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. Celebrated March 26, 2022.


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.

34 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.

      1. We live in north Georgia on the east side of Pine Log Mtn. Have recent video of what could to be a melanistic bobcat in our front yard. We have seen it twice and saved on Ring video. Would like to share it with you and your thoughts. Thanks

  8. Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch, I want to converse briefly about the Coacoochee or Wildcat, painting by James Hutchinson, 1976, and if I might add his image it to a map re the Seminole removals. Nothing like that painting! Thank you, Forest Michael, contact: michaelplanning@gmail.com (12/7/2021, Winter Park, Fl

  9. Jacquie:
    Watched this morning’s presentation at FOS with great interest and learned so much! Have signed up for your blog!

    I’m a volunteer water tester at FOS. Got started with oyster shell bagging. Participated in a LOSAM meeting and Mark reached out to me afterward. He suggested I to do water testing in an under-tested area of the North Fork where I live.

    During the LOSAM meeting I asked CoE when they will be performing restoration of destroyed habitat. They replied it would be undertaken under the NEPA Federal process and was just starting. However, I don’t see any mention of this at a project level. The only ones I see doing anything are FOS, who is starting replanting of seagrass right now (I’m volunteering for this!) but we are doing this at such a tiny scale. Where are the Federal resources to replace habitat they destroyed? When will they be funding sea grass restoration? The survival of the manatee hinges on providing them a foodsource.

    I focus on this because I feel confident the water quality will be managed now that the LOSAM is in place — that is, unless SB2508 derails funding for the EAA, about which I have written to many Senators begging for them to keep the plan from being derailed. But nothing is happening about seagrass except for at a local level.

    If I am mistaken or musinformed, please point me to a good resource to educate me.

    I am so impressed by your earnest hard work on behalf of our District. In Central Texas, where I’m from, the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District was in the pocket of water utility lobbyists and big political donors. We lost in a class action to prevent pumping 289 million gallons per year from the aquifer serving my well at home. It was one of the reasons we moved to Florida.

    Our Governor DeSantis has his eye on the ball, and Brian Mast is a fabulous advocate, as you know from your recent SFWMD meeting. In my new home, I am jumping into the fight with both feet. Looking for direction from amazing advocates like you!

    1. Dear Marcella,
      I am so impressed with your passion and all you are doing with FOS and otherwise. The ACOE is not responsible for water quality; the state is. The water will need more help than only LOSOM through the Basin Management Action Plan and Total Maximum Daily Loads. Non-Point Nitrogen and Phosphorus addressed. You can try to read about this on FDEP’s site. I think they can work on genetically working for sturdier seagrasses that need less light but the state must step up enforcement etc of the BMAPs as they are called to truly address water issues and the health of our wildlife. The manatee situation is absolutely tragic and has multiple levels of problems. There is hope but it must start with our legislature and right now overall they are not “seeing the light.”

      1. Hi Jacqui. Hope you can remember me from a few years back. This is Gil Ziffer and I’ll be watching your Tuesday presentation at the Bob Graham Center. Sorry I can’t be there in person. Perhaps another time. Hoping you are well. Gil

  10. Came across your blog after looking up the Black Bobcat online
    I live in NE Fort Pierce and recently saw Pure Black bobcat with Amazing green eyes. Was Amazing!!
    Few years back also saw a Pure Black fox!
    Stunning!! We do live in Paradise:)

    1. Debbie I am so envious! I would love to see such creatures! Thanks for writing and keep your phone camera handy and send me something if you get a photo of these special and incredible creatures. 🙂 Wow Ft. Pierce!

      1. Would like to see a picture if you have any. We also have a family of grey fox that live on our property. Funny to watch the deer chase the fox when they get to close.

        1. You are so lucky to live around all this beautiful wildlife! We are losing ours as population increases here. Which photo are you seeking? The black bobcat? Sorry sometimes my replies get separated from the original blog read. All the best Charles.

  11. Hello Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch My name is Adriene Barmann and I am a member of the Sierra Club. I found your name as I was searching for video footage and images of algae blooms in the Indian River Lagoon. I am working with 2 other Sierra Club members to create a music video that will educate the viewers about the Manatee starvation crisis as a result of poor water quality in the Indian River Lagoon. The Florida Sierra Conservation Committee has partnered with Force For Good Music and Video, who has created the music for our video and we created the Text Overlay in the video. The message that we want to communicate in our video is about the current water quality problem that has negatively impacted manatees in the Indian River Lagoon by destroying the seagrass, and on the West coast of Florida by exacerbating the red tide. Our goal is to inspire the viewers to take action by clicking on our Sierra Club website at the conclusion of the video. We are almost finished collecting the images and videos that we need for the project. I am looking for video footage that shows 10 seconds of Algae blooming in the waterways, and 5 seconds of sewage that is being released into waterways. I actually found a great Youtube video of an algae bloom but I can’t find the author. This is exactly the type of footage thatI am looking for: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XW9vtviHQ6w at 25 to 35 seconds into the video. I noticed on your blog and website have just the images that I am looking for that we could possibly get your permission to use in our video. I look forward to speaking with you. My email is adrienesierraleader@gmail.com

      1. Jacqui,

        We are honored and so appreciative that you are willing to share your video footage and photos with Sierra Club. We have sent a script with video footage, educational text and access to our website link to Force For Good Music And Videos. They are creating our educational video with music and text overlay to communicate our message to the public by Social Media that will encourage the viewers to take action.

        We have found a video on YouTube that we want to use several seconds of their footage in our video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XW9vtviHQ6w We feel this video which was filmed at the Indian River Lagoon in Merritt Island truly depicts the damage that a severe algae bloom had on the Indian River Lagoon ecosystem 7 years ago. We saw that the organization “Takebackourwater.org” has their name listed at the beginning of the video. We saw on their Facebook they posted multiple images showing the damage of the waterways in the Indian River Lagoon. We need permission to use the footage on this video. Do you have any association with “Takebackourwater.org” ? We can’t seem to be able to reach out to them. Please advise me if you know anyone who I can contact to get permission to use their footage?

        1. Use of mine and my husband’s whatever you wish! Sorry to get back to you so long after your message. If you would like to speak by phone please know I am here. Just write me and let me know how to contact you. If not, go for it!

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