Tag Archives: Jupiter Island

Adrift’s Indian River Lagoon Water Report, June-July 2019

July 5, 2019

Hi. I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July! Wasn’t it exceptional? Exceptional because the St Lucie/IRL’s water wasn’t toxic like so many times in recent years. So nice to be able to enjoy our waterways. No dumping of Lake O. I am grateful!

Today I am a back with an Indian River Lagoon Report for the entire Indian River Lagoon.

During my husband, Ed, and my recent 156 miles trip up the IRL, aboard ADRIFT, I contacted Duane DeFreese Ph.D., Executive Director for the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program. I called Duane because I knew why the southern lagoon looked better but was impressed by how good the water in the central and northern lagoon looked as well. No brown tide. No superbloom.

Since am unfamiliar with the waters north of the Treasure Coast, except by books, I wanted a scientific update. Well, boy, did I get it! See Dr. Duane’s comments below. Also included is the invaluable, recent St John’s Water Management District’s “June 20th Indian River Lagoon Conditions Update.”

For visual input as well, I am inserting some of Ed and my photos, with comments, of our incredible journey along what is still considered to be one of the world’s most biodiverse estuaries. What a treasure! From north to south, we must do all we can to ensure a toxic-free future.

Keep up the fight!

Jacqui

IRL map: Researchgate
Ed and JTL start of the trip on “Adrift.”
Location: Jupiter Island near the Jupiter Inlet, as almost always the water here is like the Bahamas, looking great! Near the border of Martin and Palm Beach Counties.
Near Jupiter Inlet, border of Martin and Palm Beach Counties. Wow!

JTL:

Duane, hi. Hope you are having a great summer. At this time, are there algae blooms reported in the IRL near Melbourne, the N. IRL north of Titusville, or anywhere in the Mosquito Lagoon? Thank you for letting me know. Jacqui TL

Duane DeFreese, Ph.D. Exec. Dir National IRL Estuary Program, http://www.irlcouncil.com

Conditions being reported to me by the local guides are consistent with the report and my own observations. Overall water quality looks pretty good, but small, patchy areas of poor water quality continue. The fishing guides tell me one day it looks great and a day later the same area will have color and turbidity (probably patchy bloom conditions). My personal observation is that we have been lucky so far and the system is vulnerable. I would not be surprised to see blooms intensify as we move deeper into summer and the rainy season. Lagoon water temperatures are also really warm. the SJRWMD Report documents that we have had patchy blooms occurring of multiple species. Two confirmed species of concern are Pseudo-nitzschia, a marine diatom and Pyrodinium bahamensis, a dinoflagellate. The worst water conditions continue to be in Banana River and in Sykes Creek. There are boater reports of patchy poor water quality in some areas of the northern IRL. The third species of significant recent concern has been Brown tide (Aureoumbra lagunendis). It was in almost in continuous bloom for most of last year in the Banana River. Bloom conditions have subsided. Aureoumbra thrives in warm, high salinity environments. It is not known to be toxic. Blooms of pseudo nitzschia, a marine diatom, can produce a neurotoxin called domoic acid. Blooms of Pyrodinium can produce saxitoxin. I expect that we will see patchy and flashy bloom conditions of multiple species throughout the summer. If we get lucky, I hope none of these blooms get intense enough to elevate toxin levels, low DO levels and fish kills. I’m very concerned about the slow recovery of seagrasses, even in areas of good water quality. Feel free to call me anytime.  Have a great 4th July!

Indian River Lagoon Conditions Update June 20

JTL:

Dear Duane, thank you so very much for the super informative reply! I wrote because my husband and I are taking our maiden voyage in a trawler. We have gone from Stuart to Jupiter to Vero to Cocoa, north as far as possible in IRL, past Titusville, and today-through the Haul-over Canal into the Mosquito Lagoon. Not being familiar with these waters, all I have seen visually appears quite good compared to the St Lucie and even parts of the S. IRL. Some varying coloration is apparent, but overall seems good and in the north, many baitfish balls are shimmering under the surface and dolphin families are gorging themselves and teaching their young! We have seen many dolphins everywhere. Throughout Indin River County, Ospreys nesting in channel markers. One after the other!  In the Mosquito Lagoon there were many more wading birds than S IRL. Even saw a few roseate spoonbills. I was not expecting it to be so full of life up here… a nice surprise. Not off the chart healthy, but marine and bird life very visible! I really appreciate the info you sent. I plan to blog on trip once home, so I can quote your knowledge. Happy 4th of July to you as well and I hope to see you soon.

 

The confluence of the St Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon off S. Sewall’s Point, Bird Island. Near Stuart, Martin County.
Sewall’s Point and Stuart, Martin County.
Beautiful blue water near the Ft Pierce Inlet, St Lucie County. Ft Pierce rocks!
Waters of Vero Beach, Indian River County.
Old map showing the designated area of famous INDIAN RIVER LAGOON CITRUS. Citrus Museum, Vero Beach, FL
1920 Blue Heron Map shows clearly the area of the Everglades, Heritage Center and Citrus Museum, Vero.
Street sign in Vero Beach, as everywhere ALL canals lead to Lagoon! No trash, fertilizer, pesticides, etc!
Sebastian Inlet, Indian River County, brings blue waters to the area. So pretty!
Approaching Cocoa Village, north of Melbourne in Brevard County.
Waters nearing Cocoa Village in Brevard County
Ed and I visited the Kennedy Space Center along the Indian River Lagoon and Banana River. Surrounded by the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. Space & Nature. https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Merritt_Island/visit/plan_your_visit.html Such an inspiration!
3-D movie at Kennedy Space Center really took us to the moon, Mars, and beyond!
The ominous Vehicle Assemble Building, NASA, so large it is visible no matter where one is are along the central and northern IRL. It’s like it is following you!
Eau Gallie, Melbourne. The Eau Gallie River, or Turkey Creek,  is a small version of the St Lucie and also impaired due to runoff from agriculture and development.
Like a sentinel, the Vehicle Assembly Building as seen over the Indian River Lagoon north of Titusville.

Baitfish!

Waters approaching Titusville, Brevard County.
Train track bridge north of Titusville, Brevard County.
Train track bridge north of Titusville, Brevard County. Shortly beyond channel turns right through the Haulover Canal and into the Mosquito Lagoon.

Ed navigates through the Haulover Canal, connecting the northern IRL with the Mosquito Lagoon.
Water in the Haulover Canal was greenish.
Entering the stunningly beautiful, peaceful, undeveloped Mosquito Lagoon. This area is flanked by the Scottsmoor Flatwoods Sanctuary and Canaveral National Seashore. Wildlife abounds.

360 of the unforgettable Mosquito Lagoon:

Flora and fauna along shoreline, Mosquito Lagoon
Anhinga twins, Mosquito Lagoon

Incredible footage of 4 dolphins in our wake near Ft Pierce welcoming us home!

ADRIFT is a 2007 Mainship 400 trawler, top speed about 8 knots 🙂

“Jupiter Island is Show Place of Martin County,” 1937 Stuart Daily News

1937 Stuart Daily News, courtesy of Mr Knight A. Kiplinger.

Today we explore page three of the historic 1937 Stuart Daily News special edition for the opening of the Stuart to Ft. Meyers Cross-State Canal. Page three shows the first aerial photographs of Mr Lowell Hill featuring celebrated Jupiter Island.

“Jupiter Island is Show Place of Martin County. On the left the Intercostal Waterway between St. Lucie Inlet and Palm Beach pass through Beautiful Hobe Sound with Jupiter Island in the foreground. Hobe Sound Yacht Club has excellent dockage and fine fresh water. “

When I first saw this photograph, it struck me that I did not recognize the area with exposed white sand on the east side of the island. I wondered if that was a remnant fan-like formation from an ancient inlet. Then it struck me that perhaps it was fill dredged from the Indian River lagoon for the golf course – or a combination of both.

I went back and checked my brother Todd’s, Time Capsule Flights, and indeed, seeing the 1800s maps, I do believe it is fill. This is most obvious about 3:24 into the video. Many of our areas marinas and subdivisions are products of dredge and fill that was outlawed in the late 1960s and early 1970s because of its serious environmental ramifications. Ironically, in Florida, dredge and fill as a tool of development was stopped with the help of Jupiter Island’s famed environmentalist Nathaniel Reed whose family developed Jupiter Island. Reed  was working for Florida’s first Republican governor since Reconstruction,  Claude Kirk –  during the 1960s era. (http://nathanielpreed.blogspot.com)

Todd’s Time Capsule Flight Inlets/Stuart/Jupiter Video:(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhYQz4P1ELM&t=0s&list=PLDaNwdmfhj15bmGNQaGhog9QpkQPAXl06&index=2)

Google Earth image 2018 showing Jupiter Island Golf Course

“This view from the ocean side shows the Island Beach Club Inn and a portion of the Jupiter Island golf Course. Jupiter Island Rivals Palm Beach in beauty of its Tropical Setting and Estates.”

Today we all know, Jupiter Island is not only one of Martin County’s, but one of our nation’s “best of show!” (http://townofjupiterisland.com)

To be continued….

Jacqui

Official Seals of Martin County and Stuart, Both Sailfish–where’s the River? SLR/IRL

Martin County seal.
Official seal of Martin County, sailfish and sun.

Official seals are as ancient as Mesopotamia. Whether ancient or modern, seals symbolize what is important to us and  how we see ourselves. Throughout history, seals are often recreated to represent new perceptions and values. All seals, of every era, hold great historic importance. Let’s take a look at the seals of Martin County, Florida, and its surrounding municipalities.

Recently my mother, historian Sandra Henderson Thurlow, gave a presentation at Indian River State College. I was intrigued by the early seal of Stuart and its changes throughout the years.

I was also struck that the St Lucie River, the original reason people moved to our area, was removed in favor of the sailfish and ocean sometime in the 1970s or 80s. I was also struck that the Railroad was so prominent, and today we are fighting it. —-Today the prominent symbol is a sailfish. A sailfish is certainly a wonderful and attractive symbol, however, it seems repetitive in that both Martin County and the City of Stuart use the sailfish.  View both seals below.

Martin County sailfish.
Martin County sailfish.
City of Stuart sailfish.
City of Stuart sailfish.

Let’ s reflect. Stuart became the sailfish capital of the world in the 1930s and 40s, very cool,  but Stuart was originally named “Stuart on the St Lucie ” for the river….Stuart became a city if 1914; Martin became a county in 1925.

In any case, how much do we promote sports fishing since it is the symbol of both the city and the county? The sports fishing industry a huge money-maker and is directly related to the health of the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon. If the river is sick, and the polluted canal plume waters from C-23, C-24, C-25, C-44 and Lake Okeechobee are belching off our inlet, it is more difficult for the sailfish to have a successful spawning season.

Why isn’t the river at all represented anymore?

It’s all tied together— the river and the inlet ocean area…partially due to the degradation of our waterways we are really no longer truly the “Sailfish Capital of the World.” How can we become the sailfish capital of the world again?

How can we honor our sailfish history and have an eye for a better water future? Is it time for updated seals? Should Stuart and Marin County both be sailfish? What do you think? I  suppose the most important questions are: “What is most important to us today, and what do we really stand for?”

Stuart City seal 1914 with East Coast Railroad Bridge over the St Lucie and docks. (Image shared by Sandra Henderson Thurlow.)
Stuart City seal 1914 with East Coast Railroad Bridge over the St Lucie River and docks. No auto bridge. Image shared by Sandra Henderson Thurlow.
City of Stuart seal showed the railroad and an auto bridge in 1978. Seal taken from city stationary. Courtesy of Sandra Henderson Thurlow.
City of Stuart seal showed the railroad and an auto bridge over the St Lucie River in 1978. Seal taken from city stationary. Courtesy of Sandra Henderson Thurlow.
City of Stuart seal changed to sailfish sometime after 1978. (SHT)
City of Stuart seal changed to sailfish sometime after 1978. (Sandra Henderson Thurlow)

Here are some other seals of Martin County’s incorporated cities and towns:

Town of Jupiter Island, palm tree and wavy waters.
Town of Jupiter Island, palm tree and wavy waters, 2015.
Town of Sewall's Point seal brown pelican and satin leaf, 2015.
Town of Sewall’s Point seal brown pelican and satin leaf plant unique to its hammock, 2015.
The Town of Ocean Breeze does not appear to have an official seal but this image is displayed often, 2015.
The Town of Ocean Breeze does not appear to have an official seal that I could find, but this image is displayed often, 2015.

 

 

Seals, Emblems, History: (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seal_(emblem))

Old Photos, Jupiter Island’s Shoreline/Peck Lake’s 1960s Inlet Along the Indian River Lagoon

Local kids, Jupiter Island, ca. 1968
(ca.1971) Local Stuart kids swimming on Jupiter Island beaches, near Peck’s Lake. Pictured: (Jenny Thurlow, Mark Postsdam, Lynda Nelson, Jacqui Thurlow, Eric Potsdam, and Chris Williams. (Thurlow Family album)

My post yesterday about erosion at Bathtub Beach brought a lot of discussion and questions about when the inlet at Peck’s Lake broke through to the Indian River Lagoon as well as beach erosion in general.

Later in the day, my mother sent me some old Whiticar family photos of the Aurthur Ruhnke family. Her friend, John Whiticar, had shared these photos awhile back. I had seen them before as well, and in light of the erosion situation, I thought I would share them today. I often share the gorgeous IRL photography of Mr John Whiticar of the famous Whiticar Boatworks family (http://whiticar.com). John’s photos of the Ruhnke family’s photographs are outstanding and quite beautiful, especially in the black and white of the 1960s.

So whether looking at my own family photo on the beach in 1971 above, or the Whiticar/Ruhnke photos of the same era, one thing is for sure: the shorelines and tree lines may change, and the shifting tides of time may change as well; but one thing is constant: people, especially kids, love the beaches and shorelines of our Atlantic Ocean and St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon area….Enjoy!

Peck's Lake breakthrough inlet, early 1960s. (Photo Whiticar Family)
Peck’s Lake breakthrough inlet at Jupiter Island, early 1960s. (Photo Whiticar/Ruhnke.)
Wash through, Peck's Lake, ca. early 1960s. (Whiticar)
Wash through, Peck’s Lake, Jupiter Island, ca. early 1960s. (Whiticar/Ruhnke)
Another angle of Peck's Lake inlet, ca. early 1960s. (Whiticar)
Another angle of Peck’s Lake inlet at Jupiter Island, ca. early 1960s. (Whiticar/Ruhnke.)
News clip regarding Peck's Lake Inlet contract dated June 6th, with no year. (Whiticar, ca. early 1960s)
News clip regarding Peck’s Lake Inlet contract date to be closed,  “June 6th,” with no year. (Whiticar, ca. early 1960s)
Aerial of Peck's Lake area with new inlet. (Whiticar, ca 1960s)
Aerial of Peck’s Lake area with new inlet. (Whiticar/Ruhnke, ca. 1960s)
Boaters in the area of Peck's Lake, (Whiticar, ca. 1960s)
Driftwood, old trees, and “forest” of perhaps Australian Pines/erosion in the area of Peck’s Lake’s beaches, Jupiter Island. (Whiticar/Ruhnke, ca 1960s)
Boaters.... (Whiticar, ca. 1960s)
Boaters,  Peck’s Lake area…. (Whiticar/Ruhnke ca. 1960s)
Old tree... (Whiticar, ca. 1960s)
Huge old tree..perhaps a black mangrove/erosion. (Whiticar/Ruhnke ca. 1960s)
Old tree. (Whiticar, Ca. 1960s)
Ancient looking tree and beautiful lady… (Whiticar/Ruhnke ca. 1960s)
Shoreline...(Whiticar, ca. 1960s)
Shoreline…(Whiticar/Ruhnke ca. 1960s)
Old trees...(Whiticar ca. 1960)
Old trees…(Whiticar/Ruhnke ca. 1960)
Old tree....(Whiticar ca. 1960s)
Old tree….(Whiticar/Ruhnke ca. 1960s)
Thank you to John Whiticar for allowing me to use his family photos. If you regularly read my blog, you may have seen many of the beautiful sunrise and sunset photos I have shared of John's. He is a true artist and captures the beauty of our area.
Thank you to John Whiticar for allowing me to use his family’s Art . Ruhnke  photos. The Ruhnke’s had a photo shop in Stuart’s early days.

 

__________________________________

Yesterday’s blog on erosion at Bathtub Beach, 12-11-14: (https://jacquithurlowlippisch.com/2014/12/11/looking-at-our-barrier-islands-through-new-eyes-srlindian-river-lagoon/)

Interesting site on Florida Beach Erosion and stats/”State of the Beach:” (http://www.beachapedia.org/State_of_the_Beach/State_Reports/FL/Beach_Erosion)

 

Aerials, “Never Forget the Lost Summer” St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

On September the releases were at their worst.
 Aerial photos of releases at St Lucie Inlet, Sewall’s Point and Jupiter Island at the height of releases from Lake Okeechobee. Area canals were also releasing at this time.  This era became known as the “Lost Summer, as waters were toxic for almost three months and visibly disgusting the two months before. The releases themselves began May 8th and stopped October 21, 2013. (Photos taken in August/September by Jacqui Thurlow-Lippsich and Ed Lippisch )

These shocking photos taken last summer have helped to keep up the pressure on Martin and St Lucie’s counties legislative delegation and others in both Tallahassee and Washington DC for change along water bodies releasing into the St Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon and future hope for future water storage and a flow way south.

Also, the Stuart News and Scripps Newspapers continues to post lagoon article almost every day. The business community, students, and retired, everyday people are still up in arms.

There are  both short and long term goals to save the Indian River Lagoon and St Lucie River, but the public’s collective memory is the greatest hope for a better future as we advocate, partake, and lobby for clean water.

As you go out this weekend and Spring Break begins for our area young people, recall last year’s late spring, summer and fall when the public  could not go out or into  our area waters.

And when you have a chance, call your local, state and federal officials and nicely ask: “How’s it coming with those  water issues,  and when are you up for reelection?”

IMG_8250 IMG_8254 IMG_8256 IMG_8259 IMG_8274IMG_3351 IMG_3361 IMG_7312 IMG_7314 IMG_7421 IMG_7435

Beach Re-nourishment vs. Mother Nature

Homes and Condos at Sailfish Point compromised by beach erosion-with newly constructed seawall, 2-12-14
Homes and Condos at Sailfish Point compromised by beach erosion-with newly constructed seawall and birm, 2-22-14.   (Photo JTL)

The trucks come in about once a year and dump millions of dollars worth of tax payer sand on Martin County beaches and other’s throughout our state. Then winter’s storms arrive and wash it back into the ocean, covering and damaging our nearshore reefs. But at least the turtles have a place to lay their eggs…?

Erosion is a natural part of all coastal barrier islands, in fact, time lapse photography would show these islands moving, like giant sea slugs, changing shape, due to  erosion and accretion, over time.

However, it is mostly the man made inlets that change the erosion pattern along our beaches and cause the issues we have today. http://martincountycoastal.org/program_projects.html 

Before modern man settled this area, inlets along the Indian River Lagoon came and went with the whims of Mother Nature. Looking at old maps, one sees documentation of changing  natural inlets over time. Jupiter and Indian River Inlet north of  Ft Pierce were the only long standing opening to the sea in our area most recently. Over thousands of years, others came and went, all along the lagoon. Peck’s Lake in Martin County broke through as recently as 1960 and was quickly “closed…” 

In 1892 in today’s Martin County, then Dade, Captain Henry Sewall’s inspired local men to dig a permanent inlet, by hand. My historian mother has  told me stories of other inlet attempts as well. According to her, one time, the men fell asleep after the exhausting dig, only to awake and find the tide coming in, filling in their work! One local’s pet raccoon was tied to a tree and taken away by the strong waters. Even today, Mother Nature want’s to fill back in the St Lucie Inlet, but we continue to resist her.

Very interesting is that “old maps” also show Jupiter Island on equal “terms” with Sailfish Point. But today Jupiter Island is much “further back” as she has eroded over time and been slowly swept into the sea. This remains an problem of enormous proportions today that is on the verge of law suit. Last year, the Army Corp of Engineers informed Martin County they wish to take the lovely textured, offshore sands of Stuart, to re-nourish,  Dade and Broward Counties beaches. Unbelievable…

The inlets give us access to the ocean, they raise the value of our property, they were and could be again national defense.  Most timely for today, in the case of the St Lucie Inlet,  it allows the putrid waters slugging forth during rainy season from C-23; C-24 ; C-44; and worst of all from Lake Okeechobee, to go to sea.

There are those who believe we should let the inlet close up;  and there are many who believe we should fill in the canals; there are those who believe the inlet is what defines Martin County and we should do everything to keep her open. Hmm…

One thing for sure, fighting Mother Nature is a full time job.