The River Warriors recently contacted me to tell me that they now have an office, and that I was invited to make Solidarity Fish T-shirts for those walking tomorrow in the Stuart Christmas Parade beside the River Warrior Float. They also invited me to sit on this float along with other River Warrior Ancients. 🙂
I was honored and intrigued….an office? So, yesterday evening, I drove to 745 NW Federal Highway, right over the north side of the Roosevelt Bridge, very close to the St Lucie River.
What I saw almost brought tears to my eyes! A true River Warrior office with energetic elf like River Warriors working away!
There were kids and adults and music and all sorts of river and political posters on the walls…busy River Warriors applying acrylic paint to brightly colored T-shirts, and others blowing the paint creations dry with blow dryers, and then neatly folding the shirts on a long straight table…
When the River Elves saw me, they joyously exclaimed, “It’s Jacqui!” Let’s make her a red, white and blue fish!”
I stood there in amazement. “This is so awesome…am I dreaming?”
There was Gayle Ryan at the door, the power-house behind getting the space…Julie Williams who was instrumental in the storefront donation…Marty Baum, the Indian Riverkeeper, and his girl friend Robin and their friends and a huge Santa Clause sitting in the corner. There were children cutting out manatees, dolphins, and sea turtle shapes…
The fluorescent lights juxtaposed to the darkness outside made everything seem brighter…I read every poster on the wall as a flood of memories came back to me….
“So, in 2013 we had the toxic “Lost Summer;” the people had an uprising, and now they, “we,” have an office? Holy Cow!”
With my head spinning, I took great pleasure in seeing a huge flag that read DON’T GIVE UP THE SHIP!
Artist Janeen Mason’s art also covered the walls; she is the originator of the Solidarity Fish that the River Warriors use as their symbol. (http://www.solidarityarts.com) These fish will tonight be part of Christmas tree lighting in Washington DC! Janeen is a marketing genius.
It’s official. Solidarity for the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon is here to stay along the Treasure Coast, hopefully in Washington DC, and in our local government offices too! A couple of days ago, I received this holiday card from the “Martin County Ecosystem Restoration and Management Division.” They made their own solidarity fish T-Shirts. Go Deb Drum and Team!
After a short time, when my shirt was ready, I put it on right over my dress: I was so exited! I am so thrilled to see so much passion for the river one year after the releases by the ACOE and SFWMD from Lake Okeechobee and C-23, C-24, C-25 and C-44 that killed our river.
Well no one will stop us now….we will in time bring our river back.
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and a yet another Solidarity New Year for our St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon!
Aerials of the Lost Summer 2013, JTL (https://jacquithurlowlippisch.com/2014/03/21/aerials-never-forget-the-lost-summer-st-lucie-riverindian-river-lagoon/)
SFWMD St Lucie River: (http://www.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/xweb%20protecting%20and%20restoring/stlucie)
Rivers Coalition, St Lucie River’s Decline, a History up to 2005 by Bud Jordan (http://riverscoalition.org/reports-info/st-lucie-rivers-decline/)