Discharges stopped for the moment.







So this what happened. Thursday,  Kenny Hinkle  Jr. and Captain Mike Connor went up to Port Mayaca and made a video and took photos showing green algae.



Then Senator Negron saw and told them to shut it down.


“Senator Negron Calls on Army Corps to Immediately Suspend Harmful Releases from Lake Okeechobee Due to Algae Bloom”

Stuart, Fla. – Today, State Senator Joe Negron (R-Stuart) called on the Army Corps of Engineers to immediately suspend the harmful releases from Lake Okeechobee due to the current toxic blue-green algae bloom in water adjacent to the lake.

“I have personally seen video and photos confirming that water adjacent to Lake Okeechobee is currently experiencing a toxic blue-green algae bloom,” said Senator Negron. “With the elevation of Lake Okeechobee at less than 14 feet, there is simply no reason whatsoever for the Army Corps to be discharging water at this time.”

“While releases from Lake Okeechobee are always harmful, discharging water with a toxic blue-green algae bloom is particularly dangerous to our lagoon and estuary,” said Senator Negron.

“Right now, there is zero chance of any breach or damage to the dike,” said Senator Negron. “At the same time, there is a hundred percent chance of damage to our lagoon and estuary when the Army Corps pours hundreds of millions of gallons of polluted water into our community. Why would they do that?”

The Army Corps of Engineers will suspend discharges from Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie River so state agencies can run tests on a possible blue-green algae bloom that has been found in the western end of the St. Lucie Canal.

How long the discharges will be curtailed for the testing by the South Florida Water Management District and the state Department of Environmental Protection was not confirmed.

Then this happened:


today its all over the news


Really amazing teamwork guys.

Press Release from Rick Scott’s Office: For Immediate Release, Office of the Governor, Lake Okeechobee Toxic Algae and ACOE’s Halting Releases to St Lucie River.
April 24, 2015
Contact: media@eog.myflorida.com
(850) 717-9282

Governor Rick Scott Dispatches Florida Department of Environmental Protection Team to Test Potential Algae Blooms in Lake Okeechobee
LAKE OKEECHOBEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott made the following statement following claims of harmful blue green algae blooms in Lake Okeechobee.
Governor Rick Scott said, “Today, following reports of harmful blue green algae blooms in Lake Okeechobee, I’ve asked the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to immediately dispatch a team to test water for harmful algae blooms. The Army Corps of Engineers did the right thing by halting their releases this afternoon. President Obama also needs to live up to his commitment to repair the dike and responsibly manage Lake Okeechobee.

Today Obama is managing Lake Okeechobee? Wow. Because a few weeks ago it was the state. Oh that’s right it’s suppose to be a partnership.

I want to drive this point home.

1. Even if this water was totally clean and devoid of all the nasty nutrients and toxic green algae it would still kill us because it  is fresh water. So the legislature needs to know this – even the clean water will kills us. I don’t understand why this particular important point is never mentioned. NO FRESH WATER!  Please find a hydrologist and ask them to explain salinity.

2. Now add on toxic green algae to the mix. been there. done this. bought the t shirt. But know this -it only happens when this stuff comes out of Lake O. So whenI hear talk in Tallahassee of not buying the land because we have enough land (Sen ALAN HAY) and how water needs to be stored north. I have to wonder what kind of information are these people getting and who are they getting it from.
Who are you getting it from?


How in the world do you recharge the aquifers if you store the water north of the lake? How do you fend off salt water intrusion if the water does not flow south?


Just proves to me that our legislators have no understanding of what is going on here.

I know its hard but if we can understand this stuff so can you.

and why would any one push this stuff? They do because its sugar speak. Anything to avoid what would save us. We didn’t like  but we lived through discharges from our own water shed which was mostly AG BTW. This is what no one tells you and big sugar wants you to believe.

What kind of person does that anyway? What kind of people distorts the truth for their own personal gain? When is enough enough?

Because this is the truth and this what happens and this has got to end. We CANNOT have another toxic summer.

Do the right thing. Buy the land. Don’t destroy us.

and stop taking money from Big Sugar. I’m sure there is lots of other corporate welfare out there.


Attention President Obama! You’re our only Hope!

Welcome President Obama!


Welcome President Obama to the Treasure Coast and welcome from all of us that have been working hard to Save the St Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon.



We have been are being decimated by the discharges from Lake Okeechobee. What once was the most diverse estuary in North America has been destroyed. Our lagoon has lost massive amounts of sea grass and it is filled with muck.

Would you allow this in your backyard?


People will tell you “It’s Complicated!” Its not. We need to buy this land. We need to do this now before the  option on the land runs out.

This purchase can be funded through our Amendment 1 which specifically states that the money is to buy the land.
Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative, Amendment 1 (2014)‬
The Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative, Amendment 1 was on the November 4, 2014 ballot in the state of Florida as an initiated constitutional amendment, where it was approved. The measure was designed to dedicate 33 percent of net revenue from the existing excise tax on documents to the Land Acquisition Trust Fund.
The Land Acquisition Trust Fund was developed to acquire and improve conservation easements, wildlife management areas, wetlands, forests, fish and wildlife habitats, beaches and shores, recreational trails and parks, urban open space, rural landscapes, working farms and ranches, historical and geological sites, lands protecting water and drinking water resources and lands in the Everglades Agricultural Areas and the Everglades Protection Area. The fund was designed to manage and restore natural systems and to enhance public access and recreational use of conservation lands.
The campaign in support of the initiative was led by Florida’s Water and Land Legacy.
It passed with 74.96%

The people of Florida support this.
We got the money

Rick Scott  and our Florida Legislature wants to finish up existing projects which will result in the option running out and in the end Everglades Restoration will never be able to be completed.

Billions of gallons of polluted water have been wasted flowing into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers. All the projects that we have going now will never be complete unless we buy this land and build a reservoir and send clean water south.

This not only helps us on both coasts but will help South Florida with its drinking water which is in peril, help with salt water intrusion and sea level rise in Miami and help to save the Florida Bay which is also in peril because it does not get enough fresh water.
The Everglades is the water supply for one-third of our states Population.

Florida has negotiated a contract to purchase land, including 26,000 acres directly south of the lake. Buying this strategic parcel will provide water managers with a new option to store, move and clean water south of Lake Okeechobee before it reaches the Everglades.

We are done ask our legislators why they won’t do this.  They serve themselves. The certainly don’t serve the citizens of Florida. We have done everything in our power to make this happen.

Rick Scott ignores the Science of Climate change. Rick Scott is ignoring the science of sea level rise. There are wells in  South Florida filled with  salt water and soon be undrinkable. This is our drinking water.

Who are you going to believe? The scientists or the Governor of Florida who has muzzled free speech by not allowing people to even say the words “Climate Change.”


You cannot let this happen to us! Delay is  a self-serving position for special interests. Please help us.

Representative Steve Crisafulli We need to buy the land.

To: Representative Steve Crisafulli and all the people who voted for him and  the entire area he represents:

This is my backyard in Jensen Beach, Florida


This could be your backyard!

We need to buy the land so Everglades Restoration can be complete.  Clean water needs to go south.

We got the money in amendment one. There is a way to make this happen. Please contact him and ask him to please discuss with the scientists who understand this issue so we can fix this.


“House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, says he opposes the controversial land deal that would enable the South Florida Water Management District to purchase 46,800 acres of land south of the lake at fair market value.”

That’s because when the option runs out the land can be sold for 5 times the amount. Big Sugar is reneging on the deal they made. And that’s ok with with the Speaker of the House Crisafulli.

“Crisafulli wrote in an email response. “At this time, I do not support spending limited state resources to purchase more land south of Lake. My priority is to utilize and care for the land we own now.

This shows his lack of knowledge on the subject. The money is there through amendment 1.

If this doesn’t happen we are going to get discharges forever. Our water will always look like this and YOU the people of Florida would have destroyed not only our portion of what was once the fabulous Indian River Lagoon and the most diverse estuary in North America but our economy, our lives. If this happens this is Florida’s legacy. The people of Florida have let this happen.


By not doing this you are destroying us, the drinking water of South Forida by allowing salt water intrusion, and the Florida Bay.

There are plenty of scientists at the Everglades Coalition I’m sure they would be happy to talk to you!

“Environmental groups, spearheaded by the Everglades Foundation, want the district to purchase the land. They believe that the district could use the land to build a reservoir to store water, which they say would reduce harmful discharges of water from the lake into the St. Lucie Estuary and Caloosahatchee River. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers releases water from the lake into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee when water levels rise and threaten the aging earthen dike that protects farmland and communities around the lake.”

Land Buy Critical for Everglades Restoration. Time is running out.




Ignore the Death Mermaid at your peril


OCCUPIED TALLAHASSEE–When the Death Mermaid shows up, pay attention.

Back in 1881, she appeared to Hamilton Disston, warning him against trying to drain the Everglades. Old Ham, never the most emotionally stable of multimillionaires, shut his eyes tight and swore on his mother’s grave he’d stop drinking cologne.

Death Mermaid

In 1969, she scared the feds into killing the Everglades Jetport, a project beloved of South Florida Democrats. It would have been the largest airport in the world and bang in the middle of the Big Cypress Swamp.

Last week she materialized at the South Florida Water Management District meeting, urging the water czars to stop screwing around with the Everglades.

You’d think they would listen to a skeletal apparition with long green hair (probably from all that toxic algae gagging Florida waters) and a tail. But these are Rick Scott appointees: they don’t believe in mermaids – or measurable water standards. They shrugged her off: just another crazy eco-chick.”




SFWMD They say constraints. We say buy the land.


SFWMD Engineer Jeff Jeff Kivett wrote a report with all the constraints as to why we will never ever ever ever  ever be able to buy the land and send the water south. It reminded me of my son when he was 16 and he told me the million reasons he couldn’t clean his room.  A huge task yes but certainly not impossible. This is the position favored by Big Sugar and they let every person on the Board of Governors know that this is what they had to do. Do nothing. The option will run out and meanwhile our legislators are planning how to use our Amendment 1 money as their slush fund. I find Florida a very frightening place this week. Apparently there is no such thing as climate change.

I thought about how my entire day as a nurse is finding solutions. I hardly doubt I would keep my job if I went around telling people “I’m so sorry. I have constraints.”  Most of us have jobs where we need to come up with solutions. The job of the Government is to protect us. The job of SFWMD is to protect the water. These people need to be replaced. They clearly don’t work for us.

Millions of gallons of  fresh water are being sent out to tide daily. Is this taking care of the water? There are unusable wells in Hallandale. Salt Water Intrusion. Death of the Miccosukee Tribe tree islands.


Death of the Florida Bay.

The list goes on. When will you pay attention?

When will it end?

From the blog of Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch:

“Recently US Sugar Corporation, and even some members from the Governing Board of the SFWMD itself , (http://www.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/xweb%20about%20us/governing%20board)  “hijacked” Mr Kivett’s document, to make it seem like it proves everything is “in stone,” justifies the atrocities of the plumbing system, and makes the idea of buying land south of Lake Okeechobee null and void….Nothing, could be further than the truth….and was not the intention of Mr Kivett’s document.”

According to SFWMD we will be getting toxic discharges forever, the water of South Florida will be destroyed, salt water will continue to intrude. They have no intention  of doing anything about this. That means Rick Scott has no intention of doing anything. According to Kevin Powers he is our best friend and we should listen to him.

With friends like that who needs enemies? Same goes for our legislators that voted for the water bill. You are all complicit. Every single one of you.

I don’t need to review the past. I’m sure all these people including Rick Scott, Adam Putnam, and the entire board of Governors are having a good laugh at our expense.

Here is a piece from the Daily Show about Chris Christie who been known to hang out with Rick Scott. Apparently the same thing goes on in New Jersey.


When a person on the SFWMD board has no idea who Maggy Hurchella is we are in deep trouble.

We were told if we clapped, or were disruptive they would be removed by a deputy. So we raised our signs and by doing so made the most haunting sound. It was sad and hysterically funny at the same time.

Here is the video.

Cara Capp

Gary Goforth

julia hathaway

Maggy Hurchella

Ray Judah from the west coast

speakers 1

mark perry

Tropical Audubon

john scott

Marjorie Shopshire

jonathan ullman sierra club

Lisa! From the Everglades Law Center! We love you!

I need to apologize from here to the end of the speakers. I thought we were breaking for lunch and took the camera off the tripod.

Ed Fielding




stacie lee sherwood



More Speakers

Indian RiverKeeper Marty Baum





Buy the Land! SFWMD Press Conferance

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The Protest!

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Press Conference Video   https://twitter.com/cyndilenz/status/576100104899145728


Miami Herald

Coverage http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article13799189.html#/tabPane=tabs-b0710947-1-1

Palm Beach Post http://postonpolitics.blog.palmbeachpost.com/2015/03/12/death-mermaid-other-protesters-urge-water-managers-to-buy-u-s-sugar-land/


Prostest after we spoke




sun sentinel


palm beach post




cbs 12


2015 Floridians for Clean Water & Amendment 1 Rally

Here are all the videos. If I spelled anyone’s name or didn’t include your name please send me an email at clenz@mac.com and tell me which video you were in and send me a link to your organization. Much apologies I don’t have a list of speakers.

After you watch the videos  please go here and follow the directions to sign the petition.


River Kidz

Opening Statements

speakers 1

Mark Pafford

The St johns Riverkeeper

John Scott

Mark Perry

Tropical Audobon

from the keys

Advocates at the Governing Board Monthly Meeting at SFWMD

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Advocates came from all over South Florida. Representation from Everglades Coalition (The awesome Cara), The Everglades Foundation, The Sierra Club, The Conservation Alliance of Martin County, The Indian River Keeper, The Audubon Society , Tropical Audubon, Mark Perry, Dawn Shirreffs,  Julia Hathaway, Maggy Hurchella, George Jones,  Donna Melzer,  a kick your butt blonde fisherwoman, and of course our awesome River Warriors of the Indian River Lagoon. Even Me. Even the video girl.

All saying the same thing #buytheland #sendcleanwatersouth

Make sure you watch Eileen DuClau’s  impassioned speech. You don’t mess with Gramma’s from Providence, RI.

45 speakers. All saying the same thing to a stoned faced board who because of political reasons has no interest in doing this. For us Science has trumped politics. For them politics has trumped Science.

I have only one question. What will South Florida look like if this doesn’t happen? Will these people be held responsible?

River’s Coalition with Eric Eikenberg and Nathanial Reed 1/29/15

rivers coaltion DSC_0005




Nathanial Reed



Rivers Coalition


Three Things We Need to Do RIGHT NOW!

1. Email Gov. Rick Scott and ASK HIM TO EXERCISE THE us Sugar Option on the 46,000 acres south of the Lake.


Go to the Senate web site on Amendment 1 and tell them the VERY TOP PRIORITY is to exercise the option on the 46,000 acre US Sugar parcel.



River Warrior Awards Banquet January 17, 2015

Last night  the Indian Riverkeeper had an awards banquet to recognize all the great River Warriors that have been working so hard on our water issues.  It was a wonderful celebration and we really needed a fun evening out because we got a lot of work a head of us!
“Everywhere you go this group of advocates is the most educated advocates in the state.” Marty Baum, River Warriors Award Ceremony.

The Indian RiverKeeper Awards Banquet  January 18th, 2015


Katy Lewey River Warrior of the Year


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Here’s a little video


Tiki Steve Cottrell and I were honored with an award.

The First Act. River of Light … Cyndi Lenz and Steve Cottrell

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For those who know me I  have a hard time patting myself on the back. Most of us do. We see ourselves as a group and everyone has a  job to do.  So when someone compliments me it makes uncomfortable because without the rest of the group there would not be anyone to document. But I was good with this. When we, Tiki Steve and I, started off we just wanted to document the issue with the discharges. We started way before the discharges. Tike Steve started the petition to the Govenor Rick Scott.

Then the discharges started. The Protest happened when thousands of people showed up. I shot that protest and put it on online and thousands of people saw those videos.  2500 people watch Marty Baum call for an end to this. (original video posted on UVU)

The petition took off with thousands of people signing.  A Riverlution was started by the good people of Martin and St Lucie County.

This year we added our you tube page and “Ten minutes with Tiki” and we were blessed to be able to roll it out with out Congressman Patrick Murphy.

Our first “Ten minutes with Tiki” with Congressman Patrick Murphy


Link to our River of Light You Tube Page




Last November I was fortunate enough to get a new camera and it makes my life so much easier to do what I love the most. Short and sweet video blogging for the highest good.



We’ve been the documentary, we meaning you guys, and with out you guys there would be no River of Light. There would be nothing really.

We have lots to do but for a moment pat yourself on the back ( and folks these people are not back patters. They are unselfish doers who constantly do not bring attention to themselves but to the issues  of our Indian River Lagoon and St Lucie River and this is how we have gotten to where we are right now. Ever person’s contribution is important. Sticking to this was so well worth it because now WE HAVE TO SEND THE WATER SOUTH! Doing this will not only save us, but it will save the Everglades, Miami and the Keys.

Here is a list of awards/recognition recipients

Benji Hinkle
Jennifer Brand
Laura Appel
Kathy Glenn
Patricia Conner
Jody Collelo
Emily Grande
Noah Lewey
Kevin Mason
Tom Roberts
Bob Gomes
Tony Polito
James Hurchalla
Gary Neal
Jason Bryan
Howard Fatzinger
Larry DuClau


Political Friends (who admit it) of the Indian Riverkeeper and the River Warriors

Political Friends;
Chris Dzadovsky
Eula Clark
Mary Westcott Higgins
Charlie Grande
Mark Pafford
Larry Lee Jr.

Supporting Businesses;
Snook Nook Tackle and Bait  .. Henry and Fred Caimotto
Fredgie’s  Hot Dogs .. Jo Neeson
Newitt Jewelers … Tom Newitt
Uncle G’s  .. Sebastian Brusco
Becks Furniture .. Becky Bruner
Seamaid Boat Lettering … Pamela Dade
Joyful Printing…. Joy De La Vega
Appel Roofing .. Ezra Appel
Terra Fermata … Ron Hart
Original Tiki Bar … Mike Phillip
The Deck …Hillary Runge
Cassidy Ice…Shawn Cassidy
Sweetwater Brewing Company …
Shrimpers …
Fresh Catch.. Eric Olsen
Shakra’s Deli .. Jeff Shakra
Bullsugar .. Kenny Hinkle Jr.

Boots on the ground
Linda and Don Curtiss
Gunnar Johnson
Mike Glynn
Captain Larry Hasek
Barbara and Wayne Januszewski
Michelle Richey and Tony Parish
Darcy Flierl and Gary Neal
Lorena Teal
Linda Miller
Julie Williams
Jill Gantz
Rebecca Fatzinger
Jodi and Drew Colello
Christina Maldonato
Jerry Hitchcock
Pamela Joy
Marcia and Stan Buys
AniYa A. Period
Alicia Hill
Eileen and Larry DuClau
Darby Monroe
Trena Merendino
Sandy Van Kirk


The First Act. River of Light … Cyndi Lenz and Steve Cottrell
STIRL; Save the Indian River Lagoon; Keri West
Defining Moment; Megan Remick, Lorena Teal, Keri West, Katy Lewey, Jo Neeson
Bright Ideas and Creativity; Solidarity Fish Art; Janeen Mason, Marjorie Shropshire, Marcia Moore
Devotion Above and Beyond the Call of Duty; Gayle Ryan
Unsung Hero; Your Efforts, Education and Strength Inspire Us All; Captain Mike Conner
Environmental Education; You have mentored, and educated us all. Mark Perry, Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch, Dr. Gary Goforth
Peacekeeper We could all learn from your fine example.; Ezra Appel
Good Citizenship; Promoting Positive Morals Through Actions of Good Spirit; Katy Lewey.
Make it happen; Michelle Robert’s, Becky Bruner, Jo Neeson
Engaging children, promoting participation and ownership through media; Youth Driven Cinema; Crystal Lucas, Benjamin D’Avanso
Leadership; For growing into an outstanding leader, right before our eyes. Kenny Hinkle Jr.
Sergeant at Arms; or Leadership, organization and loyaly. Jo Neeson
Our Heroine and Mentor of the Year; Maggy Hurchalla
Our River Warrior of the Year 2014 For Your Leadership and the Empowerment of our Children. Katy Lewey.