Over-Drainage and Overlooking the Obvious, Florida Legislature 2015, SLR/IRL

Cartoon Everglades Drainage, 1916 "Back to Broward,"http://historymiamiarchives.org/online-exhibits/everglades/glades.htm. (Shared by Sandra Henderson Thurlow)
Cartoon Everglades Drainage, 1916 Swamp Land Act of 1850 transferred swamp federal lands to the states.(http://historymiamiarchives.org/online-exhibits/everglades/glades.htm.) (Shared by Sandra Henderson Thurlow)

The 1916 cartoon says it all, doesn’t it? “You can have all these lands, if you drain and develop them….”

How does the saying go? “Be careful of what you wish for…”

We sure got what we wanted and more. We’ve gotten so much we’ve killed it, or are in the process thereof….Uncle Sam gave us a gift in the Swamp Land Act of the late 1800s and we, the State of Florida, have killed it–the Swamp that is…and even with the “retched swamp mentality” of the 1800s, no one, not even Governor Napoleon Broward himself, envisioned real estate surrounded by putrid, polluted water…

This year our state legislature did not seem to recognize the sense of urgency in Florida regarding clean water and the health of the state’s natural resource’s as reflected in their decisions made, or not made, this 2015 legislative session. Amendment 1 was all but ignored. But from north Florida’s springs, to the estuaries of the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon and Caloosahtchee, to  Biscayne Bay the people of the state still recognize this urgency. And this urgency is not just answered by money. It can be answered by beginning to have real discussion state-wide on these issuers. Florida voters know our past and we know what we want for the future.

The will of the people will be done.

Repressed desires only get stronger….

We all know that there are many ways to help, and we must do all we can, but in the long run there is only one way to change the “big picture,” for South Florida.

There must be a  third outlet south of Lake Okeechobee as discussed since the earliest days of water management…we  must stop wasting 1.7 billion gallons of water to tide every day, stop creeping development into the remaining Everglades, and most important, the agriculture community in the EAA must actively become part of the land acquisition solution for reconnection of Lake Okeechobee to Everglades National Park.

Drainage canal being dredged Davie 11913.
Drainage canal being dredged Davie 1913.
Map showing Everglades National Park boundaries as well as Water Conservation Areas north of the park and other areas. (Map courtesy of Backroads Travels website, 2013.)
Map showing estuaries– now drainage ditches, Everglades National Park boundaries as well as Water Conservation Areas north of the park and other areas. (Map courtesy of Backroads Travels website, 2013.)
West of the red lines shows the edge of what was once the Everglades in South Florida. Development has crept and continues to creep over this edge. (Photo/map courtesy of Chappy Young,/GCY Surveyors, 2014.)
West of the red lines shows the edge of what was once the Everglades in South Florida. Development has crept and continues to creep over this edge. (Photo/map courtesy of Chappy Young,/GCY Surveyors, 2014.)
EAA below Lake Okeechobee. (Public map.)
EAA below Lake Okeechobee. (Public map.)

This excerpt is from SOFIA, USGA web site. They are a scientific, arm’s length division of the Federal Government: (http://sofia.usgs.gov/publications/fs/61-99/)

“Drainage and development of south Florida has had major environmental consequences in the Everglades. Saltwater intrusion into freshwater aquifers has extended as far as 6 miles inland from the coast in some areas. The land surface has subsided as much as 6 feet in some agricultural areas because of lowered water tables, oxidation of drained peat, and subsequent peat fires.

Mercury contamination of fish has resulted in a ban on the consumption of fish from the central part of the Park, WCA-2, and WCA-3 and is implicated in the deaths of endangered Florida panthers. Populations of wading birds have decreased by almost 95 percent from 1870 to 1973. In high-nutrient areas, cattails are replacing native sawgrass.

Plant and animal communities in the Everglades have been altered by changes in timing and duration of inundation; invasion of exotic plants as a result of drainage and land clearing, nutrient, and (or) contaminant-enrichment of water that flows into Everglades from agricultural and urban areas; and loss of habitat…”

Dead panthers from eating fish full of mercury?

This is not what we will leave our children…is it?

Toxic Algae bloom washes up  along the shoreline, St Lucie River, Riverside Drive, Stuart, Florida. (Photo Jenny Flaugh, 7-13)
Toxic Algae bloom washes up along the shoreline, St Lucie River, Riverside Drive, Stuart, Florida. (Photo Jenny Flaugh, 7-13)
Sign with Seminole in canoe 1913, Tamiami Trail. (Public photo)
Sign with Seminole in canoe 1913, Tamiami Trail. (Public photo)
Original flow everglades. http://seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov/jason/HTML/EXPEDITIONS_JASON_7_croc_model.html )
Original flow Everglades. http://seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov/jason/HTML/EXPEDITIONS_JASON_7_croc_model.html
)
Drainage today via canals.
Drainage today via canals.
Sofia map 2015.
Sofia Everglades drainage map 2015.
Our flag.
Our flag.

(http://historymiamiarchives.org/online-exhibits/everglades/drainage.htm)

EPA 2011 Review: Source for 1.7 billion gallons of wasted water to tide:( http://www.epa.gov/gcertf/pdfs/1120amintersectionoffl.pdf)
Early AOCE documents referring to a third outlet south of the lake: https://jacquithurlowlippisch.com/2014/07/29/the-history-the-future-of-plan-6-and-sending-water-south-st-lucie-riverindian-river-lagoon/)

8 thoughts on “Over-Drainage and Overlooking the Obvious, Florida Legislature 2015, SLR/IRL

  1. Thank you Jacqui for another great blog. I don’t think the farmers purchased the land intending to ruin Florida anymore than you and I purchased our homes to ruin Florida. To find solutions to what we have ALL caused we must ALL work together. Fighting and pointing fingers is NOT a solution. Especially when they can simply point back. In fact I am deeply concerned that if we don’t include the farmers in finding solutions they will sell their land to developers.

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      1. I agree. Our citrus farmers need to make a living off their land until they solve the citrus greening problem. Water farming could help us, and help them. It will also keep those properties out of developers hands! Additionally, it can buy us time to build more permanent water storage all over, which can help keep dirty water out of our river.

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  2. When I first started prospecting for gold dust I bought a bought a vile of mercury—a bottle of nitric acid and a retort (used to evaporate the mercury from the gold dust) from a local prospecting store in Georgia. I only used it once and deemed it not environmentally friendly. I switched to a spiral separator to searate my gold dust. There are many acids(like viniger) but only nitric acid is used.You dilute your nitric acid and put your mercury in it and let it sit before putting it in your concentration containg gold dust. Mercury forms a bond with most all metals. The 2 exceptions are iron and aluminum. I have read that fish caught in water that is acidic tend to have more mercury .You would think that just this information alone would make governments waunt to neutralize nitric acid before it loosened the mercury from the soil and allowed it to bond with atoms of metels entering our waters.

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  3. I think ALL politicians should have to take a lie detector test when asked—-Have you ever taken bribes or been thereatened to hurt the citizens of this country either finaceually or physicaly.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just came back from the lagoon—manitees are getting fat and that is no small thing for 800 pound manitees. Wadeing birds are eating minnows—Osprey,porpus ,snook and trout are eating mullet–The whole amazing ecosystem depends on calcium—removeing all the calcium is environmental genocide

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  5. They say just about all manitees have suffered boat strikes.. I believe there is a way to lure manitees away from boats all togather by putting sand in quiet fresh water runoffs.The more sand you put in the more vegetation that would grow. There would have to be a balance or vegetation would be so packed it might clog everything up. Yesterday I saw 2 sea turtles about the size of the one you showed dead from a boat strike. River is over a mile and a half wide yet they were right in the 300 foot wide boat channel. They must be feeding on something in the deep water. I winder if it would be possible to lure them too away from danger?

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