Although born at Travis Air Base, California, Jacqui considers herself a native of Stuart, Florida, having moved there at eight months old. Her father’s family, originally from Syracuse, New York, has lived in Stuart since 1952. Her mother is a 5th generation Floridian from Gainesville.
Jacqui is a journalism and German graduate of the University of Florida, and an education master’s graduate of the University of West Florida. She went on to teach both middle and high school English and German, and after a serious accident that included breaking her neck, sold real estate. In 2008 she ran for the Town of Sewall’s Point Commission and served from 2008-2016. She is former mayor. As a well known and respected environmentalist, in 2016, Jacqui ran for Martin County Commissioner District 1 losing narrowly to a sixteen year incumbent.
She has chaired the Florida League of Cities’ Environmental and Energy Legislative Committee and served on the Board of Directors for Harbor Branch, an arm of Florida Atlantic University. She presently serves on the Rivers Coalition’s defense fund and leadership team representing River Kidz, a group that developed under her mayorship. Jacqui is an alternate for the SFWMD Water Resources Advisory Commission. Her blog, “Indian River Lagoon,” that focuses on the health, politics, and history of the river, is finishing its fourth year, and is known through out the state educating thousands of readers.
In 2015, Jacqui was featured in Florida Trend Magazine as a “Person to Watch,”the publication stating:
“Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch’s blog tracks algae growth, toxic plumes, and shares information and political commentary. Her aerial photographs provide evidence of environmental damage to the St Lucie River and indian River Lagoon.”
Jacqui lives in Sewall’s Point with her husband, Dr. Ed Lippisch. The couple is often seen above Stuart in the “River Warrior” plane photographing destructive discharges from Lake Okeechobee and area canals flowing into the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon, once considered the most bio-diverse estuary in North America. Since 2013, these photographs have been widely shared on social media as well as in local, state, national, and international publications inspiring both awareness and improvement of Florida’s waterbodies.
IRL Blog: 2013-2017, http://www.jacquithurlowlippisch.com
2007: “Realtor of the Year,” Realtor Association of Martin County
2013: “Pegasus Wings Award” Friend of Wildlife, Pegasus Foundation
2015:”John V. Kabler Award” for Grassroots Activism, Everglades Coalition
2016: University of Florida/IFAS Natural Resources Leadership Institute,Class XV, “Burl Long Award”
2016: “Albert Tuttle Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service to the IRL,” Marine Resources Council of Brevard County
2017: “Conservation Communicator of the Year Award,” Florida Wildlife Federation, State of Florida
December, 2016: The Weather Channel’s “Toxic Lake, The Untold Story of Lake Okeechobee with Kait Parker. Website:(http://www.toxiclake.com)
June, 2017: ACLU’s report “Tainted Waters, Threats to Public Health and the Public’s Right to Know,” by John Lantigua, (https://aclufl.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/June-2017-Report-Tainted-Waters-Threats-to-Public-Health-and-ther-Peoples-Right-to-Know-ACLU-of-Florida.pdf)
June, 2017: WPTV, PBS “Changing Seas” Toxic Algae: Complex Sources and Solutions:http://video.wpbt2.org/video/3002101897/