If there is anything I believe in, it is the “power of the people,” and it has given me great pleasure to watch this American principal at work over the past year. For me, presently there is nothing more evident of this than a small, simplified pamphlet that was officially released at last week’s Water Resources Advisory Commission (WRAC) on Thursday, September 4th, 2014; it is simply entitled RESTORATION PROJECTS and could fit in your pocket it you folded it in half.
This little pamphlet was greatly inspired by the people, the river protesters in particular, at a meeting that occurred in September of last year and took place at Indian RiverSide Park, in Jensen Beach. At this meeting the WRAC met for its regular meeting within the South Florida Water Management District, but also to hear the voices of the protesters in light of the toxic releases from Lake Okeechobee during the summer of 2013. In August of that year over 5000 people had protested at the St Lucie Locks and Dam. The District took notice.
As did the press….
You may recall Kenny Hinkel’s video that went viral of many people at the meeting on their cell phones? You may remember locals speaking before the WRAC asking for clarity, in understanding exactly “what and when” the SFWMD was doing to “save our river.” You may remember people being mad. You may remember myself and others begging for a simplification of presentation as the presentations from the District are so erudite only a scientist can understand them.
Well, we got part of what we asked for one year later. A simplified list of prioritized SFWMD projects. Here is the link to view it in full: (http://my.sfwmd.gov/paa_dad/docs/F574462673/Project_Table_and_Maps_080614.pdf)
Note the top priorities have to do with attempting to “send Lake O. and others waters south through the Tamiami Trail area and the Indian River Lagoon South projects in Martin and St Lucie County for water storage from polluted local canals. Great. And it may have been that way before, but we needed to see it on paper!
Many people deserve credit for this simple but huge accomplishment, the River Warriors and SFWMD staff in particularly but I must note that on the day of that meeting, it was Chief of Staff, Dan Delisi, who called me aside after that meeting and said: “That simplification idea…so the public can understand….that is a good idea….we will work on that.”
And they did.
Also, the queen of the publication is Ms Temperince Morgan who compiled tons of information and put it before the WRAC to be digested and fought over and did it with a smile.
And the greatest of all, the pearl in the oyster created by that constant irritation, that grain of sand, is the people!
You created this, you demanded this. You insisted your government talk to you in such a way that you “get it.”
Corruption is easily shrouded in complexity. Simplicity is the light, our light for a cleaner and healthier St Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon.
Video of August 3, 2013 Lake Okeechobee Protest SLR/IRL, St Lucie Locks and Dam by Kenny Hinkle: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPmu4CQtNuo)