Tag Archives: Send it South

A River Kid Grows Up – Evie Flaugh

In the fall of 2011, the River Kidz were born. A grassroots youth uprising due to Lake Okeechobee discharges hurting St Lucie River wildlife and the power of social media that was in its infancy. A mixture of over one-hundred children, parents, and politicians came to the original River Kidz gathering and fundraiser at Sewall’s Point Park. A ten year old and an eleven year old had just changed the trajectory of their lives, and the river found a voice in a new generation.

Now it’s ten years later…

~Full disclosure, Evie Flaugh is my niece, the daughter of my younger sister Jenny and her husband Mike. Evie is the only child I have seen born into this world and it is heartwarming to watch her mature.

Recently, while I was Adrift on the St Johns River, Evie released her Capstone Project 2021 for Rollins College staring first and foremost the Everglades, along with interviews with Dr Leslie Poole, me, Maggy Hurchalla, Eve Samples, Mark Perry, and Nic Mader. The product is ¬†impressive and very professional. So proud of my River Kid! BTW Evie won “best” class! I’m allowed to brag; I’m her Aunt ūüôā

Evie’s fourteen minute video “Send it South” is posted below on YouTube. Please watch. Please share. Please comment. My plan is to do a series of post about our grown up River Kidz.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-cj3VsK8hk

-Evie Flaugh (11) and Naia Mader (10), September 17, 2011 co-founders of River Kidz, Sewall’s Point Park, 1st official event. Photo JTL-Evie 2021. Born and raised in Stuart, Evie co-founded¬†River Kidz with Naia Mader in 2011. She remains¬†passionate¬†about¬†activism¬†and fighting for the environment. She recently graduated from Rollins College with a degree in¬†Critical¬†Media & Cultural Studies and is currently in her first year at the Crummer Graduate School of Business, on track to receive her MBA in May 2023. ¬†The “Send It South” documentary was her senior capstone last May. (Taken from Evie’s interview on WFLM with Robert Delancy, September 30, 2021; photo Evie’s Facebook page)

Northern Everglades’ Water-“Send it South,” Everglades Coalition’s Annual Conference, SLR/IRL

The Everglades Coalition is holding their 28 Annual Conference this week in Key Largo. The theme tho shear is "Send it South."
The Everglades Coalition is holding its 30th Annual Conference this week in Key Largo. The theme this year is”Send it South.”

There are many players in the world of Everglades Restoration politics and policy; today I will briefly talk about the Everglades Coalition (http://evergladescoalition.org), not to be confused with the Everglades Foundation, (http://www.evergladesfoundation.org).

You probably already know that it is the Everglades Coalition that is holding its 30th Annual Conference this week in Key Largo, Florida.

The easiest way to think about ¬†a “coalition” is in terms of our very own Rivers Coalition. The Rivers Coalition, (http://riverscoalition.org),¬†like the Everglades Coalition, is a membership of organizations as opposed to individuals. 501c3 (tax exempt organizations) vary depending on how they are set up, nonetheless, a “coalition” is generally an alliance of like-minded organizations, whereas a “foundation” usually has individuals serving on a board focusing on raising money.¬†

Organizations represent sometimes hundreds of people under one umbrella, so coalitions are very strong.

The Everglades Coalition, has been around since 1985, as is a major player in setting the direction of Everglades restoration; according to their website:

The Everglades Coalition is ¬†an alliance of more than 50 local, state and national conservation and environmental organizations dedicated to full restoration of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem, from the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes into Lake Okeechobee, through the “River of Grass,” out to Florida Bay and the Keys.

So how does the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon play into this?

Well, we are the “Northern Everglades,” (http://www.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/xweb%20protecting%20and%20restoring/other%20everglades).

Northern Everglades
Northern Everglades, SFWMD map.

And of course, as well all know, historically, our water flowed south creating the “Everglades” until in early 1900s, when agricultural and development interests, through the help of the state and federal governments, drained the lands south and around ¬†Lake Okeechobee by building the St Lucie Canal and finishing the already started Caloosahatchee Canal as well as many others. It was a different¬†world then. People did not think in terms or realize they were linked to their environment. It was a brutal world–one of “man over nature.” We cannot blame them, they were just trying to survive and build our county, nonetheless, those days are over, we must change our world, as today we have a different world view.

When that water was cut off, ¬†and it must be noted it really has been cut off more every year since the early 1900s, the Everglades and all its plenty, its gifts started dying…this includes water supply for South Florida and the weight¬†of fresh water to combat sea level rise in today’s world.

On a positive note, isn’t it wonderful that the Everglades Coalition entitled their conference SEND IT SOUTH!

Thank you for this.

And yes, it is time! 100 years of destruction has had its day. With the strength of the coalition in 2015, this message, SEND IT SOUTH, once again will be heard loud and clear in Tallahassee and around the state and world. Just in time for the legislative committee meetings going on in Tallahassee this week!

—-River Warriors and all river advocates, thank you, as I believe it was you, with your thousands that has inspired the theme of this conference.

I’ve read that TC Palm will be reporting, and independently I will be blogging starting Thursday from Key Largo. Maybe I’ll get to see you there?

Whether you are there are not, you will be there in spirit.

We are making progress!

So for fun, go outside and shout loud and clear:

SEND IT SOUTH!

And when you scream it, know, that you are finally being heard.

_____________________________________

EC’s link to conference program: (http://evergladescoalition.org/EVCO%202015%20Program-2.pdf)