On any given day around Stuart, you may hear the buzz of the engine overhead, or see the unmistakeable bright yellow plane fly past; many know the plane as the “River Warrior.”
This plane is one I never thought I would fly in, as I do not like to fly. In fact, when up in personal aircraft, belonging to my my husband, I am usually saying the Lord’s Prayer and preparing for my death as he rolls his eyes at me. But last summer, the day came when I knew I did not have a choice, that fear had to take a back seat. I knew in an instant that I had to overcome my insecurities, for the benefit of the river.
Then from May, through October 2013 , Ed and I started going up every Saturday, rain or shine and taking photos of the destruction of the St Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon, due to the Lake Okeechobee releases and C-23, C-24 and C-25 as well. These photos have been shared on Facebook, gone to many state agencies and politicians, have been shared with children in classrooms, and more.
Ed and his friend Scott Kuhns have also photographed “The River Beach Protest,” “Hands Across the Lagoon,” “Blessing of the Fleet and River,” and other river events. If you would like your pro-river event photographed just email firstname.lastname@example.org. Today, Ed and I still go up after big rains or just for fun to spot migrating sharks, turtles, manatees, schools of fish, birds, and dolphins.
I do believe the photos of the river’s destruction, and the ones we will take in the future, made, and will make, a huge difference, in educating, and showing the river’s health, destruction and importance in our lives.
I wouldn’t say I have overcome my fears, and every time we are up there, I am praying that if something happens we live; but I am grateful to the little yellow plane for giving me wings to see and to share. Next time you see it from afar, please wave and say to yourself, the little yellow “River Warrior….” and if you don’t mind, go ahead, just in case, and say a prayer for me…