Tag Archives: Water Wars

Mapping Out The Future of Water, SLR/IRL


Office of Senator Joe Negron
Dover Archives WWII

If we are trying to go somewhere; if we are trying to achieve a goal; if we are tying to win a war; maps are critical for success. They give direction. They give confidence. They provide vision…

The map above is the proposed land purchase of Senator Joe Negron, and before we dive into this map we need to consider the map of the Florida Senate, how its representation will change November 8th, and why this is important to us along the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon.

Last year the Senate maps were redistricted due to a law suit, but its effect will play even more out “now.”

According to TC Palm reporter, Isabella Rangel, the redistricting resulted in two things:

  1. new boundaries for state Senate districts that required all 40 seats be on the ballot in 2016; and the renumbering of those districts that determined the fate of many senators.
  2. People elected in odd-numbered districts will have a four-year term. Those in even-numbered districts will have a two-year term, followed by a four-year term if they haven’t reached their term limit.

What a shift! Every seat is up for reelection and the districts and timing has changed…And who is going to be keeping hold of the reigns on this wild stallion should he win his district?

President Elect Senator Joe Negron of course…

For us, advocates for the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon, we must think beyond ourselves. When maps change, power shifts. We should be watching this statewide election very closely. Look at the maps now and think of who you know in any of the districts ….because it will take more than Joe Negron to win this war. It will take all of us.

IMG_5473 2.jpg
Former Senate districts,  2016
Portion of new Florida Senate map. Martin County has changed to District 25 rather than 32 and 21.

Link New Florida Senate Districts, for 2017: https://www.flsenate.gov/usercontent/session/redistricting/map_and_stats_11x17v5_2012-CA-2842.pdf

Orlando Sentinel: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/os-ed-negron-water-plans-paula-dockery-082516-20160825-story.html


The “Vertex of Lake Okeechobee” and It’s Effect on the Indian River Lagoon

Five county property lines within Lake Okeechobee
There are five county property lines within Lake Okeechobee;  the vertex is where all lines meet-Glades, Henry, Palm Beach, Martin and Okeechobee.

My parents live in Indianlucie, in Sewall’s Point. Since I was a kid there has has been a sign in the back yard that says “Dade County.”

In the late 1800s what we know today as “Martin County” was Dade, later becoming Palm Beach and  finally, piecing together northern Palm Beach and southern St Lucie,  in 1925,  Martin County.

Palm Beach County had always had more power, and they still do. In the early 1920s the people living in northern Palm Beach County got tired of being shortchanged on services  and convinced Governor Martin to support a county named for him, and Martin County was born.

In spite of the name, Lake Okeechobee of course alway bordered the county east of it, and Palm Beach had “always” used the land of the lake to maximize the state distribution of highway funds.

That was until state representative of Martin County, William Ralph Scott of Stuart, initiated a bill to divide the lake among its adjacent counties, “creating a more equitable distribution of state funds for road creation and maintenance so that the lake was shared with all five counties along its boarders,” and thus the property lines of the lake were changed in 1963. (see MicroSoft map above.)

William Scott

It’s no surprise that all bordering counties confirmed the “justice” of this change and supported its ratification, with the exception of Palm Beach County!

As we continue fight over water in the future, it will be interesting to see if Representative Scott’s vertex can help the Indian River Lagoon and St Lucie River with an ironic new vortex, whose lines are coming together, named the “Water Wars…”