Ocean, Shore, and Bridges, St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

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A. Ruhnke, Stuart Nov. 12, 1956. (Courtesy of Sandra Thurlow)

I started the day looking for a quote of inspiration; this is what I found:

“You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”

-Christopher Columbus

There have been some heavy set backs lately, for me and for others. After a year of total dedication and tremendous support, I lost a close race for Martin County commissioner. A race mostly inspired by our river…

Sometimes it may seem that we have fallen overboard and are surrounded by sharks, but we are not. We have just run aground… I believe because of our collective efforts since 2013 there is more wide-scale awareness for the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon than in the combined previous 83 years. Progress is being made and will continue. There are always set backs as a goal is being achieved.

Just yesterday, I opened up “Florida Trend Magazine”and right there was the now famous aerial photograph of a beautiful North River Shores peninsula surrounded in fluorescent green algae. The title? Southeast “Bloom Blame, Florida researchers look for links between environmental factors and brain diseases.”


As you know, our plight, the plight of the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon has become a state issue. A national issue. Β The sad story of Lake Okeechobee and the St Lucie River is now mainstream, not just for a certain well read group, but for everyone.


Because we organized, we protested, we taught our youth, we went into schools, we went into churches and synagogues, we spoke at our dinner tables, we created organizations, we exploded on social media, we inspired candidates to run for the river, we inspired incumbents who had not spoken for the river to speak…

We had the courage to lose sight of the shore, this dirty shore that we stand on, and cross the ocean of the unknown. Along this journey, some have been persecuted, others are spreading the word…

This 1956 photo of the City of Stuart nestled in the arms of the St Lucie River was taken eight years before I was born. There were problem with the river then too, but only a few to speak for it, and hardly a way to spread the news…

Such a beautifully composed photograph, isn’t it? With the bridge leading to Stuart and the St Lucie Inlet on the horizon?

–Let’s have the courage to once again set sail…


 historic NOV. 12, 1956 STUART FL AERIAL - Version 5.jpg


23 thoughts on “Ocean, Shore, and Bridges, St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

  1. Jacqui,
    For anyone who lives here, they need look no further than you for your courage, inspiration and unshakeable dedication towards the water crisis we face. Thank you for everything!

  2. I love the photographs! It is amazing the development that has occurred over the last 60 years in Martin and northern Palm Beach County. My family moved to Jupiter in 1969 and so much has changed since then – some things for the better and some things for the worst. I’m not sure how I stumbled across your blog but I always enjoy reading your posts. Emily

  3. Hi Jacqui, Sorry the voters didn’t get the job done for you. Growth at any cost is so outrageous. I know you’ll stick with it. You are an inspiration for many and for all those who care about our natural world. Wayne

    Sent from my iPhone


  4. Jacqui, this is beautifully written. I’ve always admired you, and continue to do so. Much work is left to be done, and it’s going to take commitment from all of us to make it happen. If I have room, I’d love to reprint this blog post in Currents, if I may have your permission to do so. You may even wind up with a few more subscribers!


    On Thu, Sep 1, 2016 at 10:56 AM, Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch wrote:

    > Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch posted: ” I started the day looking for a quote of > inspiration; this is what I found: “You can never cross the ocean until you > have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” -Christopher Columbus There > have been some set heavy backs lately, for me and for othe” >

  5. Thank you for the personal sacrifices you have made to fight for a healthy estuary and the improved quality of life clean water makes possible. Your dedication is inspiring and the example you set is a model of responsible advocacy and the best possible lesson you can provide for the River Kidz.

  6. Thank you for all of this. There is need for your writing and insight to hold our hands and connect the past with now. We learn much about the “how we got here” and we can build on that knowing this is cumulative effects and can therefore we corrected.
    That election lose will prove to be a huge victory…. I know u! Shake it off, debrief that session and adjust accordingly…. Now armed with energy…. And readdress these fronts that hamper progress.
    Except in your race, there was a message… Can we grasp that and build using it not fighting it. Not acquiescing but moving in positive directions. A couple more classes at NRLI and maybe I will gain the “how.”
    Much love and respect…. Always.

  7. Even though I live on the other side of the state, I am terribly disappointed to learn that the voters of Martin County did not choose you. Having run for city council of St. Petersburg and also having lost in the primary, I truly appreciate your positive and forward-looking attitude. I have the utmost respect for anyone who sticks their neck out and endeavors to serve the public; running for office takes guts and also takes its toll on you. The Ocean, Shore and Bridges of the IRL love and appreciate you. All the best from our home to yours.

  8. “I’m going by the upper road, for that
    still holds the sun,
    I’m climbing through night’s pastures
    where the starry rivers run:
    If you should think to seek me in my
    Old dark abode,
    You’ll find this writing on the door,
    “He’s on the Upper Road.”
    Great post today JTL

  9. Jacqui, you have a great way with words a super cool outlook on the world. And the world is better for it. Proud to know you and you will always have supporters. Let us know your next journey!

  10. You are a class act and we are so proud to be part of your supporters.

    Expecting great things…. like those results against 16 year incumbent

    and all the negative accusations against you.

    We are confident that Doug Smith was affected by the numbers….IMPRESSIVE!

    All that comes to my mind about you after this election is from the Sound

    of Music where Julie Andrews says, “When the Lord closes a door, he opens

    a window”…..we are excited about your window!!!

    Thank you for your service (and thank Ed too)….We’re fans! Caryn and Willow


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