Sunrise, Sunset–St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

Sunrise along the Indian River Lagoon, by John Whiticar, 2015.
Sunrise along the Indian River Lagoon. Photograph by John Whiticar, 2015.

“Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset,
Swiftly fly the years,
One season following another,
Laden with happiness and tears…”

1st verse, of song from musical “Fiddler on the Roof,” 1964

 

The beautiful sunset and sunrise photos of our area’s photographers invoke a deep appreciation of our St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon, as well as the struggles and successes of our lives.

Sunsets and sunrises seems intrinsically linked to inspiration and reflection in all of us.

Thankfully, here in the Indian River Lagoon region, we can still see our sunrises and sunsets, although the health of our river, and thus our ability to enjoy the river, is  “impaired.”  This was scientifically determined by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) in 2000. (http://www.dep.state.fl.us/southeast/ecosum/ecosums/SLE_Impairment_Narrative_ver_3.7.pdf)

In Beijing, China, last year, the government erected a televised screen showing sunsets, as the people could not see their sunsets any longer— due to the tremendous smog in their city. What a price to pay for economic “success.”

China starts "televising" the sunrise in Beijing, 2014. (Source earth journal.com.)
China starts “televising” the sunset in Beijing, as the city is continually blanketed in smog,  2014. (Source earthfirstjournal.org.)

Oddly enough, on some level, we have experienced the same thing. On a level of world comparison, we have a “thriving economy;” however, somehow, over the past 100 years, we have “lost our river.” Yet in most of the adds one sees, the river still looks beautiful and healthy.

Right now, the Army Corp of Engineers (ACOE) is discharging water from Lake Okeechobee, while  the South Florida Water Management District canals C-44, C-24, C-23, and C-25 are also dumping polluted water into our estuary. All of this extra water has been “engineered” to come here so agriculture and development can thrive. Us included…

Sunset, St Lucie River, 2014. Todd Thurlow.
Sunset, St Lucie River, 2014. Todd Thurlow.

So, right now there is “no other way,” and the ACOE and South Florida Water Management District are locked in a cycle of struggle to send more water south when the entire southern area south of Lake Okeechobee is blocked by the Everglades Agricultural Area— other than a few canals, to “send water south.” Plus the water is too dirty for the Everglades—but not for the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon that is already “impaired.”

The “mighty” Kissimmee too has been “engineered for the success of farming and ranches and development in its  former watershed. It is being partially restored by the SFWMD;  this is wonderful, a testament of the ability of the system to recover if given a chance….

And after all, it’s not so bad here right? We can still see the sun…..AGGGGG!

Let’s continue to turn this ship; let’s continue to fix our own yards, towns, cities, and counties;  let’s keep pushing the State for a reservoir/flow way to store, clean and convey water south. As Eric Eichenberg, CEO of the Everglades Foundation said yesterday at the Rivers Coalition meeting, this is the “only way” as the Kissimmee River’s continued restoration is simply not enough to hold all the water.

“Sunrise, sunset….sunrise, sunset….”we are thankful and we are inspired….

Please write: Florida Senate Email for use of Amendment 1 monies: (http://www.flsenate.gov/media/topics/wlc)

 

Sunrise, Indian River Drive, 1-21-15, John Whiticar.)
Sunrise, Indian River Drive, 1-21-15, John Whiticar.)
Sunrise Indian River Drive, 1-21-15,  John Whiticar.
Sunrise Indian River Drive, 1-21-15, John Whiticar.
Sunset, St Lucie River, Todd Thurlow, 2014.
Sunset, St Lucie River, Todd Thurlow, 2014.

 

 

3 thoughts on “Sunrise, Sunset–St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

  1. Wonderful post

    William E. Lippisch DMD Diplomate, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 841 East Ocean Boulevard Stuart, FL 34994

    Voice : 772-223-0600 Fax : 772-223-0617 Email : welippisch@OMFS.com Email : welippisch@gmail.com

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  2. On any given day look at our clear blue skys and you will see vapor trails streaking across the sky . Every trail contains nitogen monoxide and when it comes in contact with water vapor it turns to nitric acid. These trails have been going up and down over our lagoon every day for more than 30 years. Buying all the land in the world is NOT going to solve the problem.

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