Tag Archives: Democrat

Bringing Alive the “Dead Rivers” of Lake Okeechobee, SLR/IRL

Florida Memory, early Everglades drawing, Anonymous.

We have really killed them. A Google Search will bring up practically nothing, although they were probably the most interesting Everglades’ feature of all. Lake Okeechobee’s “Dead Rivers,” entitled as such as they were “perceived not to go anywhere…” but they did…they flowed out of Lake Okeechobee, running through the custard apple forest, and then disappeared into the sawgrass river of grass, today known as the Everglades.

The engineer of Hamilton Disston stated that there were 17 rivers leading out of Lake Okeechobee. Some of the larger ones were named the Dead, Democrat, Dowell, Forked, Hidden, Copper, Hutchinson, Leatherman, Menge, Pelican, and Ritta. Some were miles long, over 100 feet wide, and many feet deep. These rivers flowed curvaceously through the custard apple/pond apple swamp that extended from the lake’s rim as far as four miles south. Today these locations encompass the cities south of the lake especially Pahokee, Belle Glade, South Bay, and Clewiston.

Presently, the south and eastern shores of Lake Okeechobee are devoid of these once very rich-with-life rivers as they have been cut-off, redirected into canals, filled in, or diked.  Apparently it was documented that the “dead” rivers could flow north or south depending on rainfall. We found it more efficient to drain the Lake and to eventually erect a dike destroying all of the wildlife highways.

The Boyer Survey: An Archaeological Investigation of Lake Okeechobee, 2011, by Christopher Davenport and others–from which these images and much of the information in this post comes from, show where some of these ancient and now “dead” rivers flowed. One thing is for sure, they were never really dead, until we killed them. I think it is important to, at least for our memories, bring them back to life; we will learn more about them.

IFAS: http://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/geer2008/Presentation_PDFs/Thursday/Royal%20Palm%20VIII/1040%20C%20McVoy.pdf SFWMD notes dead rivers “as a mile or less.”
The Boyer Survey: An Archaeological Investigation of Lake Okeechobee, 2011
The Boyer Survey: An Archaeological Investigation of Lake Okeechobee, 2011
The Boyer Survey: An Archaeological Investigation of Lake Okeechobee, 2011
The Boyer Survey: An Archaeological Investigation of Lake Okeechobee, 2011
The Boyer Survey: An Archaeological Investigation of Lake Okeechobee, 2011
Google Earth 2018.

Source: The Boyer Survey: http://www.flarchcouncil.org/reports/BoyerSurveyLakeO.pdf

The River Doesn’t Belong to a Political Party; It Belongs to All of Us, St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

A newly elected Congressman Partick Murphy holding recycled FDOT signs painted by the River Kidz. The flag sign was taken to Washington DC and displayed in the front office, 2012.
Newly elected Congressman Partick Murphy holding recycled FDOT signs painted by the River Kidz. The flag sign was taken to Washington DC and displayed in the front office, 2012.

I support politicians that work in the interests of the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon. The river doesn’t belong to a political party; it belongs to all of us.

The St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon doesn't belong to a political party; it belongs to all of us.
Image 2014, bullsugar.org.

Just over a month ago, I wrote a blog entitled, “Why I Support Senator Joe Negron,” a Republican, (http://jacquithurlowlippisch.com/2014/08/26/why-i-am-such-a-big-supporter-of-senator-joe-negron-indian-river-lagoon/),  and today I am writing in support of Congressman Patrick Murphy, a Democrat.

I am a registered republican.

To me, people are more important than their political affiliations.

From the beginning Patrick Murphy displayed that he wanted to work with everyone. After winning Florida US House District 18, he came to Martin County and met with leaders of all municipalities and the county, together.  He introduced  himself and ask us what issues were most important to us. The health of the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon was the top agreed choice and Patrick got to work.

Looking back, little things say a lot.

I recall I was impressed that he wasn’t afraid to get his “hands dirty.” He immediately participated in an oyster restoration event in Ft Pierce with St Lucie County Commissioner, Chris Dzadovsky. Dzadovsky ended up suffering from a skin infection due to an oyster cut during the oyster deployment….Congressman Murphy quickly caught on to the seriousness and the extent of the Martin, St Lucie river problem and how much the river’s improvement meant to the local people.

Another plus for me was that he quickly befriended the River Kidz and took their call for “getting involved, speaking out, and raising awareness”seriously. Some members even went to Washington DC to participate in his IRL meeting with congressional leaders. Now that’s a first!

Patrick’s list of accomplishments is broad including pushing hard for monies for the C-44 Storm Water Treatment and Reservoir for C-44 basin runoff; and CEPP, the Central Everglades Planning Project that if ever approved will divert about 12% of Lake Okeechobee’s water south, and monies for the National Estuary Program’s revamping. The list goes on, please see image below.

Flyer on front desk inPatrick Murph's Stuart office.
Flyer of Murphy’s IRL “Action and Advocacy.”(Click to enlarge.)
Side 2 of flyer
Side two of flyer.
Congressman Murphy in Washington DC with River Warriors, River Kidz and others, for session on IRL., 2013. (Photo Nicole Mader.)
Congressman Murphy in Washington DC with River Warriors, River Kidz and commissioners, and others, for session on IRL.  In spite of a government shutdown,  many congressional leaders met with the group. (Photo Nicole Mader, 2013.)

I know over time there is a lot more to do. But the young congressman is off to a great start and most important, we have developed a relationship with him. We must keep this relationships going.  For in the end, no political party will save the river; it is only people and their relationships that can do that. 

Patrick at fundraiser held in the Town of Sewall's Point, 2013.
Patrick at fundraiser held in the Town of Sewall’s Point by Karen Cahan. Sewall’s Point is known as a “republican enclave,”  2013.
Speaking on behalf of Congressman Murphy at his campaign headquarter in Stuart, 2014.
Speaking on behalf of Congressman Murphy at his campaign headquarter in Stuart, 2014.

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Campaign commercials I have done in support of Congressman Patrick Murphy, Democrat and Senator Joe Negron, Republican, 2014.

Congressman Patrick Murphy commercial IRL: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdODyl-tFE0&feature=youtu.be)

Senator Joe Negron commercial IRL(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLDSi4EsPJU)