Tag Archives: Indian River Keeper

Martin Health Systems/Martin Systems Auxiliary, “Speaking Up” for the Health of the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

Martin Health Systems, formerly known as Martin Memorial Hospital, sits on the St Lucie River. (Public photo.)
Martin Health Systems, formerly known as Martin Memorial Hospital, sits on the St Lucie River in Stuart, Florida. (Public photo.)
Martin Memorial Hospital, ca. 1940s. Photo courtesy of Sandra Thurlow's presentation at Stuart Heritage 2014.
Martin Memorial Hospital, ca. 1940s. Photo courtesy of Sandra Thurlow’s presentation at Stuart Heritage 2014.

Martin Health Systems has sat like a sentinel along the St Lucie River for 75 years….Doctors, nurses, administrators, employees, and patients have over the years watched the degradation of health of Martin County’s beautiful river along with its once remarkable fish and wildlife.

But today, the hospital’s voice is getting louder as they “speak up” for the river and its health. (http://www.martinhealth.org)

In 2014, Robert Lord, a long time attorney for the organization, was a featured speaker at the “Clean Water Rally” sharing his memories of growing up in Stuart and enjoying its waters. Rob made a public call to push for clean water  to our state legislature on behalf of Martin Health Systems. A huge step in our river movement!

Rob Lord, 2014, Photo JRL.
Rob Lord speaks at the Clean Water Rally, Phipps Park, St Lucie Lock and Dam, 2014, Photo JTL.

This year, since mid-March, the Martin Systems  Auxiliary will pass out a total of 450 “River Kidz Second Edition Workbooks,” featuring Marty the Manatee to children that come into the hospital for emergencies or alongside family. Yes, that’s 450 workbooks, and they plan on passing out more! (http://www.martinhealth.org/mhs-auxiliary)

Mr Bill Michaud, president,  has been a champion for children and for our river. I thank him and all members of the Auxiliary. At this time, I would like to include a portion of a letter written to me:

“Jacqui,

…Martin Health employs 3,600 local folks and the Auxiliary peaks in Season around 900 serving three hospitals, Emergency Center, and 59 other assorted medical related offices. I feel that our influence would be strongest with middle age children in educating them to the realities of current and future conditions thusly our placement of River Kidz in the areas where they would have greatest access…We share River Kidz’ goals and stand willing to help in any way that we can. With your group’s permission we would like to mention our participation in the River Kidz program in our April edition of Martin Health Systems Auxiliary Highlight’s magazine… “—–Mr Bill Michaud, President MHS Aux, 3-6-15.

(“River Kidz 2nd Ed. Workbook:” http://riverscoalition.org/riverkidz/riverkidz-workbooks/)

Just incredible!
 

MMH Auxiliary chair, Barbara Bush, and Bill Michaud, president. (Photo Martin Health Systems Auxiliary, 2015.)
MS Auxiliary chair, Barbara Bush with  Bill Michaud, president, displaying River Kidz workbooks. (Photo Martin Health Systems Auxiliary, 2015.)
CEO MMHS Mark Robitaille, 2015.
CEO MHS Mark Robitaille, 2015.

Most recently, in an article by Darcy Flierl in “Luminaries,” about the “Dirty River Keeper Jam” this Saturday at Terra Fermata, Mark Robitaille, president and chief executive officer, stated: “We are concerned about the destruction of our estuaries and its diverse marine ecosystems. As a health care system, we are also deeply worried about the impact to the health of our community.”

Wow! Thank you Mr Robitaille!

Martin Health Systems and Jensen Beach Plumbing come together May 30th from noon to 11PM to host Martin County’s first “Dirty River Jam” to benefit Mr Marty Baum, our Indiana Riverkeeper. For information call 772-486-9109. Hope to see you there!

We all know It’s time for our state legislature, our federal government, and our all of local politicians, to be brave and put laws in place to stop the feeding of toxic algae blooms (Cyanobacteria) in Lake Okeechobee and thus our local waterways, as well as overcoming the difficulties of cleaning, storing, and sending water south to the Everglades, through the sugar-lands, to alleviate the burden of destruction of the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon. Martin Health Systems will help make this happen; they carry a lot of weight.

Dirty River Jam
Dirty River Jam!

______________________________________________

I must note my sister, Jenny Flaugh, has worked for MHS for over 16 years and her husband Mike is involved with the event! Thank you all who are involved.

Video of Robert Lord speaking at the Clean Water Rally, 2014, by Keri West: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImG8-gAI_9Q)

#IndianRiverLagoon

#StLucieRiver

River Kidz’ Feedback–“Clean Water/Amd. 1 Rally,” SLR/IRL

 

Katy Lewey of St Lucie River Kidz leads way at the "Clean Water/Amendment 1 Rally," Tallahassee, Florida 2015. (Photo Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch.)
Katy Lewey and her daughter Hannah of St Lucie River Kidz lead the way at the “Clean Water/Amendment 1 Rally,” Tallahassee, Florida 2015. (Photo Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch.)

River Kidz member, Keile Mader, 10, speaks at the Clean Water/Amendment 1 Rally, Tallahassee, 2-18-15: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvE3-dJjp0Q)

Naia Mader and Olivia Siegel give feedback on rally experience: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MG_t_uG9Zko)

 

Question posed to River Kid: “So do you think you’ll become a politician?”

“Ummm..no…but I think I’ll be a better public speaker….:)”

 

This blog post is a follow-up to yesterday’s: “Tallahassee or Bust! River Kidz and the Clean Water Rally, Tallahassee, 2015.”

Yesterday, River Mom, Nic Mader, dropped off Naia, Olivia, Keile and I in front of the state capitol building for the Clean Water/Amendment 1 Rally…The sounds of speakers and music filled the air; the bright colors and black skeletons of Janeen Mason’s Solidarity Fish project  could be seen in the distance….(http://www.solidarityarts.com); various members of the RIVER WARRIORS, and others, came up to say “hello;” it was a cool, bright, sunny day and a sense of history exuded from every giant oak tree draped with spanish moss….

“Girls stop.” I said.

Naia, 14, Olivia, 13,  and Keile, 10 turned around and looked at me inquisitively.

“River Kidz, I want you to look around you for a minute. I want to share something with you that you may not think too much about… “THIS is part of the First Amendment, of the United States of America: “the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition their government”…not all countries of the world allow this. My friend Aletha Jones teaching in China in 1989 when their government brought tanks into Tiananmen Square opening fire. Our country and our form of government, have many failures…but our “right to assemble” is key to what is “good” in our democracy….Participate today and know, you too, are a part of this great history of our country ….”

The girls nodded their heads in partial understanding, used to my occasional rants,  and we walked to the steps of the Florida capitol to be a part of the “Clean Water and Amendment 1 Rally” for the State of Florida’s historic 75% passage of the “Water and Land Conservation Initiative, Amendment 1, 2014.” (http://ballotpedia.org/Florida_Water_and_Land_Conservation_Initiative,_Amendment_1_%282014%29)

The rally was a message to the governor and the legislature to spend those monies as is intended within the language of the bill. For those of us coming from the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon Region, this means spending some of this money to purchase option lands south of Lake Okeechobee to store, clean and convey water south to the Everglades, in time, saving the dying estuaries of St Lucie/IRL and Caloosahatchee rivers.

Springs.
Springs sign-Katy Lewey overseeing the SL and Martin River Kidz.

Before the capitol and on its stairs, were people from all over the state;  we even saw Dr Bob Knight, a legend in the springs movement. Most of Florida’s springs have been equally deviated by poor “water” decisions by state, federal and local governments.

River Kidz speaking before the Senatae committee. Watch here: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLFWWEtiwig)
River Kidz speaking before the Senatae committee. Watch here: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLFWWEtiwig)

It was a whirlwind of a day. The River Kidz were able speak at the rally; write short speeches, and to present them before Representative Larry Lee, Senator Joe Negron, and then, again, at the Senate Natural Resources Committee. They passed out their new River Kidz Second Edition Workbook, “Marty the Manatee” inspired by Mr Marty Baum, the Treasure Coast Indian Riverkeeper.

It was a good day.

Did we feel “warm and fuzzy feedback” regarding our request for option land purchase in the Everglades Agriculture Area (EAA) south of Lake Okeechobee?

“No.”

Did I hear such things as “Steve Crisafulli, the House Speaker may want  to be the Commissioner of Agriculture, and Adam Putnam does want to be governor.”….”agriculture/sugar does not want to sell the land now”—“and believe you me they are 20 years ahead the rest of you investing millions, if not billions of dollars, on a state and national level—–to influence politicians”…..”but its not all doom and gloom—things are moving”—–“and the subsiding EAA lands”—-“oh yes, and the future of Cuba,” “you never know—- maybe”…..”it’s changing so fast…”the advocacy along the Treasure Coast is noticed and making a difference…”

YES. I did hear such things….

🙂 (I will never reveal my sources but I can tell you I have good ones and spoke to many people…..)

Did we, the River Kidz: did I Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch, and River Mom , Nichole Mader find “this” discouraging?

“Yes, and No.”

Yes, because coming up against any wall is never fun when one is looking to go forward…

Nonetheless, I also know, and have been told, all this pushing IS having effect. I also know it may push the “powers that be” faster into what-ever-it-is that breaks this wall of historical government/agriculture “self-interest,” because water and the flood gates of the people will in time bring it down.

Of that I am certain.

Thank you River Kidz! Thank you all! For securing a better water future!

Maggy Hurchalla...
Maggy Hurchalla…
Mark Perry before the Senate Natural Resources Committee. (JTL)
Mark Perry before the Senate Natural Resources Committee.
Cris Costello, Sierra Club.
Cris Costello, Sierra Club.
Kidz with aide in Senator Simmon's Office, delivering their workbook.
Kidz with aide in Senator Simmon’s Office, delivering their workbook.
Senator Dean's office, chair of the Nat'l Resouces Senate Committee.
Senator Dean’s office, chair of the Nat’l Resources Senate Committee.
Bill McCullum and others in background during Senate meeting.
Former Attorney General, and House of Representatives, Bill McCollum and others in background during Senate meeting.
Senator Negron's office.
Senator Negron’s office.
Representative Lee's office.
Representative Lee’s office.
Senate schedule.
Senate schedule.
Olivia Siegle's speech.
Olivia Siegle’s speech.
Keile Mader's speech.
Keile Mader’s speech.
Naia Mader's speech.
Naia Mader’s speech.
River Kidz before the capitol building.
River Kidz before the capitol building.

_________________________________

River Kidz is a division of the Rivers Coalition: (http://riverscoalition.org)

River Kidz Martin County: (https://www.facebook.com/pages/River-Kidz/237123116309196)

River Kidz St Lucie County: (https://www.facebook.com/riverkidzslc)

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.
__________________________________
History of the First Amendment:(http://illinoisfirstamendmentcenter.com/history.php)
History of the French Huguenots (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huguenot)