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Kudos to the Young People! Pollution in the St Lucie Estuary

Cover of video by Geoffrey Smith Jr. See link or image below to access video. Link to video: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLURypmsHOE&sns=tw) The most rewarding part of my St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon journey is working with young people. Today I share a video created by Geoffrey Smith Jr., a graduating senior at the Pine School in Hobe Sound. Many of you may have viewed this video on Facebook as it has been a big hit and already has over 500 views, but in case you are not the “Facebook type, “today,  I am sharing it through my blog. The video production is part of Geoffrey’s Capstone Project for graduation. I commend Geoffrey for his interest on the topic of water and pollution issues in Florida. His video required many hours and includes interviews those below.  I especially was impressed that Geoffrey interviewed Mr. Sonny Stein, president of Stein Sugar Farms, and multi-generational farmer in the Everglades Agricultural Area. Both sides must always be represented at the table of judgment… As you will see, Geoffrey also had a chance to interview Michael Grunwald, author of  “The Swamp.” I know my part chosen for the video is very hard on the agriculture industry…as you’ll hear later, I am doing my best to clean up my own yard… How does the saying go? “Shine the light, and the people will find their way…. “Thank you Geoffrey for shining the light, may we all find our way, good luck with graduation this week, and we all look forward to seeing more of your work in the future!

Nat Osbourn
Nathaniel  Osborn author of “Oranges and Inlets, An Environmental History of the Indian River Lagoon”
Mark Perry
Mark Perry, Executive Director of Florida Oceanographic
Sonny Stein
Sonny Stein, long time sugar family farmer
Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch
Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch, commissioner, Town of Sewall’s Point, Martin County
Marty Baum
Marty Baum, Indian Riverkeeper
Nic Mader
Nic Mader, Dolphin Ecology Project
Michael Grunwald
Michael Grunwald, author of “The Swamp”
Me and Geoffrey Smith
Geoffrey Smith and I at Town Hall during interview. Geoffrey is a senior at the Pine School.
Roseate Spoonbill...
Roseate Spoonbill…according to Florida Audubon, since the early 1900s, the bird population of Florida’s Everglades is down 95% due to the over-drainage of South Florida and the agriculture and development of the state.

The Pine School: (http://www.thepineschool.org) About Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch: headshot-jtl-2013 Although born at Travis Air Base, California, Jacqui considers herself a native of Stuart, Florida, having moved there at eight months old. Her father’s family, originally from Syracuse, New York, has lived in Stuart since 1952. Her mother is a 5th generation Floridian from Gainesville. Jacqui is a Daughter of the American Revolution. Jacqui is journalism graduate of the University of Florida, and an education master’s graduate of the University of West Florida. She went on to teach English and German and later after a serious accident of breaking her neck, started selling real estate. Later, she ran for public office having served on the Town of Sewall’s Point Commission since 2008, and is former mayor. During this time she saw the opportunity to help showcase the work of a locally formed river group, the River Kidz, and this has been her passion ever. She incorporates youth/river education  into her political work for the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon. Jacqui is the treasurer/secretary of the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council; has chaired the Florida League of Cities Environmental and Energy Committee; was chair, and a six year member of the Treasure Coast Council of Local Governments; is an alternate for the Water Resources Advisory Commission for the South Florida Water Management District; and is a board member for Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Foundation, in St Lucie County.  She also serves as a board member (ex-officio) for the Rivers Coalition Defense Fund, and is head administrator for her beloved River Kidz, now a division of the Rivers Coalition. Jacqui’s reach involves not only local, but state and federal government. In 2013,  she served on Senator Joe Negron’s panel for the Select Senate Hearing on the Indian River Lagoon and Lake Okeechobee. In 2014, she actively supported the elections of both Senator Joe Negron and Congressman Patrick Murphy who have both been strong supporters of  Indian River Lagoon issues. In 2015, she is part of the Florida League Cities Treasure Coast Advocacy team to influence and educate Tallahassee. Jacqui received the Everglades Coalition’s 2015 “John V. Kabler Award” for “Grassroots Activism” working to organize and educate the public, generating grassroots support for Everglades restoration. – See more at: (http://evergladescoalition.org/awards-kabler.html#sthash.lt7eGpIp.dpuf)

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