In my last Commissioners Corner, I spoke about the peril of our Indian River Lagoon. I wrote that prior to the fish kill. Since then, we have taken actions on several fronts.
- The community came together during and after the fish kill. Spearheaded by a few local residents that have a true passion for our waterways and environment. (Capt. Alex Gorichky, Tim Chastain and Tony Sasso) There were many others, just too numerous to mention. Thank you ALL!
- Space Coast League of Cities (SCLC) along with Florida League of Cities (FLC) and with the direction, insight and experience of Dr. Duane DeFreese, has created an Indian River Lagoon (IRL) Compact. This Compact has since been signed by many groups across the IRL District. (SCLC, Treasure Coast League of Cities, Brevard County, Indian River County…etc.) The theme of the compact is “One Lagoon – One Community – One Voice”, with the idea of having that one loud voice when speaking to the State of Florida or the Federal government for grants. Additionally this compact will consolidate the efforts of all of our communities in restoring the IRL, with respect to dredging, storm-water mitigation, abandoned or broken septic tanks and educating the public on environmentally friendly practices.
- The City of Cocoa Beach is in the process of developing a Sustainability committee to focus on environmental issues concerning Cocoa Beach and the surrounding communities. Satellite Beach already has this committee, hopefully all other municipalities will create one.
- With grants from the State and Brevard County totaling over $600k, Cocoa Beach will continue their dredging program into 2017 and beyond.
- SCLC held an IRL Summit that gathered municipalities, State Reps, Senators and many others concerned about the IRL’s livelihood. The biggest conclusion of this summit was the need of a long term plan that could be financially sustained. We have had plans in the past and they didn’t succeed because there wasn’t enough money or follow-through.
What we are seeing here with the IRL isn’t new. I have seen and read articles from newspapers written 20+ years ago depicting the same messages we read today. (Algae blooms, septic tanks, storm-water runoff…etc.)
Shame on me and shame on us all, if we are reading those same articles 20 years from now!