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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Contaminated Waters Plague the Treasure Coast (Video)

Alisha McDarris

Protesters stretch from Stuart to Jensen Beach at the August 11th rally


Save the St. Lucie River and Martin County Wildlife: Part 2

Rally on beaches from Stuart to Jensen

According to the rally’s head organizer, Evan Miller, over 10,000 people joined arms at the August 11th rally to form a 3 1/2 mile human chain from Stuart to Jensen beach in protest against the Lake Okeechobee discharges that are killing local marine life and rendering the local waterways unusable for any kind of recreation. Local businesses that are dependent on the rivers are struggling to survive the crisis. While there’s no guarantee that the government will pay up, many local businesses are submitting a claim for lost wages against the Army Corps of Engineers, who are responsible for controlling the locks that allow the polluted water into the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon. The disaster, although on a smaller scale, is said to be on par with major oil spills of the past.


Planning a trip to Florida’s Treasure Coast? Don’t expect to spend too much time in the water. Check out this video to find out why.

Save the St. Lucie River. Stop the Discharges.

Protesters create elaborate signs for the event

It was reported by local fire and rescue crews that over 5,000 people showed up to protest the Lake Okeechobee discharges at the August 3rd rally at Phipps Park in Stuart, Florida, where the locks are located. The locks pour billions of gallons of contaminated freshwater into the St. Lucie estuary every time they are open. The contaminants include farm runoff (fertilizers and pesticides) and fecal matter. The contaminants have also caused toxic blue-green algae blooms to form in the brackish water, which are extremely harmful to marine life and humans alike. Plants, fish, marine mammals and oyster reefs are all dying because of these toxic waters. People have been warned not to come into contact with the water because of the serious bacterial infections that can occur. It is of vital importance that the Lake Okeechobee discharges be stopped in order to save the St. Lucie River and it’s surrounding waters.

You can help

If you are registered in the state of Florida, you can help by signing the below petitions.

Anyone can help by donating here:

Alisha McDarris / Author & Editor

Alisha is a freelance writer and photographer based in Austin, TX. She loves her tiny house, vegan food and experiencing the community of travel in far away places. She’s also pretty sure she’s addicted to coffee. [Portfolio]


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