Tag Archives: everglades resoration

Lie Down on the Tracks? St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

Railroad Bridge, Stuart Florida. (Photo JTL)
Railroad Bridge, Stuart Florida. (Photo Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch, 2014.)
Classic photo of original wooden trestle bridge over the St Lucie River and train-- courtesy of the Historical Society and Sandra H. Thurlow.)
Classic photo of original wooden trestle bridge over the St Lucie River and train, 1894. (Courtesy of the Historical Society of MC and Sandra H. Thurlow.)
train
Train going over new steel railroad bridge in 1905. (Archives of  Historical Society of MC and Sandra Henderson Thurlow, “Stuart on the St Lucie.”)
The present railroad movable part that was built/added in 1925. (SHT)
The present railroad movable part, “wide enough to accommodate a double track”  was built/added in 1925. (“Stuart on the St Lucie,” Sandra Henderson Thurlow.)

Did you know that Henry Flagler’s Florida East Coast Railway was originally named “Jacksonville, St Augustine and Indian River Railway? ” I didn’t until I re-read The Railroad chapter my mother’s book “Stuart on the St Lucie.” The name was changed on September 9, 1895 to the infamous and famous “Florida East Coast Railway.” The train did and does, massively affect our Indian River Lagoon Region.

Yesterday, All Aboard Florida had a poster presentation at the Kane Center where the public was allowed to view and then put hand written comments in boxes. The Stuart News said 800 people showed up. When I was there, the tension was thick between the public and the paid, mostly young, working “presenters” in the room. These presenters looked exhausted. As usual business and outside politicians don’t know what they are in for when they come to Martin County. Like a mother bear protecting her cub, we fight for the beauty, tranquility and “quality of life” of our area. AAF met NOT All Aboard Florida. It was a train wreck…

I personally, am not against train travel at all, in fact I am for it,  but I am against All Aboard Florida as there are no benefits, only unfunded mandated costs to the Treasure Coast area  to maintain equipment and tracks and to alter the pleasant areas of downtown crossings that fill our counties.

Also it is so obvious that this is really about freight of course: the widening of the Panama Canal, the expansion of the Port of Miami, about feeding “all those people in Orlando” as it is encouraged to grow, consume, and excrete pollution that will drain down the Kissimmee then into Lake Okeechobee and be released into our rivers. It’s about Airglades Airport that really is not about the Sugarhill development “proper” as much as the already “approved” Airglades Airport Inland Port in Hendry County that will scare away every panther that has quietly walked that remote part of Florida over hundreds of years and yes affect Everglades restoration.

South Florida is headed to become a shipping center.

I recommend we lie down on the tracks. Honestly. I don’t want AAF’s freight corridor or fake passenger through trains. Not here.

Since a picture speaks a thousand words,  I will stop “talking”and let you take a look at what we are, and you can image what we will become, how our real estate and marine industry will change, and what these new shipping tracks and trains will look like—unless of course, we rise up and change the course of history…never doubt that that can be achieved.

Google Earth view of Roosevelt Bridge today 2014.
Google Earth view of Old and New Roosevelt Bridges today 2014.
Train going over railroad track 2014
Train going over SLR railroad track 2014
Close up
Close up
The railroad bride up, built in 1925 and now expected to allow 32 more trains plus freight to drive over it.
The railroad bridge up, built in 1925 and now expected to allow 32 more trains plus freight to drive over it.
Close up view
Close up view of the past to become the future.

Aerial Photos: SugarHill-Sector Lands, Restoration, Indian River Lagoon

A view from Airglades Airport looking southerly. Photo Ed Lippisch, 9-14)
A view from Airglades Airport, the business center of proposed US Sugar’s “SugarHill” development,  looking southerly into a horizon of agricultural lands. (All photo by Ed Lippisch, 9-27-14)

(* I have just realized the photo above is the old Clewiston Airport not Airglades. Here is one of Airglades from http://www.airnav.com/airport/2IS.   JTL 9:30 AM.)

Airglades Airport, photo Wikipedia.
Airglades Airport, photo AirNAv.

The flight last weekend: Stuart to Clewiston…

I could not be a passenger, it was too windy and I knew I would be sick hanging my head over the edge of the Cub. It has happened before.

In the yellow Piper Cub, the fight to Clewiston from the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon, in Stuart, is about 45 minutes one way, a long time if the air becomes a rough ocean.

Approaching Clewiston from the east.
Approaching Clewiston from the east.

So my husband, Ed flew alone and sent me a few photos along the way. He will do anything to get  up in that airplane. For him it is fun even if it is windy.

So let’s take a closer look where Ed flew, to that area we all keep taking about in Hendry County and proposed first by US Sugar Corporation: SugarHill.

As one can see from the map below, Airglades Airport is west of Clewiston close to where Highway 27 shoots north.  The SugarHill sector plan land use change encompasses a tremendous amount of land, 44,000 acres, these  lands are located where the state has an option to buy for Everglades restoration.  If some of those lands get zoned for residential and commercial development it could complicate trying to send water south through trading these lands or using them for restoration in the future. That’s why we want to take a look.

Location of Airglades Airport, Google Maps, 2014.
Location of Airglades Airport, Google Maps, 2014.
Sugar Hill proposal, 2014.
Sugar Hill proposal, 2014.
A view from Airglades.
A view from Airglades Airport, (same photo as above) shows runway on right, development on left, and miles and miles of surrounding agricultural lands.
Agricultural lands.
Agricultural lands.
Agricultural lands.
Agricultural lands.
Agricultural lands land canal.
More agricultural lands and canal.
Very north west over what was once Lake Hipochee.
Very north-west over what was once Lake Hipochee, headwaters of the Caloosahatechee.
Flying back to Stuart looking back to Clewisotn.
Flying back to Stuart looking back to Clewiston.

So basically the SugarHill sector lands are west of Clewiston, there is an airport, some development and miles and miles of agriculture. What is shall become only time will tell. I hope now that you’ve had a look, it will be easier for you to make a decision to protect these lands for the Everglades, St Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon.

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Article 360: (http://www.law360.com/articles/579122/us-sugar-s-plan-could-bog-down-everglades-restoration)