Nathaniel Reed, Nature’s God, and the Indian River Lagoon

Nathaniel Reed, in a moment of refection, Rivers Coalition meeting 2-27-14.
Nathaniel Reed, in a moment of refection, Rivers Coalition meeting 2-27-14.

Mr Nathaniel Reed is one of those people I have always admired and who has always been “bigger than life,” in my life.

His name came before me like sunshine throughout my youth, as someone from little Martin County, who was fighting against the “big guy,” big development, destruction of Florida’s paradise, on a local, state and national level. Someone helping our Indian River Lagoon and St Lucie River.

On the other hand, his family developed Jupiter Island so there was a balance or an irony to the big  picture. Such is life.

Over time, words like these, written by Mr Reed, in his early career, formed the basis of my world view:

“I suggest to you that the American dream, based as it is on the concept of unlimited space and resources, has run aground on the natural limits of the earth. It has foundered on the shoals of the steadily emerging environmental crisis, a crisis broadly defined to include not only physical and biological factors, but the social consequences that flow from them. The American dream, so long an energizing force in our society, is withering as growing social and ecological costs generated by decades of relative neglect, overtake the economic and technological gains generated by ‘rugged individualism’. The earth as a place to live has a limited amount of air, water, soil, minerals, space and other natural resources, and today we are pressing hard on our resource base. Man, rich or poor, is utterly dependent on his global life-support system.”

Yesterday, at a Rivers Coalition meeting, Mr Reed said he had failed in two things in his long successful environmental career. He said he has failed to limit phosphorus going into Lake Okeechobee, and that he had failed to convince others of the importance of getting  the water going south, the basic principal of restoring the estuaries and the Everglades.

He then relayed to a crowd over two hundred that the flow-way south to the the Everglades, Plan 6, was unfeasible because the sugar industry is the richest industry in the U.S. and they would block anything put before Congress to do such and the costs of the project is too much. He recommended working on a plan that would move the water southeast, through canals, into an enormous reservoir, and letting is seep southward…

I adore Mr Reed, and he will always  be a hero of mine. He looked down yesterday, and confided, that he is in “the final inning “of his life and wants to resolve this water issue before they take him out “fighting..”

Mr Reed is exhausted; he wants success in his lifetime. Of course he does.

But personally, I think to go “around the sugar industry” is perhaps not the answer as the sugar industry has a moral obligation to help with this whole debacle.

Although I respect Mr Reed’s recommendation, as Americans we must remember that sometimes it becomes necessary to “dissolve the political bands which have connected one to another, and to assume among the powers of the earth,  that which the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God entitle us…”

13 thoughts on “Nathaniel Reed, Nature’s God, and the Indian River Lagoon

  1. Hi Jacqui,

    I too was a bit let down by Mr. Reed’s alternative plan, and I made eye contact with about a half dozen in the room after the words came out of his mouth, and they too had “raised eyebrows.”

    As one would expect, KW jumped to the defense of Plan 6, and it was a bit uncomfortable there for that moment as you probably agree.

    We, and so, so many other folks the world over have been “going around” corporate polluters forever it seems, and to continue to do so in this case would be throwing in the damned towel, never to make the real change we so desperately deserve for our waters.

    Good blog post, keep the flag flying!

    Mike Conner Editor-in-Chief Fly & Light Tackle Angler Mean Tide Media LLC (772) 521-1882

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Jacqui, Once again, you have articulated a very courageous and sensitive assessment of a extremely difficult situation. Thank you!

    Respectfully, I was also very confused and disillusioned after listening to this presentation. There are too many “plans” out there now. The mood in the room afterwards felt like a case of “Damage Control”.

    Marjory Stoneman Douglas was a great leader in this crusade. If we are to achieve our goals, I believe we must get behind one attainable action and have one focused leader.

  3. Jacqui, I wasn’t at the meeting due to work and i plan to watch the video- but i agree we cannot go around the sugar industry. In my fantasy world the sugar industry says “I’ve have enough of this bad mouthing what can we do to make this better!” Donate the land – name it the big sugar whatever and change the world.
    The one thing i am so surprised about it no one is even talking about the issue with the kissimmee river work being held up- slowing the water into the lake would really help. I think that is something everyone can agree on. Why is no one doing anything about this?

    1. Cindi your question is a good one. I think people myself included just don’t know the details. This seems often the case with government work. They make us ferret it out ourselves, not always easy to do when working and dealing with life. I will try to learn more.

      1. last week Congressman Murphy and Rooney sent a letter regarding this -you can check Patrick Murphys facebook page and also Eve Samples wrote an article about this. This very important project that was suppose to be done first in 2014, then 2015-is not slated to be complete until 2019. It’s held up in some kind of bureaucracy. This is heartbreaking to me – as we fight for plan six the least the acoe can do is slow down the water that goes to the lake.

  4. Thanks So much Angel Jacqui For Keeping Us So Informed, I also was unable to Attend the RC Meeting, Mr. Reed is a Hero, Period !! I Feel we are unable to fight the plentiful, powerful Lobbyists that Big Sugar has in place in DC, Along With Senators, Congressmen On Both State and Federal Levels. I feel Eminent Domain could Work in Our Favor if Executed Properly, By An Expensive Law TEAM. If WE Can not Afford To Buy The Land Needed To Execute Plan 6, MOTHER NATURE SAYS TAKE IT FROM THEM !! LET ME FLOW O. SOUTH !! This Is A Marathon War That WE Have Initiated Warrior Style, So Let US Live Up To Our Name: WARRIORS For The GOOD Of My NATIVE Florida, US, The KIDZ, Our Economy, Our Tourism and Our Wild and Sea Life`s Survival !! Thanks Warrior Nation For Representing So Well– In Their FACES In Tally and DC !! Solidarity To The END Of Our MISSION For CLEAN WATER !!

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