About Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch

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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 served for many years as 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 seventh 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.”

In 2017, Jacqui was appointed by Senate President Joe Negron to serve on the 2017-2018 Florida Constitution Commission where she chaired the General Provisions Committee.

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: 2013-2019, http://www.jacquithurlowlippisch.com

*Florida Vote on Constitutional Amendments: November 6, 2018, Jacqui’s co-sponsored CRC ballot Amendment 9, Prohibiting Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling; (and Comr. Lisa Carlton’s) Prohibiting Vaping in Enclosed Indoor Workplaces passes by 68.92%. (https://floridaelectionwatch.gov/Amendments)

On February 21, 2019, Governor Ron DeSantis appointed Jacqui to the South Florida Water Management District.


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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

“Susan B. Anthony Award,” Recognition for Outstanding Leadership and Service to Protect the Environment,  Martin County League of Women Voters, 2020

Florida Oceanographic Society, “Ocean’s Alive” honoring JTL, for tireless dedication to protecting and restoring Florida’s waterways, March 29, 2020, event postposed due to coronavirus pandemic.


Recently Featured/aerials credited:

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/

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August, 2017- December 2018, Jim DeFede, CBS4 Miami, The Everglades: “Where Politics, Money and Race Collide,” winner of the prestigious 2018 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award:” http://miami.cbslocal.com/the-everglades-where-politics-money-race-collide/


2018: WPTV launches “Protecting Paradise,” a yearlong focus on environmental issues in South Florida


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Luna, Jacqui, and SuberCub. Photo by Bailey Fudala, 2018.

18 thoughts on “About Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch

  1. Greetings, It is Carl Edward Jeffrey, I have been reading your info site for 3 years or so. I want to thank you and ask how and I want to see how I can be of use. I am part of the Cahaba Riverkeeper nonprofit and work with Coosa, Black Warrior , and Tenn RiverKeepers along with the Water Alliance. I have moved from Melbourne where I learned first hand about the Indian River Lagoon disaster. I now live in Key Largo and see the effects of this water issue beginning to grow and be known here in the Keys. I want to bring the help, resources, and attention of thousands to the need for us to organize and change our water. This starts in our homes, business, religious centers, and then to politicians. So, thanks
    Ed Jeffrey

    1. Dear Jeffrey, thank you so much for you message. Really great to hear from you and learn all you are doing and your contact base. Would you please call me at 772-486-3818? I look forward to speaking with you. Please leave a message if I don’t pick up so I can call you back.

  2. I wish you would delete my photo of the Rf-4 flying over lake Okechobee. It looks lie it was
    taken through a screen.

  3. It’s never going to stop not until the water in Lake Okeechobee goes south. We had a pretty dry year, lake levels were down, seeded oyster banks, planted sea grass, all for naught once Irma hit.
    We keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting something to change and we all know what that is. We may not be able to save the St. Lucie River, but we can at least try to save the lower Indian River lagoon. A lot of the fresh water discharge, not only flows to the ocean, but a substantial amount ends up in the Indian River killing off the ecosystem there as well.
    A possible solution would be to open some small inlets to the ocean. This would allow clean, clear sea water into the lagoon. This clear, clean oxygen -rich water would help offset the effects of fresh silt and toxin- filled waters with low oxygen and we know it’s only time until the blue-green algae will return.
    If you have traveled up and down the intracoastal, every time you are in the vicinity of an inlet, water color changes, marine life seems to flourish. In between the inlets, you are virtually in a dead zone. There are places along the Indian river lagoon where 500 feet of sand separate the lagoon from the ocean. At miminal expense, these old inlets could be reopened and start the process of saving what we have. Bridges already exist at these places ie: Big Mud Creek, Blind Creek and Little Mud Creek. At other places, large pipes could be installed. Sure these things cost money, but how much money has been spent on studies and some propose more money to study this problem. It’s time to do something NOW or just forget the whole thing!!

      1. Yes saving the ST lucie is important but that’s going to take time this is something that could be done now . this would be a stop gape measure to save what we have left. By the time the St Lucie is fixed the rest of the environment will have been destroyed. Thanks for your work to save the estuary!

  4. G’day Jacqui,

    Great work, you and John Moran both. Thanks on behalf of many.

    A linked nightmare is hurricanes lifting PM 2.5 1 to PM 10 particles, some of it Sahara clay with Moroccan uranium from their marine micro-phosphorite mines, main source of the world’s P now, and so loaded they try sell the mines as U ones, repeatedly. Also, 1080, Roundup etc from the Mississippi goes round Florida and gets lifted ditto.

    See the https://earth.nullschool.net/ maps now and at at hurricane times. Click on Earth, , bottom left, go to particulates. I can send the hurricane-times maps, if wanted. It all gets lifted off the wave tops and into Caribbean folks lungs, hence perhaps their health problems – obesity, diabetes, lung problems maybe.



    Peter Spencer Ravenscroft. Geologist/social anthropologist/aging grump. Ravenswood Wildlife Sanctuary (Google “Rescue Ravenswood “ if interested) Closeburn, Queensland, Australia. Ph: 617 32894470 Email p.s.ravenscroft@gmail.com
    PS: Some wretched thing called WordPress.com tried to make me sign up, to post the above. Perhapsd you can hear the teeth grinding, from Florida.

  5. Just curious as to what extent you will serve residents on the west coast of Florida I read all your interests have been directed toward the East coast. Have you researched the damage along the caloosahatchee and the paradise beaches. The amount of wildlife that died in the summer of 2018z. Do you follow the Mosaic phosphate operations along the Peace River? The Algenol projects of blue green algae in Tampa and Ft Myers? Rays anouncemeny sounded ominous to the west coast.
    Why is prohibiting vaping important while legalizing marijuana? Just curious. Many firmer smokers free themselves of nicotine by caping nicotine free by vaping. Why ban it? Then to encourage marijuana smoke seems counterproductive unless it’s a financial rather than a health decision, so why?

  6. Knowing that I am researching in preparation for writing the history of our Canal Point United Methodist Church (in preparation for our 100th anniversary celebration next year, 2020), a friend sent me a link to your visit to our little town. Thank you for what you had to say. Like your mother, I am also a 5th generation native, my ancestors coming before Florida gained statehood, and my dad came to Canal Point in 1929. A good local resource on the people and the area history would be the books written by Lawrence Will who came to the Glades very early.

    1. Dear Janette, Thank you so much for writing! I would love to come to the celebration at the church. So wonderful! I saw it many times when I was volunteering at the Museum of the Glades. I will share your message with my mother. All the best.

    1. Dear Bill I did see and yes this is why I put the bird chart on front of my post. It is very depressing. From what I understand 2017’s Hurricane IRMA created the highest bird breeding count since the 1930s. And now here we are in a huge bird slump. The birds need the water, the water we are draining to sea. About 2 billion acre feet of water historically went to Florida Bay. Now 1.2 is directed to tide to the estuaries. 800 maybe gets going south to Florida Bay. ~ Lake O was historically at 21 feet NVGD. Now we keep it much lower. The estuaries are presently being spared thank God but the marshes around Lake O are all dried up. We must rethink what we do. I love and always think about the birds –the millions that used to fly over the Everglades.

  7. I have a Black Bobcat roaming near my property in North Weeki Wachee Florida. We have seen it twice within a year and have a short security video of it in my front driveway. It is beautiful and I would like you to have the video.

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