Port St Lucie’s New Mayor, a Friend to the SLR/Indian River Lagoon

Greg Orvac
Greg Oravec, PSL’s new mayor. Treasure Coast a Council of Local Governments meeting 12/14. Photo JTL.


Greg Oravec, Port St Lucie’s new mayor, is a friend to the Indian River Lagoon. Although many of us know him already, as he is the former city manager of PSL, we need to get to know him even better. We need to make him a close ally. He has qualities and desires to help us improve the health of the SLR/ IRL and to work together between Martin, St Lucie and Indian River counties, as well as between the state and federal government.

Mayor Oravec graduated magna cum laude from University of Miami’s honors program in “Marine Environmental Systems.” According to Greg’s bio, as a kid he “grew up fishing and building forts.”  Greg loves and appreciates our “good nature….” Today, Greg and his wife are raising three children and want their children to have access to clean water and an healthy outdoor environment too.

Mayor Orvac
Mayor Oravec

So how can Mayor Oravec help us?

Well, in terms of Martin and St Lucie counties, we don’t always think about it, but a tremendous portion of the runoff into the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon is from St Lucie County. Thank God they are on sewer and not septic for all but 22,000 of their residential properties… This runoff  is primarily because of canals C-23 and C-24. These two canals were built as part of the Central and South Florida Project in the 50s and 60s to drain the lands mostly of St Lucie County for agriculture (citrus) and for development. These two canals release untreated agricultural and urban runoff  into the north fork and central area of the St Lucie River. In case you don’t know, C-23 is the dividing line between St Lucie and Martin counties, but of course the river knows no boundaries….

Basin and canal  map SLR

For us today, it is important to note that St Lucie County with 250,000 residents is now the 9th largest city in Florida! And it is only going to get bigger with a projected 450,000 plus people by 2050. This is a negative but also a positive, in that St Lucie County and especially the City of Port St Lucie now have significant political power due to this population growth. They are a giant part of the key to getting what we want: more water moving south; no releases from Lake Okeechobee; and the clean up and water storage of excess polluted runoff of canals C-23, C-24 and C-25 into the SLR/IRL.

In fact, the first time I was ever invited to Port St Lucie County to learn about all the city  had been doing over the past few years to improve water quality was when I was mayor of Sewall’s Point in 2012 and Greg invited me up to PSL as their city manager. He showed me maps of McCarthy Ranch and the C-23 canal that were part of planning for the city’s water supply, growth,  and to clean the polluted water of C-23, along with other impressive local projects.

I have to say, honestly, Greg is one of the most polite yet determined people I have ever met. A true gentleman and a driven man of service. I ask everyone to welcome him and to make him a friend. Email him and congratulate him! Go out of your way to get to know him. Invite him to a Rivers Coalition or River Warrior meeting. Attend a PSL city commission meeting and “speak up!”

It is a rare day, to have such a person as Greg holding the reigns of Port St Lucie.

If you check out his website you will see that he dedicated an entire page to the Indian River Lagoon, stating as part of his goals: “to preserve our natural areas, especially the Indian River Lagoon.”


You can email Mayor Greg Oravec at his new official email : mayor@cityofpsl.com

Believe me, we need him more than ever; there is lots of work to do in PSL, but we sure do look forward working together on regional, state and federal issues to help save our shared resource, quality of life, and economy builder, the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon!

Mayor Oravec and Comr. JTL at the TCCLG meeting. We were trying to get the IRL in the background, but there was too much light!


C-23 DEP
C-24 DEP

Thank you to Diane Hughes of Martin County’s Ecosystem and Restoration Division, who helped me with numbers for this post.

7 thoughts on “Port St Lucie’s New Mayor, a Friend to the SLR/Indian River Lagoon

  1. Good job. Eula R Clarke, P.A. Law Offices of Eula R. Clarke, P.A. 615 SW St. Lucie Crescent Suite 105 Stuart, Florida 34994 Phone: (772)220-3324 Fax: (772)220-1805 Email: eulaclarkelaw@yahoo.com From: Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch To: eulaclarkelaw@yahoo.com Sent: Monday, December 8, 2014 8:09 AM Subject: [New post] Port St Lucie’s New Mayor, a Friend to the SLR/Indian River Lagoon #yiv0504820127 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv0504820127 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv0504820127 a.yiv0504820127primaryactionlink:link, #yiv0504820127 a.yiv0504820127primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv0504820127 a.yiv0504820127primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv0504820127 a.yiv0504820127primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv0504820127 WordPress.com | Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch posted: “(http://www.oravecformayor.com/)Greg Oravec, Port St Lucie’s new mayor, is a friend to the Indian River Lagoon. Although many of us know him already, as he is the former city manager of PSL, we need to get to know him even better. We need to make ” | |

  2. Ever notice that every one of our sewage treatment plants is situated directly on the Indian River Lagoon? In 1983 they passed a no gill net law and the state was firmly behind the commercial fishermen. The commercial guys provided fish for the grocery stores and resterants..Check the dates when these sewage plants were built and I would bet they were all built right after they passed the no gill net law.If they did not intend to dump sewage into the lagoon then why would they build them where they did.?.

  3. I growed up in a Florida with 2 sets of laws–one for the private fishermen and none for the commercial fishermen.Many times I have seen snook only a foot long being cleaned in the commercial fish house when the minimum length for snook was around 32 inchs then. There is a whole building at Sebastion inlet STATE park dedicated to the commercial fishermen. I am sure my view on things differs from your view.That being said If we can get strong winds and waves to churn violently in sea shells the way it was for thousands of years it will not matter who done what.H2O2 in acid will react vigorously with any organic materials —I believe that will include fertilizers and chemicals,

  4. It would be nice to make a historical display for you river warrior office that told how all the SOFT coquina was removed to build roads and buildings(being nice and not making anyone out to be the Villon because these were desperate times)

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