A Different View~North Fork St Lucie River

-North Fork of St Lucie River surrounded by by development, Port St Lucie, Florida. Distinctive oxbows lie south of Prima Vista Blvd. Aerial photo by Ed Lippisch September 16, 12.15pm.

The above aerial of the North Fork of the St Lucie River is the second in my recent series entitled: “A Different View,” as Ed and I feature areas of the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon other than the Sailfish Flats and Sandbar between Sewall’s Point and Hutchinson Island.

For me, today’s is a powerful visual. Though it shows the remaining serpentine beauty of the North Fork of the St Lucie River one can easily see how the river, remaining natural lands, seagrasses, and fish and wildlife -close by and downstream-  are impacted by human activity from the surrounding houses, roads, bridges, and highways.

Just think of all the people living in this sea of development surrounding the winding waterway. Imagine if the people were thoughtlessly putting fertilizer and pesticides onto their lawns -that runoff in turn draining into the river- or perhaps their home located right inside the river’s watershed has an old, leaking, septic tank. Envision all the oily/dirty runoff from the surrounding roads and highways flowing down into the waters after a hard, long rain like we’ve had this week.

An image such as this makes it intensely clear and can be applied anywhere as a learning tool in the St Lucie River region: It is ridiculous not to change and modernize our ways if we truly desire the health and recovery of our waterways. All of us!


13 thoughts on “A Different View~North Fork St Lucie River

  1. We all have to do our part. Small and large. And focus on patronizing those companies, like Patagonia, that commit to stewardship

  2. Your Mom is a wise person. We all have to change our ways. We don’t need a perfect green lawn, or lawn for that matter. If you do need a lawn don’t fertilize or spray it. It will still hold the dirt down. Thanks for sharing these great photos and documentation.

  3. Thank you for this picture & your thoughtful comments. This is happening everywhere in our precious Florida, & we can’t seem to connect the dots. Why put up billions of dollars to fix this, when we just need to build smarter, if we must continue to build. We are losing our native plants & animals, not just our beautiful water. All things in nature are connected.

  4. They will destroy our beautiful area for the dollar bill. And the sad part is that our local governments want more so they can have more tax revenue.

  5. Martin County is in denial. The South Fork of the St. Lucie river is currently dead. Dead of all life. No one wants to say it. No one wants to believe it. Politicans avoid it. Our property values demand our continued silence. But for those of us who have lived here all our lives, it is plainly obvious. I first realized our river was dying in 1985. We decided to do what he hadn’t done in a long time, go run to the end of the dock and jump in the river. So fun! As smaller kids it was something we did on regular basis but as we got older we found the swimming pool to be just as fun. So we jumped a few times, swam around in the wide river at a friend’s house just off of St. Lucie Crescent in Stuart. I did not have shoes on and when i stepped to the bottom my foot slid into this disgusting thick, gooey mush probably another foot down. I quickly pulled my foot out and went to inspect. It smelled. It was black as night. It was gross. As I looked up my friends starting laughing at me because I had this green/black mustache of sludge over my top lip – we all did! At the time it we thought it was “brackish” and perfectly normal. It wasn’t and never again did i ever swim in our great St. Lucie and it would be many years before I would find out the real reason why.

    Next will be for the community to admit that the same thing is happening to the North Fork, once officially deemed a “wilderness preserve” by the Dept of Natural Resources in 1984. Little did they know that another department of the same federal system would also be responsbile for its eventual death. Solution: there is none. To return the lake and surrounding areas to its natural state, filling in the canals responsbile for the carrying of billions of gallons of fresh water into the river, means returning about 4 million acres to a state of a mud, murky marsh, uninhabitable for humans and in constant threat of unsurvivable flooding due to rain and hurricanes. Remember our history folks. Close to 10,000 dead as a result of two category 4 hurricanes in two years in the mid 1920s. The solution was to control the water level of the lake. It is that control which is the ONLY reason why we can live here. Oh sure, we could relocate everyone to Oklahoma like we did to the native Indians but that is not likely.

    This is truly an Ecological disaster, the effects of which not be felt until long after we are gone History will not be kind, unfortunately. Man’s needs and the river’s needs simply could not co-exist. It seems our ability to live in such a beautiful part of the world has come at a great cost to the bodies of water which attracted us here. See, we really aren’t supposed to be here. Well that is if you don’t mind living near deadly toxic bodies of water incapabable of supporting life.

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