May 4th,2014 We had a funeral for the St Lucie River and the Indian River Lagoon which had been devastated by discharges from Lake Okeechobee. Both turned green with poisonous green toxic algae. Our lives would never be the same again.
As a way to protest we held this funeral at Phipps Park which the park next to the the “Gates of Hell” where the water out and runs into the river and the lagoon.
Here is a video that Brad Langel shot with his drone. There is a great shot of the St Lucie Locks that will be opened when Lake Okeechobee is too high. That’s when we get polluted with Lake water that destroys mostly because the fresh water hits the lagoon, changes the salinity of the water and kills everything including the oysters that my friends very lovingly place through out.
So we all went to the meeting and what did we find out?
It’s complicated. It’s not what the headlines said. There are other issues.
The item was 8C1 “Septic to Sewer Conversion.” The presenters were Dr Brian LaPointe from FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute; CAPTEC’s Joseph Capra; and a Financial Specialist Group. In my opinion, Dr LaPointe was clear to state “we have to go after all of the sources,” alluding to releases from Lake Okeechobee many times during his presentation. Septic effluent of course is part of the problem killing our SLR/IRL as Dr LaPointe clearly showed and its pollution and bacteria in the rivers should be addressed. Septic conversion was even an item JP Sasser, former mayor of Pahokee, and Florida One Foundation representative, and I agree upon-/having our photo taken together with Dr La Pointe! . Getting behind septic conversation is something we can all try to agree upon as we advocate for the bigger picture—the destruction caused by area canals C-23; C-24; C25 and releases from Lake Okeechobee. As we here in Martin County continue to “get our house in order” as we did with passing local strong fertilizer ordinances, the state can continue to forcefully address issues of agricultural runoff and excess water forced into our watershed. Thank you to the Martin County Board of County Commissioners.
Great quote from our future Martin County Commissioner.
Video from yesterday’s meeting
http://martin.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=18&clip_id=3022We have to move forward in the best possible ways. We have to stay involved and we have to ask questions. What we don’t need is a bunch of buffoons throwing accusations around and someone writing headlines that will divide the citizens of Martin County. I’m not sure who wrote that original headline but they must be new here. Why? Because you just gave Rick Scott, SFWMD, and the Florida Legislator every reason to ignore us and basically stabbed a knife in the heart of all our hard work. There are people who will take that headline and ruin us because of their idiocy and this is what we do not need right now.
We need consensus. This is what Jacqui said when she spoke.
“Today I spoke in favor of moving forward with the beginnings a of comprehensive septic to sewer conversion, a definite piece of a greater SLR/IRL problem, and asked commissioners never to take their eyes off the bigger, critical picture of destructive forces of Lake Okeechobee and area canals–and lobbying Tallahassee and the federal government to move more water south.”This can be done but what is of utmost importance is the public education. Not politics. Not buffoonery. Education.
We need consensus and we need to work together. Septic Tanks are an issue. Not THE issue. Hooking people up will help the lagoon.
Ed Fielding, Sara Heard and John Haddix make some great remarks and asked some great questions telling me they know what they are talking about and what they need us to do is be supportive and promote more discourse on this subject.
Discourse. Conversation. Support. Leave your ego’s at home please.
Nathanial Reed was there and spoke.
Marty Baum our Indian RIverKeeper was there and spoke. Mark Perry was in the audience taking notes.
There are federal grants for septic to sewer. Perhaps our commissioners can look into this. Maybe they can call Indian River County and ask.
So far every single person I have pointed this out to has ignored me. I hope they will take some time to consider and not get all political about the federal government. It’s not a time for politics. It’s time to work towards saving our river and lagoon before it’s too late.
There is this Issue of inspections that Senator Joe Negron was part of being banned. Some one asked about this at the meeting. People want to sue for the right. So I decided to ask Siri and this is what she told me.
“Newly anointed billionaire arch-conservative Florida governor Rick Scott—along with his all-GOP cabinet and tea-party-led state legislature—will get around to the state’s budget crisis, its mortgage meltdown, its educational woes, its brain drain, its disaster-preparedness services, and its corruption problems eventually. But not until they’ve finished with their crap storm over, well, crap.
Last spring, outgoing Gov. Charlie Crist signed a landmark bill into law requiring septic tanks to undergo once-every-five-year inspections—the first time in Florida history that such inspections would be instituted. In a state where more than half of its 2.6 million septic tanks are over 30 years old, and 10 percent are estimated to be failing—a state where the water table is usually just a couple of inches below your feet—this didn’t seem like such a bad idea. Not even to last session’s Republicans: The bill’s author was Lee Constantine, a GOP representative from Altamonte Springs. It was a “consensus bill on water policy which the agency involved, local government, environmentalists, business and industry support,” he said
…tea party groups and homeowners in North Florida, where much of the state’s 2.6 million septic tanks are located, have fought against the inspections as costly and unnecessary. The inspections would have included evaluations and pump-outs, with the costs borne by the owner. Septic tank owners who purchased their tank or had it serviced in the last five years would have been exempt from the inspections.”
” When criticizing the original septic-tank inspections last year, State Sen. Joe Negron (R-Stuart) went for the red meat. The controlling issue, he said, wasn’t the possibility of raw sewage, sludge, and grease running off into the state’s drinkable springs and aquifers: It was property rights. “Mr. and Mrs. Jones, 78 years old, live in a house with a 30 or 40 year septic tank,” he said. “Do they have to let the government come inspect their septic tank?”
It would be great if Senator Negron would talk about his reasoning. I’m saying this in the most respectful way. I think it order to come to a good place where we can move forward we need to have all the facts.
Someone said that septic tanks come under the health department. I read somewhere that the inspections was done by a private company and it came with a 120 pump out which is a good deal. I’m not sure how this effects anything but privacy might come into play here as our privacy is protected by HIPPA through the health department. I may be wrong about this but I need to further research.
Another thing was I did ask about pump outs and people told me it made no difference it was pumped out or not. So why make it an issue that no one is pumping out if it’s not an issue? All along this has been an issue. ___________numbers of septic tanks in Martin County ( I can’t find a consensus number it changes daily.) Who knows how many old ones. Never inspected. (Which is not true because I am sure people had their tanks inspected before they bought their houses.) No one is pumping out. Let me see. What else. Blah blah blah. It really did turn out to be blah blah because when I spoke to some folks about helping people that can’t afford to get pump out no one really cared and all of a sudden this became a non issue.
I’d like to hear from some experts. Does it make a difference to the St Lucie River and to the Lagoon if we all pumped out. Can we get a group rate? Will some company use this opportunity to partner with the county and give people a good price for a pump out?
Can we do one thing without all the BS and all kinds of lawsuits? Can we just begin to fix this one thing?
There is a lot more to talk about and I plan to talk about it.
Marjorie Shropshire speaking to Jon Shainman from WPTV.
Crystal Lucus future state rep for 83 talking to channel 12 news. She walks the walk!
A few weeks ago I put out a call for books that people thought would be good for our Florida Legislators to read. I got a great response. Thank you all so much. I put up my poll. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the 27 people who cared and took the time to vote.
I’ve done this before. Sent books that I thought was important. Not just to politicians but to friends. I think I have bought at least 50 copies of my favorite book “The Art of Racing in the Rain.”
I can tell you that people from both sides that have never read “The Swamp.” Many have not even heard “Paving Paradise.” Most can’t be bothered. They just don’t want to hear about it.
Our elected officials need to be bothered. They need to read.
If you don’t have time put it in your bathroom and read a little everyday.
Why? Because reading matters. It really does.
“New technology allows us to see the living brain at work. Reading can help unlock remarkable powers. Reading builds new connections in the brain which in turn helps to create stepping stones to understand other people’s worlds.
A good book literally has the power to change you.”
We should be asking the candidates what was the last five books they read. Take note question askers.
“In an award-winning newspaper series, two investigative reporters from the St. Petersburg Times chronicled how federal rules meant to protect the nation’s wetlands were more illusion than law. Now, that series has been expanded into a book, delving into how we got to this point, starting with land speculators making waterfront property out of sand dredged from the bottom of the ocean. Now, read how the nation’s wetlands protections were formed in clashes between developers, bureaucrats, judges, activists and con artists over Florida swamps.”
This is an exhaustive, timely and devastating account of the destruction of Florida’s wetlands, and the disgraceful collusion of government at all levels. It’s an important book that should be read by every voter, every taxpayer, every parent, every Floridian who cares about saving what’s left of this precious place.” — Carl Hiaasen
I am amazed, horrified and delighted that you wrote Paving Paradise! You have uncovered the perfidy that we always knew existed … You have named the key figures that led to the loss of thousands of acres of Florida wetlands.” —Nathaniel Reed
“The Everglades: River of Grass is a non-fiction book written by Marjory Stoneman Douglas in 1947. Published the same year as the formal opening of Everglades National Park, the book was a call to attention about the degrading quality of life in the Everglades and remains an influential book on nature conservation as well as a reference for information on South Florida.
Douglas was a freelance writer who submitted stories to magazines throughout the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s. Her friend Hervey Allen was an editor at Rinehart, responsible for the Rivers of America Series. Allen asked her to write a story about the Miami River, but Douglas did not find it very interesting, calling it only “an inch long”. She began learning more about the Miami River though, and in her research, she instead suggested to her editor to write a story about the Everglades. Douglas spent five years researching the Everglades, consulting with Garald Parker of the US Geological Survey, who was studying the Everglades hydrology systems, and eventually wrote nearly 40 papers on the ecosystems in the Everglades.
The Quarterly Review of Biology reviewed the book and commented on Douglas’ “convincing evidence” in her assertion that the Everglades are a river instead of a swamp, and declared that “it is hoped that this excellent account of the area and its history may provide the needed stimulus for the establishment of an intelligent conservation program for the entire Everglades.”
“The Everglades was once reviled as a liquid wasteland, and Americans dreamed of draining it. Now it is revered as a national treasure, and Americans have launched the largest environmental project in history to try to save it.
The Swamp is the stunning story of the destruction and possible resurrection of the Everglades, the saga of man’s abuse of nature in southern Florida and his unprecedented efforts to make amends. Michael Grunwald, a prize-winning national reporter for The Washington Post, takes readers on a riveting journey from the Ice Ages to the present, illuminating the natural, social and political history of one of America’s most beguiling but least understood patches of land.
The Everglades was America’s last frontier, a wild country long after the West was won. Grunwald chronicles how a series of visionaries tried to drain and “reclaim” it, and how Mother Nature refused to bend to their will; in the most harrowing tale, a 1928 hurricane drowned 2,500 people in the Everglades. But the Army Corps of Engineers finally tamed the beast with levees and canals, converting half the Everglades into sprawling suburbs and sugar plantations. And though the southern Everglades was preserved as a national park, it soon deteriorated into an ecological mess. The River of Grass stopped flowing, and 90 percent of its wading birds vanished.
Now America wants its swamp back. Grunwald shows how a new breed of visionaries transformed Everglades politics, producing the $8 billion rescue plan. That plan is already the blueprint for a new worldwide era of ecosystem restoration. And this book is a cautionary tale for that era. Through gripping narrative and dogged reporting, Grunwald shows how the Everglades is still threatened by the same hubris, greed and well-intentioned folly that led to its decline. ”
“Long before “going green” was mainstream, Dr. Seuss’s Lorax spoke for the trees and warned of the dangers of disrespecting the environment. In this cautionary rhyming tale, we learn of the Once-ler, who came across a valley of Truffula Trees and Brown Bar-ba-loots (“frisking about in their Bar-ba-loot suits as they played in the shade and ate Truffula Fruits”), and how his harvesting of the tufted trees changed the landscape forever. With the release of the blockbuster film version, the Lorax and his classic tale have educated a new generation of young readers not only about the importance of seeing the beauty in the world around us, but also about our responsibility to protect it.”
Between roughly 25 and 31 degrees north latitude, a combination of flat topography, poor soils, and limited surface water produce deserts nearly everywhere on earth. In Florida, however, these conditions support a lavish biota, more diverse than that of any other state east of the Mississippi.
In this first comprehensive guide to the state’s natural resources in sixty years, thirty top scholars describe the character, relationships, and importance of Florida’s ecosystems, the organisms that inhabit them, the forces that maintain them, and the agents that threaten them. From pine flatwoods to coral reef, Ecosystems of Florida provides a detailed, comprehensive, authoritative account of the peninsular state’s complex, fragile environments.
In this book a master scientist tells the story of how life on earth evolved. Edward O. Wilson eloquently describes how the species of the world became diverse and why that diversity is threatened today as never before. A great spasm of extinction — the disappearance of whole species — is occurring now, caused this time entirely by humans. Unlike the deterioration of the physical environment, which can be halted, the loss of biodiversity is a far more complex problem — and it is irreversible. Defining a new environmental ethic, Wilson explains why we must rescue whole ecosystems, not only individual species. He calls for an end to conservation versus development arguments, and he outlines the massive shift in priorities needed to address this challenge. No writer, no scientist, is more qualified than Edward O. Wilson to describe, as he does here, the grandeur of evolution and what is at stake. “Engaging and nontechnical prose. . . . Prodigious erudition. . . . Original and fascinating insights.” — John Terborgh, New York Review of Books, front page review “Eloquent. . . . A profound and enduring contribution.” — Alan Burdick, Audubon
My Florida by Ernie Lyons
Publications of books “My Florida” and “The Last Cracker Barrel,” compilations of Mr Lyons columns from the Stuart News, can be purchased at Stuart Heritage Museum, 161 SW Flagler Avenue, Stuart, FL.(http://www.stuartheritagemuseum.com)
Here is a blogpost about Ernie Lyons that could simply be emailed.
A Land Remembered focuses on the fictional story of the MacIveys, who migrated from Georgia into Florida in the mid-19th century. After settling, this family struggles to survive in the harsh environment. First they scratch a living from the land and then learn to round up wild cattle and drive them to Punta Rassa to ship to Cuba. Over three generations, they amass more holdings and money, and move further from their connection to the native, untamed land.
I love this book and I’m including it because it was geared towards a second grader. It simply is a marvelous accomplishment and enjoyable to read. I sent my niece’s in Colorado a copy each because I want them to know about what goes on here at Aunty Cyndi’s house.
When I call them on the phone they asked me “How is Barney?” then “How are the Dolphins?” then “How are you?”
“The first verse of the River Kidz’ Song, written by River Mom, Nicole Mader, and the River Kidz goes:
“The River Kidz are here; Our mission’s quite clear; We love our river and ALL its critters; Let’s hold it all dear…”
The rest of this wonderful song can be found on page 36 of the new workbook below.
After over a year of creative preparation, and community collaboration, the River Kidz’ 2nd Edition Workbook is here!”
This is from Jacqui’s blog:
The really cool thing about this workbook is that it was written “by kids for kids,” (Jensen Beach High School students for elementary students). The high school students named the main character of the book after Marty Baum, our Indian Riverkeeper. The students had met Mr Baum in their classroom (of Mrs Crystal Lucas) along with other presenters and field trip guides like the Army Corp of Engineers, South Florida Water Management District, and politicians speaking on the subject…
The books will be going into all second grade public school classrooms and many private school classrooms beginning in February of 2015. Teacher training will be underway this February at the Environmental Studies Center in Jensen.
River Kidz will make the booklet available to everyone. Some will be given away, and some will be used to raise money at five dollars a booklet. To purchase the booklets, please contact Olivia Sala, administrative assistant for the Rivers Coalition at email@example.com —-Numbers are limited.
In closing, enjoy the workbook and thank you to Martin County, Superintendent, Laurie J. Gaylord for encouraging the workbook and for her beautiful letter in the front of the booklet. Thank you to Martin County School Science Leader, Valerie Gaylord; teacher, Mrs Crystal Lucas; Mom, Mrs Nicole Mader; Sewall’s Point artist, Ms Julia Kelly; Southeastern Printing’s Bluewater Editions’ manager and River Dad, Jason Leonard; to River Kidz founders Evie Flaugh and Naia Mader, now 14/13; years old–they were 10 and 9 when this started,—- to the Knoph Foundation, and the Garden Club of Stuart, and to the hundreds of kids, parents, students, businesses, politicians, state and federal agencies, and especially to Southeastern Printing and the Mader Family who made this concept a reality through education, participation.”
So that’s it. I’m going for the top five. Also if you have read any of these books please feel free to write a review and I’ll post it.
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”
The 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:
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.
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.
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.
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
Sugar execs, w/ Gaston Cantens of Florida Crystals and Robert Coker of US Sugar, just huddled in back room of #IndianRiverLagoon hearing.
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 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!
Remember this day. The day of Issac. I’ll never forget. I thought I was going to marooned on Floresta. I thought the river was overflowed.. The water was half way up the mailboxes , the ground was caving in on Primavista, Federal was totally flooded. All the news channels were focused on down south and boy did those folks have it bad.
shot the day of issac going north on the Roosevelt bridge
But the SFWMD is pointing their long fingers at everyone else. First, they blame Acreage residents for “building in a swamp, and they deserve what they get.” Well, for the record, The Acreage is not and never was a swamp — at least not before the SFWMD came onto the scene. The vast majority of land in The Acreage is scrub land, not swamp land. Pine trees don’t grow in swamps.
Now, more recently, the SFWMD is blaming Gov. Rick Scott for the flooding. They claim that he cut their funding, which somehow caused the canals not to work right. But Rick Scott has been governor for only a few years. Why hasn’t the SFWMD fixed the canals previously? So basically, the SFWMD can try blaming others for their negligence, but ultimately, the flooding was all their fault — not the Indian Trail Improvement District, not the Acme Improvement District, not Rick Scott, not Isaac, not Santa Claus and not anyone but the management of SFWMD.
OK place to work, but VERY political environment. ”
Current Employee – Senior Real Estate Professional in West Palm Beach, FL
I have been working at South Florida Water Management District full-time (More than 10 years)
Benefits such as health insurance, vacation leave, sick leave and holidays are all very good. The work itself is fulfilling. Central Palm Beach County, Florida location is good.
Three words – Political, Political, Political. The SFWMD is dictated by the Governor, and it was never so bad as now. Since the new governor came into office four years ago, the organization has become mediocre (versus the envy of the world) and the employees have lost numerous benefits including paid vacation accrual, holidays, educational reimbursements, leave buyout at termination and a much weakened defined benefit program.
Advice to Management
Do the right thing regardless of what the state politicos want you to do. Make efforts to regain trust and loyalty of your employees.
I worked at South Florida Water Management District full-time (More than 10 years)
Great benefits, however getting worse with the current political agendas. Great work life balance and investing opportunities. For an agency of the State, they provide a semi-competitive salary. Excellent computer technology and top of the line systems. Better than even some large private companies, this organization attempts to provide the best tools to it’s employees in order to be more efficient.
After the reorganization, moral has dwindled. Benefits continue to be cut, and the agency is headed toward being run like a state agency. Highly political. Decisions often made contradict laws and rules of Florida.
Advice to Management
Don’t lose the “family” feeling by beating up employees just to satisfy the Governor.
I have been working at South Florida Water Management District full-time (More than 10 years)
The work has the potential to be very fulfilling and meaningful. Above average benefits.
Working for a governor and state legislator who think government employees are akin to welfare cheats. Pay is below the market rate (and that’s OK) – but now no raises for 7 years, people who are working at higher levels still aren’t getting promoted, and work that is supposed to be getting done, isn’t because the staffing has been cut back too far.
Advice to Management
Pray for no catastrophe because you won’t be able to deal with one. No enough of the right (trained) staff and funds.
Yikes. Not what you want to be reading right before Hurricane Season.
“OKEECHOBEE—During eminent domain trial proceedings Wednesday, surveyors from the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) admitted that property the district is trying to take was never surveyed.
The district is trying to acquire over 300 acres along the Kissimmee River in northern Okeechobee County that belongs to members of the Luna family. The district now says the property is needed for the Kissimmee River Restoration Project.
“The family is willing to grant them easements, that’s all they (SFWMD) need,” said Mr. Wright.
But instead of taking easements, the district is also wanting to take approximately 263 acres in fee simple. This means the SFWMD would then own that property outright and could do whatever it wants with the land.”
As we can see SFWMD is not the happiest place on earth. Not only have they screwed up but somehow they have made what was a non partisan issue partisan. All this time we have been going there they just told us they couldn’t do what we asked but they never said “We think we have a better idea.” Why? Because they don’t. They apparently don’t believe in sea level rise, or salt water intrusion, or in CERP that was suppose to be a water storage project south of the lake, or the fact that Everglades are dying, and wells in south florida are filling up with salt water. They are full speed ahead to privatize our water. Stay tuned to a water bill near you.
Michael Grunwald came to talk to us all at the our new and improved Elliot Museum. The event was sponsored by BullSugar and anonymous supporters. It was first of what I hope will be many lectures we can attend at Elliot.
The video taken will be available at Elliot and also from Bullsugar so other’s will be able to watch.
I bought my third copy of this book last night. I have no idea where the first copy went and the second is out there somewhere. This one is signed so it stays in the bookcase.
This is one of my top ten favorite books ever. It’s not an easy read not because it’s hard to understand. There is a huge amount of detail. In order to understand the sad sad story of Everglades you have to understand the detail. You have to understand the plumbing. The Universe created The Everglades. Man screwed it up. We screwed up the plumbing
"Everglades restoration was suppose to be a storage project" with @MikeGrunwald
This was suppose to be a storage project yet there is no storage.
and he also said “There is no Plan B”
Which is correct. I think I said the same thing yesterday because we never asked (or maybe we did and they just never answered) them what was their plan to stop the discharges, recharge the aquifers, send water to the Everglades, stop salt water intrusion and prevent sea level rise. What are the people who are in charge of the plumbing doing to protect our water and deal with these issues?
Also noted Rober Coker was in the house. Robert is Senior Vice President, Public Affairs, of United States Sugar Corporation. He serves on the board of directors for the Florida Sugar Cane League, the Board of Trustees of BIZ-PAC of Palm Beach County and is a member of the Board of Governors for the Florida Chamber of Commerce. He lives here. He is also a trustee on the http://www.stuartmartinchamber.org/trustees.asp
People got frustrated at the end because they felt Michael was defending big sugar by saying they had a right to be a business, and they have cleaned up their act. (you’ll have to watch the video when its released).
I think at the end it got a little mooshed up and Michael does not quite understand what our particular issues are here right now.
Yes, big sugar has a right to be a company, but most companies have to live and die by their own devices not on subsidies created by Corporate Wellfare. So Big Sugar pull yourselves up by your bootstraps. We don’t get Medicaid Expansion why should you get corporate subsidies.
Next, we went out there to talk to talk to these guys and they vilified us.
When this whole thing happened in 2013 we were told we had to have discharges to protect the people south of the Lake. What has been done to fix this particular spot so these people will be safe and the lake can hold more water? Why is this not fixed two years later?
The Big sugar corporation is the one behind us not getting the land to build the reservoir. It’s their influence in Tallahassee and SFWMD that is in the way of stopping our discharges, recharging the aquifers, stopping salt water intrusion, and sea level rise. Big Sugar is standing in the way of fixing the plumbing.
I could write forever and bore you all to tears but the bottom line is the bottom line.
The plumbing has to be fixed and what is the plan to do so?
Thank You Michael for coming! Hopefully one day you can come back and bring your family and go swimming in our lagoon.
Everyone else be sure to look for this video on Bullsugar.
***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.
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.
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.
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.