpalm.com/franchise/indian-river-lagoon/health/uf-water-study-cherrypicked-to-suit-arguments-for-against-us-sugar-land-buy_59243768

“Statement: Water district board member Kevin Powers at the April 9 meeting noted that none of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan’s 68 projects has been completed and said, “Nobody wants (the discharges to stop) more than me, but we’re not going to get there if we don’t complete some of these projects.”

Fact: The UF study does call for accelerating “the funding and completion of existing and federally authorized CERP projects designed specifically to provide relief” to the estuaries. It also states those projects won’t stop the discharges. That’s going to require “enormous increases in storage and treatment of water both north and south of the lake.”

Statement: A March 28 Miami Herald editorial stated the study determined the sugar land is “among the must-have pieces of land that a winning environmental strategy requires.”

Fact: The study states reducing discharges and meeting the Everglades’ need for more water will “require between 11,000 and 129,000 acres of additional land” between the lake and the national park, but it doesn’t identify what land. “The U.S. Sugar option land may or may not be the right land, but additional land will be needed to achieve restoration,” Graham said.”

You all still have time to listen and learn and turn this around for the people you represent.

#buytheland #sendcleanwatersouth

Solidarity Fish headed back to Tallahassee Solidarity y’all

@BarackObama

@joenegronfl

@RepMurphyFL

@SteveCrisafulli

@MaryLynnMagar

@Gayle_Harrell

Last week a group of River Warriors got together at the River Warrior Lodge to send messages to Tallahassee. Lead by one of creators of the Solidarity Fish Projects, Janeen Mason , we created messages to send to some of our legislators.

Some were thank you’s and some were pleas. Plea’s to buy the land. Please to use amendment one money as the people who voted for it intended. Pleas to save our drinking water. Pleas to save the Everglades.

Solidarity doesn’t mean we talk at you and you talk at us and we remain at this brick wall. Solidarity means working  together for a real solution to end the Toxic Discharges, to save our drinking water, to save our everglades, to stop salt water intrusion.

Together.

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Here is Janeen explaining what we were doing.

Here is another video done by Kenny Hinkle on the project.

Solidarity Fish headed back to Tallahassee….Buy the land. Send the water south. Save our River. Save the Everglades.
Stop the discharges. Solidarity y’all.

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Mary Higgins for State Representative and her great husband Tony Polito sending messages to Tally. https://www.facebook.com/maryhiggins82

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Julie Williams The Keeper of our River Warrior Lodge.

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Ezra Appel, River Warrior and friend of the spoil islands https://www.facebook.com/spoilislands

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Mary Dawson, author “The RIver Way Home” http://www.maryedawson.com/

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Captain Mike Connor and Michelle Roberts, granddaughter of Johnny Jones. http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/johnny-jones-remembered-as-stubborn-advocate-for-t/nL8Qt/ http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/johnny-jones-remembered-as-stubborn-advocate-for-t/nL8Qt/ Johnny Jones, a plumber turned environmentalist who spearheaded the Kissimmee River restoration, helped establish the Big Cypress National Preserve and championed the Everglades, is remembered by heavyweights of Florida’s environmental movement as a stubborn, well-connected man who could get legislation passed in Tallahassee. Mr. Jones, a hunter and fisherman, didn’t like what Florida’s explosive growth was doing to the woods, water and wildlife. He used his connections to build political support for major environmental causes.

Solidarity Fish headed back to Tallahassee….Buy the land. Send the water south. Save our River. Save the Everglades.
Stop the discharges. Solidarity y’all.

solidarity fish on their way to Tally Photo by Janeen Mason

solidarity fish on their way to Tally Photo by Janeen Mason