Tag Archives: inspiration to save the Indian River Lagoon

Stofin Co. Inc, part of the Fanjul Empire, Mapping Out Florida’s Water Future, SLR/IRL

The Fanjul Brothers, Plantation Services Land Report 2012


“Who Owns the Land? Mapping Out Florida’s Water Future.”

Stofin Co. Inc. is #7 on the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council’s (TCRPC) map of land ownership in the Everglades Agricultural Area, (EAA). These lands lie on the eastern side of the EAA and comprise 7,189 acres. Stofin Co. is affiliated with Fanjul Corporation more widely known to river activist as “Florida Crystals.” As we know, Fanjul Corporation is a large sugar and real estate conglomerate with interest in Florida, the Dominican Republic and soon to be in the brothers’ homeland, Cuba, once again. The family is very influential in all politics and donates extensively to both the Democratic and Republican parties.

We can see by doing just a bit of research that some of the same officers of Fanjul Corporation are also listed in Stofin Co. Inc. such as Erik J. Blomqvist and Luis J. Hernandez.

Fanjul Corp. Sunbiz (http://search.sunbiz.org/Inquiry/CorporationSearch/SearchResultDetail?inquirytype=EntityName&directionType=Initial&searchNameOrder=FANJUL%20M516461&aggregateId=domp-m51646-9316409f-936a-40c1-9bc9-3acc902edee5&searchTerm=fanjul%20corp&listNameOrder=FANJUL%20M516461)

Fanjul Corp. Sunbiz 2016

Stofin Co. Inc., Sunbiz (http://search.sunbiz.org/Inquiry/CorporationSearch/SearchResultDetail?inquirytype=EntityName&directionType=Initial&searchNameOrder=STOFIN%201856420&aggregateId=domp-185642-9100e283-b064-4a5f-8083-da9865fd09e3&searchTerm=stofin%20co%20&listNameOrder=STOFIN%201856420)

Stofin Co. 2016 (Note many of same officers) 

Looking at our TCRPC map I have colored #7 parcels in orange just as #2 Okeelanta Corp. and #3 New Hope Sugar Co. were. As we learned earlier those too are Fanjul Corp. lands. I have just added a purple dot to differentiate. So far all in ORANGE below is Fanjul holdings.

It is interesting to compare the TCRPC map with the historic maps also below and note the “shape” of the original “river of grass” before it was dammed and destroyed by agricultural development in the EAA. Note how the river veered off to the right, or in an eastly direction. Surveyor, Chappy Young’s map shows the westerly development over the years into the “Everglades’ agreeed boarder” from the east. We have swallowed her up in every direction. She needs to be restored. It only makes sense that some of the overflow water from Lake Okeechobee destroying the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon is allowed to go south again. Thank you for reading my blog and for caring about the health of the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon and the Florida Evergldes.


Everglades Unknown early map from negative
Historic map from 1948 book “Lake Okeechobee” written in 1948 by Alfred Jackson and Kathryn Hanna as part of the Rivers of America Series.
war map
War map of the Everglades created during the Seminole Wars, 1856.
line for everglades
West of the red lines shows the edge of what was once the Everglades in South Florida. Development has crept and continues to creep over this edge. (Photo/map courtesy of Chappy Young,/GCY Surveyors, 2014.)
Senator Joe Negron’s proposed aquisition map in the EAA, 2016.

Stofin Co. Inc. (http://www.companies-florida.com/stofin-co-inc-1fym6/)

Stofin donations to politicians: (http://archive.tcpalm.com/news/indian-river-lagoon/health/ken-pruitts-lobbying-firm-harvested-150000-from-florida-crystals-since-2012-investigation-finds-ep-3-332700741.html)

Stofin donations to political parties: (https://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.php?cycle=2016&ind=A1200)

Writing History-Changing History: “Resolving System Constraints: An Action Plan,” by Dr Gary Goforth, SL/IRL

Dr Gary Goforth speaking before the SFWMD Governing Board, 3-12-15. (Photo Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch.)
Dr Gary Goforth speaks before the SFWMD Governing Board 3-12-15. (Photo Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch.)


Words and images are powerful tools in our quest to save the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon. It is critical that we are part of “writing history,” and not “allowing it to be written for us.”

Even though things get discouraging sometimes and we may feel like we are “getting nowhere,” believe me, in time, we will see that our work has not been in vain. A better river history is being made right now. You are part of that history.

Today I will share the document of Dr Gary Goforth, (http://garygoforth.netResolving System Constraints: An Action Plan,” that is really “making history.”

It was passed out March 12, 2015 at the South Florida Water Management District’s (SFWMD) Governing Board Meeting where eighty members of the public signed up to speak on behalf of supporting the purchase of US Sugar option lands in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) in order to create a reservoir to store, clean and convey significant amounts of water south to the Everglades, thus sparing the estuaries from the redirected waters of Lake Okeechobee that are killing our rivers on top of the already destructive discharges from area canals. 

This document will be an important part of that day’s “official record”…

Please read and store this document in your reference folder. You can click on the images to enlarge them.

Thank you Dr Goforth, River Warriors, Mark Perry, Maggy Hurchalla, Indian Riverkeeper, Marty Baum, Martin County’s Deborah Drum, Commissioner Ed Fielding, Ray Judah, Rae Anne Wetzel, the Sierra Club, the Everglades Coalition, The Stuart News, the state press, and all others, especially the “varied general public”—who continually speak in support of  the St Lucie, Indian, and Caloosahatchee rivers. Thank you to those who everyday are part of this ongoing cause. 

Thank you to the SFWMD for hearing our voices and reading our words, even when you are silent….

Thank you to Dr Goforth for writing our goals down scientifically for the District to read, reference, and remember, as all of us build a new history we know is coming…

Page 1.
Page 1.(SFWMD, 2012 option lands and EAA map adapted by Dr Goforth, 2015.)
2. (Image, cover of constraints document prepared by Jeff Kivitt, SFWMD, 2015.)
Dr Gary Goforth speaking before the SFWMD Governing Board, 3-12-15. (Photo Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch.)
Dr Gary Goforth speaking before the SFWMD Governing Board, 3-12-15. (Photo Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch.)

Dr Goforth’s work can be referenced below:  (http://garygoforth.net/Other%20projects.htm) (http://garygoforth.net)

Jeff Kivett, SFWMD, Division Director, Operations, Engineering, and Construction Division, “Types of Constraints Present in the Existing System, including those that may affect operation of the Central and Southern Flood Control Project:”  (http://www.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/xrepository/sfwmd_repository_pdf/gb_pres_system_constraints_2015_0312.pdf)

Somewhere Over the Rainbow, St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

Rainbow over the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon or Atlantic Ocean? (Jensen Beach, 2-8-15, Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch)
Rainbow over the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon or is it the Atlantic Ocean?  (Photo Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch, Jensen Beach, 2-8-15.)

Somewhere over the rainbow, 
Way up high
, There’s a land that I heard of once in a lullaby… Somewhere over the rainbow, Skies are blue,  And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true…. Someday I’ll wish upon a star, 
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me, 
Where troubles melt like lemon drops, 
Away above the chimney tops, 
That’s where you’ll find me…. Somewhere over the rainbow,  Blue birds fly,  Birds fly over the rainbow,  Why then, oh why can’t I? If happy little blue birds fly beyond the rainbow, 
Why oh why can’t I?” —Judy Garland



Rainbows are symbolic of dreams and of promises….

This amazing rainbow and perfectly timed sailboat were photographed on February 8th, 2015. Many other people from many different locations along the Indian River Lagoon region also photographed the rainbow that day.

This rainbow post has been so popular on Facebook that I thought I’d write about it and share some more photos of it today. It keeps popping back up!

I witnessed this incredible natural phenomenon while walking with my childhood friend, Eric Potsdam, who is now a professor of Linguistics at University of Florida. It was a double rainbow and at times, appeared to be with in 30 feet of where we were standing.

As stated in HOW THINGS WORK, “a rainbow does not actually exist at a location in the sky, but rather is an optical phenomenon whose apparent position depends on the observer’s location;” of course this is why some people photographed the rainbow over the rivers, and others over the ocean, and still others over the land….

This is also why when you’re chasing the “pot of gold,” you never quite get there, but you really do! 🙂

Eric and I as taken by a walker by...
Eric and I as taken by a walker by…
Somewhere Over the Rainbow, St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon...(Photo Jensen Beach Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch)
1. Somewhere Over the Rainbow, St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon…(Photo Jensen Beach Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch)
7. Rainbow over the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon or Atlantic Ocean? (Jensen Beach, 2-8-15, Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch)

How Does a Rainbow Work?” (https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20061201145943AA9SHCB)


Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch Facebook page since Feb 8th, 2015
Miraculous rainbow at Jensen Beach this afternoon.

Elaine D. Clark, Carol Barron-Cross, Toni Rummo and 183 others like this.

Rebecca Fatzinger love this with the sailboat in it!
February 8 at 6:25pm · Unlike · 1

Cecilia Beaux Gorgeous.
February 8 at 6:46pm · Unlike · 1

Stefani Campo Hughes Serreal
February 8 at 7:01pm · Unlike · 1

Jerry McComas Postcard picture.
February 8 at 7:09pm · Unlike · 1

Alexis Tolis Stone Amazing picture!
February 8 at 7:13pm · Unlike · 1

Michelle Richey Little piece of heaven in our backyard!
February 8 at 7:15pm · Unlike · 1

Cindy Sanchelli-Capwell I’m speechless. Gods gifts at its finest!
February 8 at 7:26pm · Unlike · 1

Cabot Lord Over Sewalls Point as well this late afternoon.
Cabot Lord’s photo.
February 8 at 7:30pm · Unlike · 2

Rainbow as seen by Cabot Lord. (2-8-15)
Rainbow as seen by Cabot Lord. (2-8-15)

Lynda Heemsath South Sewalls pt rd!
Lynda Heemsath’s photo.
February 8 at 7:36pm · Unlike · 2

As seen by Lynda Heemsath, south Sewall's Point- 2-8-15.
As seen by Lynda Heemsath, south Sewall’s Point- 2-8-15.

Patty Duquette Beautiful!
February 8 at 7:45pm · Unlike · 1

Tracy Chase Barnes Miraculous is definitely the word. When we saw it I said to Doug that I understand how it works with reflective light and all, but to have those perfect 7 colors come out like that every time is absolutely a miracle
February 8 at 8:54pm · Unlike · 4

Patti Strait It was truly a gorgeous sight!!
February 8 at 10:02pm · Unlike · 2

Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch beautiful shots!
February 9 at 12:07am · Like · 1

Lynda Heemsath time for bed Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch!!!!
February 9 at 12:12am · Unlike · 1

Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch Lynda Heemsath I KNOW! I have got to GO TO BED! U 2
February 9 at 12:31am · Like · 1

Marguerite Krute So beautiful for all of us to enjoy. It made the television news.
February 9 at 7:12am · Unlike · 1

Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch cool!
February 9 at 8:14am · Like

Dinah V Pulver Gorgeous!
February 9 at 8:44am · Unlike · 1

Sunni Kittrell Ashforth So beautiful! Thanks for sharing!
February 9 at 9:00am · Unlike · 1

Patricia Haney Just takes your Breath away!
February 9 at 11:14am · Unlike · 1

Patrick Stracuzzi Amazing thank you
February 25 at 6:44am · Unlike · 1

Karen Christy Beautiful
February 25 at 8:51pm · Unlike · 1

Elsie Scheuerlein Long Incredible!
16 hours ago · Unlike · 1

Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch It really was. A miracle of creation.
15 hours ago · Like

Elsie Scheuerlein Long The sailboat really adds to it too.
15 hours ago · Unlike · 2

Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch
15 hours ago · Like

Keri West Promises from heaven. We need some answered prayers for our lagoon
15 hours ago · Unlike · 2

Patti Kennedy I knew there had to be a beautiful rainbow somewhere. I was looking for it when the sun came out after this cloudy day. What a great photo
11 hours ago · Unlike · 1

Debra Duvall Amazing shot of our beautiful area
10 hours ago · Unlike · 2

Paige Lyons Wow!!!!
10 hours ago · Unlike · 1

Patti Kennedy The sailboat is perfectly placed!
9 hours ago · Unlike · 1

Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch I was pure chance and perfect timing. I waited just for that ideal moment. Such a rare moment!
9 hours ago · Like · 1

Valli B. Seidle Great Picture.,,,thanks…
4 hours ago · Like
Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch

Write a comment…


Helping the SFWMD Catch a Fish–Solidarity, St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

Kevin Powers, SFWMD Vice Chair; Janeen Mason, Solidarity Arts, Marsha Powers, MC School Board. (Photos Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch, 2-12-15.)
Colorful and skeleton “Solidarity Fish”….Kevin Powers, vice-chair SFWMD; Janeen Mason, Solidarity Arts; Marsha Powers, Marin County School Board. (Photo, Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch, 2-21-15.)
Close up of solidarity fish on Florida's Capitol steps, Clean Water/Amd. 1 Rally 2-17-15.) (JTL)
Close up of solidarity fish on Florida’s Capitol steps, Clean Water/Amd. 1 Rally 2-17-15,  photo JTL.)

Recently, Kevin Powers, vice-chair of the Governing Board of the South Florida Water Management District, called me asking about the “solidarity fish,” so I went even a little further and arranged for a meeting with Kevin, his wife, (Martin County School Board Member), Marsha Powers, and artist/writer extraordinaire, —Janeen Mason.



Sometimes in my world, it is best not to ask questions. It is best just to “do.” Knowing this timing and following my intuition is an important part of my mission in trying to save the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon…

Janeen Mason was a sport, and we met with my giving her little notice— she brought some of her beautiful, colorful, skeleton fish that have come to symbolize the river movement along the Indian River Lagoon. In fact, her idea is spreading across the state as she is called by others seeking advice on how to start such a “school,” (http://www.solidarityarts.com) as so many others across Florida have water issues too.


Janeen Mason with her fish for Kevin Powers, SFWMD. (Photo JTL.)
Janeen Mason with her fish for Kevin Powers, SFWMD. (Photo JTL.)

When Janeen met the Powers at their home, it was a wonderful thing for me, as I was able to learn her story which I had never really heard. (http://www.janeenmason.com)

Janeen told of being a young person, seeing the tropical fish in the Florida Keys for the very first time, and the powerful impression they made upon her young mind. She has carried this image with her through out her life, and most recently transposed it into the river  movement in response to our “Lost Summer” of 2013 when the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) and Army Corp of Engineers (ACOE) dumped polluted Lake Okeechobee water for five months (on top of area canal runoff) into the St Lucie River, causing horrific, toxic conditions in our and the Calooshatchee estuary.

Since this era, the solidarity fish have been associated with the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon “river movement,” the River Warriors, and many others. Even Martin County used the symbol to decorate their holiday tree. There are bumper stickers and T-shirts you will see just about everywhere displaying the fish, colorful on one side, and a skeleton on the other….

These fish, you see in the photos on the Capitol steps, have been hand painted by hundreds of children and concerned adults;  displayed at the Elliott Museum; on the River Warriors’ Christmas/Holiday float in the City of Stuart parade; and even last year Washington DC!

Solidarity Christmas Tree in Washington DC, 2014. (Photo borrowed from Facebook.)
Solidarity Christmas Tree in Washington DC, 2014. (Photo borrowed from Facebook.)

The fish are art in its purest form: “transformative and inspirational…”

So when Kevin Powers asked about the fish, I asked no questions. I saw an opportunity to help the District “catch a fish,” our fish, the solidity fish of the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon.

I believe, soon they will be swimming their way into some very powerful waters….. 🙂

Maggie Hurchalla with fish on pole juxtaposed to colorful and skeleton fish on steps of Capitol. All fish are individually hand painted by children, adults and artists Janeen Mason. (Photo 2-17-15, JTL)
Famed environmentalist and former Martin County Commissioner, Maggie Hurchalla, with holds fish on pole juxtaposed to colorful and skeleton fish on steps of Capitol. All fish are individually hand painted by children, adults and artists Janeen Mason. (Photo 2-17-15, Clean Water/Amd 1 Rally, JTL)
River Kidz
River Kidz surrounded by solidarity fish on steps of Florida’s Capitol. Quite a sight! (Photo 2-17-15,  JTL)
All colorful fish.....(Photo JTL.)
All colorful fish…..(Photo JTL.)


South Florida Water Management District: (http://www.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/sfwmdmain/home%20page)

The “River of Light” and John Whiticar’s Photographs, St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

Sunrise Indian River Lagoon, John Whiticar.
Sunrise, Indian River Lagoon, Jensen Beach, John Whiticar, 2012.

There are two times of day that the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon is in her glory, sunrise and sunset. At these times, the “river of light” seems both new and ancient.  With the reflection of the sky on the water all the sadness of the river’s demise and destruction seems to fade. We are inspired.

The photos I am sharing today were all taken family friend, Mr. John Whiticar, of the famous local “Whiticar Boatworks” family, (http://whiticar.com).

John’s work captures the beauty of the Indian River Region in a way that is both personal and etherial. I thank John for allowing me to share his photos. You may have seen some of them on Facebook throughout the past years. He has also taken some horrific photos of the lagoon’s destruction, but today I will focus on the beautiful.

May you have a wonderful weekend, and when that moment comes and  you see the hand of the Creator upon the waters, please say a prayer or make a wish for a better future and for the rebirth of this spectacular place.

Sunrise/Sunset photos St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon. Beautiful.(Photos by John Whiticar.)
Sunrise/Sunset photos St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon. Beautiful.(Photos by John Whiticar.)

Image 7 Image 3 Image 1 Image Mail Attachmentdaibfbed Beach Storm 4All photos by John Whiticar, SLR/IRL. Whits Wharf Sunset 08-05-14


I will be taking a blog break August 11-15th as I will be attending the Florida League of Cities Annual Conference. I am the chair of the Environmental, Energy and Natural Resources Committee for 2013/2014. (http://www.floridaleagueofcities.com)

An 1890s “Song of the Indian River Lagoon”

Song of the Indian River Lagoon, copyright 1890, G.D. Ackerly, Jacksonville, Florida
“Song of the Indian River Lagoon,” by Ada Stewart Shelton, copyrighted 1890, G.D. Ackerly, Jacksonville, Florida. (Booklet library of Sandra Henderson Thurlow.)

As we well know, the Indian River Lagoon moves people to do great things, especially lately in the face of its destruction.

Today, during holy week, I decided it is a good time to share this little booklet, “Song of the Indian River,” that was given to me by my mother, historian Sandra Thurlow. Although the booklet is not religious in nature, for me it is about “rebirth.” And I believe the people who were coming down to Florida in the late 1800s/early 1900s were looking for a kind of rebirth, along the beautiful healing waters of the Indian River Lagoon; they were leaving the cold industrialization of the north for what they dreamed was “paradise.” And it was…

Times have changed, but we are still looking for that today; the only difference is today we are also fighting for it.

The pamphlet’s author is Ada Stewart Shelton; it was composed in 1890; copyrighted by G.D. Ackerly of Jacksonville; printed by Matthews Northrup Company, Buffalo New York; and given away by northeast Passenger Agent, Chas W. Gray, 211 Washington Street, Boston to those on the train south to a new and better life…

I hope you enjoy the poetry of the historical booklet and may the “Song of the Indian River Lagoon” give you new strength to save her.