Jimmy Buffett and Family Along the Indian River Lagoon

Darice, Ed’s neice is graduating from University of Miami!
Graduation day!


Jimmy Buffett was the speaker at Darcie's graduation from UM.
Jimmy Buffett was the speaker at Darcie’s graduation from UM.

My conservative attorney father loves listening to singer/songwriter, Jimmy Buffett, and a “Margaritaville state of mind” was certainly part of the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon lifestyle throughout much of my youth.

As he climbed to fame and fortune, Jimmy Buffett always had time to stand up for Florida’s environment. Just this spring, he headlined a rally petitioning the Florida Legislature to buy U.S. Sugar land for Everglades’ restoration;  years ago he helped found the Save the Manatee Club with U.S. Senator and former Governor, Bob Graham. Buffett is a Florida “conservationist hero.” Thus it was a welcomed surprise to learn that Mr Buffett would be receiving an honorary doctorate degree of music, and be the commencement speaker for Ed’s niece, Darcie’s, University of Miami graduation last Friday.

Ed with his sister Lupi surround her three children Stanley, Ben, and Darcie. Ben’s wife Kelly and their baby daughter, Capri, also pictured.

It was a day of celebration but the signs were everywhere: “Miami needs more clean water!” “Send the water south!”

The city of Miami was under great construction and cranes filled the horizon. Around the corner, in Coral Gables, there were other signs.

As Darcie and I made our way to the auditorium, we walked past the large pond I had enjoyed so much during Ed and my  last visit: “Wow, what happened to the water here?” I asked…

“I know,” she said, “It used to be so clear. Since they built the new Ratskeller and student center, it is all cloudy and brown….runoff maybe?” She inquired.

“What happened to all the fish?” I asked.

Darcie shook her head.

Symbolic of things to come? Jimmy Buffett the speaker…Hmmmm….

Darcie’s generation, more than ever, knows the pressures of a growing world population, the need for more clean water, and the importance of saving and restoring the environment the best we can…

Darcie’s generation also knows that just through south Florida canals, the state of Florida is dumping 1.7 billion gallons  of fresh water into the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico every day because US Sugar and other multi-trillion dollar agri-businesses block that flow.

The red line shows the designated "Everglades." As we can see humankind has filled a lot of it in. (SFWMD map, 2012.)
The area south of Lake Okeechobee, known as the EEA or Everglades Agricultural Area, blocks the natural flow of water from Lake Okeechobee to the Everglades thus this water goes to tide destroying the  northern estuaries of St Lucie and Caloosahatchee, a waste!

We and earlier generations have to admit that when it comes to Florida and water, we have messed things up. Perhaps we were driven by “hunger and money,” but today, we all recognize the value of clean water and a healthy environment for the survival of our children. It is time that water again makes its way from Lake Okeechobee to the Everglades…

Why don’t we try to help these young people with this issue rather than leaving them with the full burden? It’s time to buy the land.

I will be taking a week’s break to focus on family, but I wanted to leave you with my audio tape of Jimmy Buffett’s commencement speech below; it does not focus on the poor state of Florida’s environment, but rather on life lessons to help: 1. Moderation;  🙂 2. Make your avocation your vocation; 3. Travel this world; and 4. be Santa Clause when you can! Good advice for all us, young or old. Let’s make Jimmy Buffett proud and keep working to save our St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon!


Jimmy Buffett's biography in the UM program, 2015.
Jimmy Buffett’s biography in the UM program, 2015.

University of Miami program cover, commencement 2015.



11 thoughts on “Jimmy Buffett and Family Along the Indian River Lagoon

    1. Yes Thanks for your memories of him too. Once we couldn’t get tickets so we asked our cousin in the keys if he could since he was Jimmy’s insurance agent down there. To our surprise he said go to will call for your tickets!!! We had about given up. When we got the tickets we were shocked because they were front row seats. It was in a smaller venue in Ft Lauderdale that is no longer there I suppose but we were able to see Jimmy close up and hear him sing. One of many times we went to see him with a blow up shark on the roof of the car. Great guy we’ll all miss.

      Flo Bessemer

  1. If I were a Miami detective I would be very interested in how many dead bodys might be perfectly preserved in the acid on the bottom of the Miami portion of the lagoon.

  2. I went to the Melbourne beach pier this morning and mullet have created a BIG algie bloom only around the pier.Thousands of them continue to eat and poop out calcium sand I put in. There is no current and millions of menhaden are eating algie created by mullet. I think mullet are also putting oxygen in the water. About 30 —20 pound cow rays were circleing and filtering out minnows.I am not sure if they filter out and eat algie too.

  3. There are dogs trained to smell and find human remains. If mud from different parts of the Miami lagoon was exsposed to air these dogs might could tell if human remains are somewhere nears.

  4. Submitted on 2015/05/15 at 12:20 AM

    Thanks for this post on a very cool musician and our beautiful Treasure Coast & Florida environmental concerns. I moved here you in a half ago, but your husband when I needed some oral surgery, I’ve been following your blog every sense. The only social network I ever visit.

    I am a local cellist and I play a variety of places locally from palm Beach Opera to the local Atlantic classical orchestra to Hospice and ICU’s. And churches in our beautiful Treasure Coast.

    I have organized a silent auction in conjunction with the treasure Coast Community Singers concert this Saturday, May 16, at 3 PM and also Sunday, May 17, at 3 PM. The concert is at the North St., Baptist Church on US-1 or 1950 Federal Highway. 20% of the net profits will go to and benefit any of the not for profit organizations you name on a list for me with direct relation to saving a beautiful lagoon. i.e. – Florida Oceanographic Society, “save our lagoon” project, Etc. with profits from the sale of a brilliant abstract Cuban artist and friend of mine, Juan Vazquez Martin. Juan has been invited to paint life while we have been rehearsing this week for this patriotic theme performances of “The Blue and the Gray Chronicles”. It is a tribute to and celebration for Armed Forces Day or weekend! He is joining us for celebration of freedom of speech and freedom of artistic expression.

    I hope that you might post this so people know about the concert, and that we are doing something to help our community and Mother Nature. It is a remarkable combination of caring and talents we share here; and we hope to be in touch soon and let you know the status and outcome of the silent auction, which we will extend if we don’t meet the “reserve” that has been set for the bidding.

    Jackie Robbins, Cellist and fan of Mother Nature


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