Tag Archives: Evan Miller

From Protest to Prayer… Join Citizens4CleanWater Saturday, February 18, SLR/IRL

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If you are from Martin or St Lucie County, I’m sure you remember….how the river movement came to an unexpected raging head during the Summer of 2013. It was after the River Kidz had held a gathering at the locks; and after the public had been screaming the St Lucie River was a putrid mess; it was after the Stuart News had been writing; and it was after organizations that had been working for years continued to bang their fists. Yes, after all this, that something new occurred…a surfer named Evan Miller posted on Facebook to protest the damaging discharges from Lake Okeechobee at St Lucie Locks and Dam. Evan had no idea! Social media was new. Shockingly, over 5000 people attended the event: mothers and fathers, children, grandparents, business people, local city and county politicians, environmentalists, people from afar, long time residents and newbies…..”everyone” was there…even Senator Joe Negron…

Things were never quite the same after this as a true movement materialized, and the seriousness of the matter was exposed. The event was reported across the state catching the attention of Florida’s most powerful and influential.

Shortly after, more protest were called by Miller who with help from Leon Abood, the beloved chair of the Rivers Coalition, reactivated and expanded the local Citizens 4 Clean Water chapter drawing members mostly from the younger generation.

Well, Evan called me yesterday and said “times are calling for a new kind of protest” and the young people of C4CW are calling for prayer and meditation, rather than protest in support of what is called the Negron Bill, Senate Bill 10, that calling for land purchase in the EAA for a reservoir.

“Wow,” I thought. How does the saying go? “God works in mysterious ways…”

C4CW’s Facebook page reads: “Rock painting with Children For Clean Water begins at 4pm at Sandsprit Park.  Viral photo of thousands in prayer 5:30 pm. See everyone there to support the SB 10 bill in legislation now. Let’s get that land! #buytheland #senditsouth https://www.facebook.com/events/1874182396131037/?ti=icl

Well “times are a changin”…and miracles do occur!

Please join Citizens4 Clean Water Saturday for a new kind of photo for our river. A photo of thousands in prayer. https://www.facebook.com/citizens4cleanwater/

Sandsprit Park
3443 SE St Lucie Blvd
Stuart, FL 34997

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Evan Miller at a Rivers Coalition meeting 2013
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From protest to prayer for the St Lucie River, photo Jenny Flaugh

C4CW’s Mission Statement: Take the challenge and become a Citizen For Clean Water by becoming part of the revolution to bring forward people who will lead the way for a cleaner and brighter tomorrow. When you become a Citizen For Clean Water you are taking on the responsibility of taking care of your environment teaching others your knowledge and stepping up to make a leading example for the rest of the world by becoming a voice for the voiceless. http://www.citizensforcleanwater.org

Destiny, The Man Behind the Protests, SAVE OUR RIVERS/BUY THE LAND, SLR/IRL

Evan Miller listens during a Rivers Coalition meeting. Evan represents Citizens for Clean Water. (Facebook)
Evan Miller listens during a Rivers Coalition meeting. Since 2013,  Evan represents Citizens for Clean Water for the coalition. (Facebook)

C4CW: http://www.citizensforcleanwater.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/citizens4cleanwater/

Evan Surfing....
Evan Miller
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Facebook July 2016

Evan Miller grew up in Stuart, Florida, not far from the St Lucie Locks and Dam. He attended Crystal Lakes Elementary School, Hidden Oaks Middle School, South Fork and Martin County High Schools, graduating in 2002.

As a kid, Evan would ride his bike down to the St Lucie Locks and Dam with his friends. He knew the sad story of the lake and St Lucie River. He knew about the long history and  steady destruction of the waterways he loved that one day would come to a head. But little did he know, that it would happen in his lifetime, and he would lead the message.

The story is  this—

After graduating, Evan was sponsored as a professional surfer and lived in Costa Rica, and came home in 2012.  Upon his return, he saw the river’s decline and  innocently put a message on his Facebook page during the “Lost Summer os 2013,” when the river was posted by the Health Department as “off-limits.” Evan’s message read: “Who wants to meet me at the locks?”

Believe it or not, this request turned into a rally of over 5000 people!

Two weeks later, Evan organized a beach rally, putting down stakes and having a surveyor friend help him create the letters–over 2000 people came and spelled out in the sand SAVE OUR RIVER.

Destiny had found its man…

Now in 2016, under even worse conditions, after the St Lucie River and area beaches turned into a toxic-soup from an onslaught of releases from Lake Okeechobee since January—- that in time were dumping toxic algae from the lake into the river—- Evan has used his Facebook talents again.

This past Saturday, on July 3rd, the Martin County Sheriff’s Department reported that over 3500 people, from every walk of life, came out to spell in the sand the message of the masses to fix the lake and river debacle:  BUY THE LAND.

This event played out over the 4th of July weekend on national media outlets. People in Martin County were getting phone calls from people in other states they had not spoken to in years. My father got a call from a man in his wedding from 1962 who lives in California. They had not spoken in years…

“What’s going on down there?”

Yes, the world has “seen” the peoples’ message thanks to Evan.

SAVE OUR RIVER/BUY THE LAND!

Sometimes it’s just destiny…

Evan Miller

2013/2016 Evan Miller

From the Cub Ed Lippisch and Scott Kuhns
From the Cub Ed Lippisch and Scott Kuhns
2016 Rebecca Fatzinger
2016 The crowd. Rebecca Fatzinger
2016, Rebecca Fatzinger
2016, The crowd. Rebecca Fatzinger
with daughter Summer
with daughter Summer
Tiger Shores-ocean of algae July 2016 (Evan Miller)
Ocean of algae July 2016 (Evan Miller)
Evan and Kenny at the bullhorn. Kenny Hinkle looks on. (Facebook)
Evan Miller at the bullhorn. Kenny Hinkle looks on. (Facebook)

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CNN:http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/01/us/florida-algae-pollution/

How the People Helped Create SFWMD’s “Restoration Projects Map 2014,” Indian River Lagoon

SFWMD simplified publication list of RESTORATION PROJECTS, 2014.
SFWMD’s simplified publication list of RESTORATION PROJECTS, 2014.

If there is anything I believe in, it is the “power of the people,” and it has given me great pleasure to watch this American principal at work over the past year. For me, presently there is nothing more evident of this than a small, simplified pamphlet that was officially released at last week’s Water Resources Advisory Commission (WRAC) on Thursday, September 4th, 2014; it is simply entitled RESTORATION PROJECTS and could fit in your pocket it you folded it in half.

This little pamphlet was greatly inspired by the people, the river protesters in particular, at a meeting that occurred in September of last year and took place at Indian RiverSide Park, in Jensen Beach. At this meeting the WRAC met for its regular meeting within the South Florida Water Management District, but also  to hear the voices of the protesters in light of  the toxic releases from Lake Okeechobee during the summer of 2013. In August of that year over 5000 people had  protested at the St Lucie Locks and Dam. The District took notice.

As did the press….

You may recall Kenny Hinkel’s video that went viral of  many people at the meeting on their cell phones? You may remember locals speaking before the WRAC asking for clarity, in  understanding exactly “what and when” the SFWMD was doing to “save our river.” You may remember people being mad. You may remember myself and others begging for a simplification of presentation as the presentations from the District are so erudite only a scientist can understand them.

Well, we got part of what we asked for one year later. A simplified list of prioritized SFWMD projects. Here is the link to view it in full: (http://my.sfwmd.gov/paa_dad/docs/F574462673/Project_Table_and_Maps_080614.pdf)

Note the top priorities have to do with attempting to “send Lake O. and others waters south through the Tamiami Trail area and the Indian River Lagoon South projects in Martin and St Lucie County for water storage from polluted local canals. Great.  And it may have been that way before, but we needed to see it on paper!

Many people deserve credit for this simple but huge accomplishment, the River Warriors and SFWMD staff in particularly but I must note that on the day of that meeting, it was Chief of Staff, Dan Delisi, who called me aside after that meeting and said:  “That simplification idea…so the public can understand….that is a good idea….we will work on that.”

And they did.

Also, the queen of the publication is Ms Temperince Morgan who compiled tons of information and put it before the WRAC to be digested and fought over and did it with a smile.

And the greatest of all,  the pearl  in the oyster created by that constant irritation, that grain of sand, is the people!

You created this, you demanded this. You insisted your government talk to you in such a way that you “get it.”

Corruption is easily shrouded in complexity. Simplicity is the light, our light for a cleaner and healthier  St Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon.

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Video of August 3, 2013 Lake Okeechobee Protest SLR/IRL, St Lucie Locks and Dam by Kenny Hinkle: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPmu4CQtNuo)

Dan Delisi SFWMD:(http://www.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/xrepository/sfwmd_repository_pdf/delisi_bio.pdf)

Overcoming Our Differences/Fighting as “One” this Sunday for the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

river rally 2014

Great passions surround issues of the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon.

Over the past month, I have have been “corrected,” like a middle school child, not only by some friends  but by institutions, for my outspoken comments for or against certain politicians  or programs affiliated with the Indian River Lagoon. This berating came as a shock to me as I have not “been corrected” since I lived in my parents house and was constantly corrected. I was not good at it then, and I am not good at it now.

When I complained about this recently, my husband Ed just looked at me  and laughed saying, “Get used to it, if you want to be involved in politics!”

“I am working for the river, I replied, not politics.”

Ed looked at me like I was  in outer space and again laughed that infectious laugh of his.”

“Sure Jacqui…”

Of course Ed is right. Water is politics. And politics can be even more toxic than our St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon.

This Sunday, August 3, at 10 a.m. , at Phipps Park, (St Lucie Locks and Dam), the River Warriors with the second year leadership of Evan Miller and the help of the Rivers Coalition, the Indian River Keeper,  and the Sierra Club, will hold the “March Against the Lake Okeechobee Discharges.”

There will hopefully be hundreds if not thousands of people there. And even though there will be people of many political affiliations, backgrounds, and beliefs,  when the “powers that be” see the group together in one place our differences fade and WE ARE ONE. It is this oneness, this togetherness that has brought us from obscurity to state and national recognition for the problems of Lake Okeechobee, the St Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon in just one short year. 

I have an old chest in my living room that came over to the United States in the 1700s. Its owners were  French Huguenots who were openly persecuted and killed for their religious beliefs.  When I see that chest, I think of its journey across the great ocean and  it reminds me that people came to our county for many reasons, but the protections of “free speech” and “freedom of assembly,” to many may have been most important.

May we exercise our American Freedoms with dignity on Sunday and with the protections of the First Amendment of our United States Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

And please remember, in spite of our differences, or what we believe is the best way to support of our rivers,  we are most powerful when WE ARE ONE, and we can still be ONE with our many differences.
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History of the First Amendment:(http://illinoisfirstamendmentcenter.com/history.php)
History of the French Huguenots (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huguenot)