Martin County, the “Epicenter” of Florida’s Governor Campaign, St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

Cover of "Let's Keep Florida Beautiful," The environmental plan, Gov. Rick Scott, 2014.
Cover of “Let’s Keep Florida Beautiful,” the environmental reelection plan for Gov. Rick Scott, 2014. Many Florida springs have stopped flowing and are choked with algae. The SPRINGS ETERNAL PROJECT explains the plight of Florida’s ailing springs:  ( They, like our SLR/IRL, are dying.

Yesterday, I stumbled out of bed by 5:00 A.M to write my blog and make it to Palm City for the Collaborative Chamber Breakfast starting  at 7:30 A.M. I had to get up as Governor Rick Scott’s kick off campaign tour to publicize his “Let’s Keep Florida Beautiful Plan,” was kicking off,  in of all places, Martin County, Florida. I wanted to hear what he had to say.

Scripps reporter, Isadora Rangel,  implies this morning in our Stuart News that Martin County was chosen as the kick off location because “it is the epicenter of grassroots efforts to clean the estuary.”

Reporter Isadora Rangel interviews Congressman, Patrick Murphy who attended the breakfast.
Reporter Isadora Rangel interviews Democrat, Congressman, Patrick Murphy who attended the breakfast. (Photo JTL)

There were about 200 people at Martin Downs County Club and both Democrats and Republicans and were present. The Lagoon goes beyond political boundaries. But politics abounds…

I greeted everyone from Democrat Maggie Hurchalla, to Republican Senator Joe Negron, and found my seat.  I introduced myself to the people at my table. I looked around the room to see a veritable “who’s who.”

Hmmm? I thought.

In spite of the politics. This is pretty cool. Martin County has been chosen to kick off the governor’s reelection campaign. Why?

Because we are the most vocal little county in the state! Because 5000 people protested last summer at the height  of the SLR/IRL toxic algae outbreak and releases from Lake Okeechobee. Our voices were heard. We practiced our right to assemble under our constitution. We are fighting still as last weekend’s 1500 plus at the Clean Water Rally showed.  We have made a name for ourselves. Some of our politicians helped us, yes. But WE did it. We have called attention the dying St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon, the canals and Lake Okeechobee and maybe now there will be help.

As I was daydreaming about how great Martin County’s River Movement is, the governor walked to the front of the room and took the microphone.

He was very well dressed and looked more comfortable than usual. He greeted the crowd and then told the story of his life:

Born in Illinois, single mom, did not know his father, step dad, poor, Eagle Scout, Navy, University of Missouri, Law-Southern Methodist, no money, worked since a kid, rose to success, went to church a lot as his mother said he would….no money…family….made money….the importance of jobs…

I sat there thinking that if the governor had a really good P.R. person they would have written a book on the “Eagle Scout” part….and not concentrated so much on the business….

So anyway, his assistants walked around the room and passed out a booklet with a photo of a spring on the front reading “Rick Scott, Let’s Keep Florida Beautiful.”

“Hmmmm? I thought. This is different. A pretty picture of a Florida spring and Rick Scott’s name on it.”

I opened up the booklet and right on the first page it read: DURING MY SECOND TERM I WILL: 1. Ensure that Everglades and Indian River Lagoon Restoration continue to have the vision and funding to provide a restored ecosystem to our children…”

“Remarkable” I thought. After the “Indian River Lagoon” having “no name” in Tallahassee for years, it is now listed in the first sentence of a governor’s reelection booklet. Will it happen? Time will tell. At least we are recognized.

One thing is for sure. Martin County is not just the epicenter for the Indian River Lagoon, it is the epicenter of water change for the whole state. No place has a reputation like we have. The governor choosing Marin County to start his campaign supports this point. Like him or not, that’s cool.

I have included photos I took of the booklet below. Some are blurry but it will give you an idea of what it says.

Politics are as toxic as the waters of the SLR/IRL. And we, little Marin County, have risen to the top of the fermenting algae heap. Be proud and keep fighting for the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon! 

Booklet passed out  at yesterday's kick off re-election campaign for Rick Scott.

Booklet passed out at yesterday’s kick off re-election campaign for Rick Scott.

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12 thoughts on “Martin County, the “Epicenter” of Florida’s Governor Campaign, St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

  1. Remember the old virginia slims cigarette commercials? “We’ve come a long way baby”. And that we have!
    P. Murphy is a great diplomat and so are you Jacqui. TY for this blog, cause again it’s great waking up and reading more about our struggles and how we’ve made a difference and great strides. I told Mark P.
    In a text yesterday that I hope he and I will be standing over the “canal” by time we are in our 70’s -80’s and watching the waters flowing south.
    I hope you’re with us!
    Much love and peace

  2. I hope he follows through, possibly setting an example for other governors. Meanwhile, here in Maine, our governor is defunding our programs to protect our lakes (the source of drinking water for nearly 2/3 of our state) and actively vetoing bills which would help with our burgeoning algae bloom problem.

    We need to take a page from the Most Vocal County in Florida!

  3. Jacqui, Thank you for being @ this kick-off to Scott’s campaign & for reporting so eloquently your observations & perceptions, many of which I agree with.

    Too bad Scott didn’t have the wisdom or courage to show up Sunday for the Save Our River Rally. It would appear his concern about our lagoon is fairly shallow!

  4. Good job for going Jacqui.
    You’re right, our voices and actions in Martin County are finally being heard, and for that I am truly grateful. However, Gov. Scott’s remarks and (future) plans are too little too late and somewhat disingenuous given his record on not adequately protecting the environment during his administration. What may become interesting though are the unintended consequences of (his) “new outlook” as the other political candidates will have to step up their game to get our votes. Potentially, it’s a win-win situation for the water problems that face South Florida. I’d say that after 60 plus years, it’s about time!

  5. Jacqui i am glad you were in the room and I wasn’t because I would have been thrown out of the room or gagging at the lies as he told them how he doesn’t choke as he says them.When he says ‘ LET’S KEEP FLORIDA BEAUTIFUL’ it seems as if he is in a dream land and wants us all to go there. What postcard is he looking at. Is he looking at our rivers and springs when he says this? The ones with the algae in them? The ones with the brown water and the dead fish, the no sea grass? The signs that say do not enter because of high bacteria counts? The reports of flesh eating bacteria? He signed into law just this December one that took effect that people could burn,dump or bury toxic waste they hadn’t been able to here in Florida up until now. His administration threw out the EPA and turned over environmental concerns to forgive me I have trouble with acronyms, the state Department of Environment and then fired the scientists and no one has been holding anyone responsible for the huge mess that has been going on to our precious Springs,Rivers, Streams, Lagoon, Everglades and the rest of our beautiful Florida. There is a lot of other things that have gone on since he has gone into office other things he has said and done that has contributed to this mess that will go into the the sequal of The Swamp. I am hoping that we have a different governor for the next 4 years who has a different vision than the one Scott has had for the last 4 years who will help us start healing our beautiful Florida and restoring her waterways , all of them. I am remembering the prayer that Mr Houston Cypress shared with us on Sunday and I using that as a meditation.

  6. Tyvm. We have touted all over Tally, anyone running for a state office cannot win without our 6 county voting block. And spats aside, we ARE a block. From a tiny blip on the charts and no respect and all funding going to springs to $231.9 million and we are still pushing for more…. This man has either rolled over and opened his eyes or …. We know how promises go. Keep it coming you are great.

  7. Thank you for getting up so early and being there, Jacqui. You are a true RIVER WARRIOR and we all love you. Too bad Rick Scott couldn’t of taken the time to show up on Sunday at our rally and see how many of us River Warriors who won’t be giving him our vote on November 4th. Rick Scott has to go. We need a governor who is going to stand by us and send that water SOUTH. We are tried of empty promises and liars. We want CLEAN WATER and we want it NOW. Plan 6 all the way.Keep up the great job that you are doing Jacqui and know that you have my suppose as well as all the River Warriors and River Kidz in Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River county.

  8. Jacqui, I’m glad to hear that Martin County’s plight is finally getting the political attention that is long overdue. That being said, I can’t help but feel that the environmental concerns of Scott and his ilk are a little more than cosmetic. They tend to view Florida’s natural beauty, or what is left of it, as nothing more than a marketing tool to lure vacationers and stimulate real estate development. It’s only when the environmental degradation becomes too visible to ignore (i.e bad for business) than they seem to pay any attention, and then only if it coincides with an election year. My grandfather would be appalled to see what has happened to his beloved Florida. He was a true conservative who understood the value of natural systems and the folly and arrogance of the various flood control schemes, most of which were designed to simply free up more land for real estate development.

  9. Election year marketing stunts. Nothing more. His record speaks for itself and that book cannot wipe away what he has done (or more important, NOT done) during his first, and hopefully ONLY, term. Thanks for attending and keeping us abreast of what’s happening. I wouldn’t have the stomach to sit there and listen to all that BS. Words cannot change his record, no matter how finely crafted. Thanks Jacqui!


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