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Anchoring Limitation Area, Indian River Shores Septic Conversion Deadline, and more!

May 11, 2024 Weekly Newsletter


Protecting the Indian River Lagoon:

Understanding the Proposed Anchoring Limitation Area


Part of the City of Vero Beach proposed Anchoring Limitation Area near Riverside Park and Veteran’s Memorial Island in the south and the Marina in the north.


Indian River County is considering a new Anchoring Limitation Area (ALA). This important initiative aims to protect the Indian River Lagoon ecosystem while still welcoming responsible boaters. The Clean Water Coalition has been a driving force behind these changes, advocating for the health of our waterways. Groups like the IRNA strongly support the ALA. We recognize that responsible boating practices are essential for preserving the lagoon for generations to come.

 

What is it exactly?

While boating is a beloved pastime, long-term anchoring can harm seagrass beds, vital habitats for fish and marine life. It can also contribute to pollution and overcrowding. The ALAs, made possible by a Florida law, limit how long boats can anchor in specific areas – a maximum of 45 consecutive days within a six-month period. This helps minimize damage and promotes a more sustainable approach to enjoying our waters.


Where is this proposed to be?


ALAs are proposed in popular boating areas near Sebastian, Indian River Shores, and Vero Beach. These areas will be clearly marked with signs and buoys, so boaters are aware of the rules. The ALAs are strategically placed (as you can see from the maps) in areas where homes have docks and where there is heavier boat traffic. Importantly, these ALAs cover less than ten percent of the county's total navigable waters, ensuring ample space for boating activities.


A Model for Others

 

Indian River County and the aforementioned municipalities are setting a positive example for coastal communities. The ALAs strike a balance – boaters can still explore and enjoy the beautiful lagoon, but with measures in place to protect its precious ecosystem. This forward-thinking approach safeguards our waterways, ensuring their health and beauty for the future.


We'll keep you updated on the progress of this initiative.


City of Sebastian proposed Anchoring Limitation Area along the city's coast.


 

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Your contributions to the Indian River Neighborhood Association (IRNA) directly support our mission to ensure clean and sufficient potable water and maintain healthy waterways in Indian River County. Every donation helps us educate, advocate, and collaborate towards a more sustainable future for our community.



 

Indian River Shores Taking a Step Towards a Greener Future


The Town of Indian River Shores could soon be taking a commendable environmental step by setting a July 1, 2030 deadline for all properties in the town to connect to the central sewer system. This proactive decision marks a significant step towards improving the health of our local ecosystems and demonstrates the community's commitment to our environment. This initiative aligns with the City of Vero Beach's 2028 septic conversion deadline, showcasing a regional effort to reduce the impact of septic systems on our waterways.


We encourage residents to express their support to the Town Council in this important endeavor that benefits our water and lagoon. It will have it's first reading next week, at their Monday at 10 AM Council Meeting. Please note the date change, as their meetings are usually on Thursday. It is on the agenda as Ordinance No. 570: Comprehensive Plan Change. More information on this item is available here.


Well done, Indian River Shores!


 

County wants citizens’ input on possible westward expansion (Vero News) - County officials are seeking citizen input on the potential westward expansion of the Urban Service Boundary, a decision surrounded by questions about the ownership of the land and its potential increase in value.


Keep Vero Beach, Sebastian area beauty, agriculture heritage: Preserve urban services area (Opinion, TCPalm) - To preserve Indian River County's beauty, agricultural heritage, and unique character, the County Commission should reject proposals to expand the urban services boundaries.


Clearpath’s Three Corners vision takes a clear lead (Vero News) - Clearpath Services' $504 million proposal emerged as the frontrunner for Vero Beach's waterfront destination project, winning over the selection committee with its ambitious plan and potential to create a unique and exciting experience.


City Council should trust Three Corners committee (Opinion, Vero News) - The City Council should trust the Three Corners Evaluation Committee's expertise and judgment in selecting the best development proposal, as the committee possesses the necessary qualifications and has already demonstrated its competence.


Rezoning of island agricultural parcel paves the way for more new residences (Vero News) - A 19.6-acre former citrus grove on the barrier island was rezoned to accommodate a new residential development with up to three single-family homes per acre.


Sargassum plumes return to the Treasure Coast (WPBF) - Sargassum seaweed has returned to Treasure Coast beaches, causing an unpleasant sight and smell for beachgoers.


Memorial Day observance hosted by IRC Veterans Council (Indian River Guardian) - The Veterans Council of Indian River County invites the community to a Memorial Day Observance on May 27th, 2024, featuring keynote speaker Commander Michael Fortunato, M.D., United States Navy.


New Stuart water treatment plant to ensure safe drinking water for generations (WPTV) - The City of Stuart has built a new $20 million reverse osmosis water treatment plant to guarantee safe drinking water for future generations, ensuring it is free from "forever chemicals".


 

The St. Johns River Water Management District will temporarily close the Headwaters Lake boat ramp within the Fellsmere Water Management Area (FWMA) from June 10 through June 20 to conduct essential repairs. During the closure, the Fellsmere Grade Recreation Area (Stick Marsh) boat ramp will remain open. Non-motorized vessel users can access Headwaters Lake from the Fellsmere Grade Recreation Area, but please be aware that it is not vehicle-accessible and vessels must be transported approximately 200 ft along a grass levee. The FWMA offers excellent bass fishing, waterfowl hunting, wildlife observation, and boating


 

Enter the 2024 Vero Beach Magazine Photo Contest (Vero Beach Magazine) - Vero Beach Magazine's 2024 Photo Contest invites photographers to capture the essence of Vero Beach, with winners featured in the September 2024 issue.


ORCA Explorer’s Experience at Triton makes deep impact (Vero News) - ORCA's fundraiser at Triton Submarines showcased the organization's commitment to ocean exploration and conservation, highlighting its research and educational initiatives aimed at restoring the Indian River Lagoon and protecting the world's oceans.


Gulf Stream could collapse as early as 2025, study suggests (The Guardian) - A new study suggests the Gulf Stream system (Amoc) could collapse as early as 2025, potentially leading to severe climate disruptions due to the vital ocean currents shutting down.


Florida logs lowest manatee death toll since 2019 (Yahoo News) - Manatee deaths in Florida have declined significantly this year compared to the record-breaking die-off in recent years, offering a hopeful sign for the threatened species' recovery.


Big Sugar's lawsuit for control over Lake Okeechobee water (WINK News) - A lawsuit filed by "Big Sugar" against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers challenges the design and intended use of the Everglades Agriculture Area (EAA) Reservoir, potentially jeopardizing Everglades restoration efforts and threatening the health of Southwest Florida's waters.


Martin County favors developers (again). But you can vote for change (VoteWater.org) - Martin County commissioners approved the "The Ranch" development project beyond their urban service boundary. This action highlights IRNA's concerns about unchecked growth outside urban areas in Indian River County.


The Future of Coral Restoration in the Florida Keys After Unprecedented Marine Heat Wave of 2023 (Environmental News Network) - The future of coral restoration in the Florida Keys faces significant challenges after the unprecedented 2023 marine heatwave caused extensive coral bleaching, prompting scientists and conservationists to employ innovative strategies to mitigate the damage.


Why you should let insects eat your plants (BBC) - Gardeners worldwide are adopting a philosophy that prioritizes planting for insects to promote biodiversity, even at the expense of the plants themselves, reflecting an increasing recognition of the ecological benefits of maintaining insect-rich environments.


 

Two teens who were seen on a viral video dumping trash into the ocean off the coast of Florida have turned themselves in. Officials say they both face felony third-degree charges of causing pollution so as to harm or injure human health or welfare, animal, plant, aquatic life or property. WTVJ’s Niko Clemmons reports.


 

It’s been two years since the UK’s poop-engulfed beaches became a national scandal. Now it’s even worse (Yahoo News) - Recently, UK beaches have experienced significant pollution due to inadequate wastewater management, as highlighted in a recent CNN article. This underscores the critical importance of our ongoing efforts to maintain and enhance our infrastructure. Let's continue to support local regulations and initiatives that keep our waterways clean and safe for everyone. Together, we can ensure our community remains a leader in environmental stewardship and prevent the kinds of issues currently seen in the UK.


The One Thing Holding Back Heat Pumps (WIRED) - The biggest obstacle to widespread heat pump adoption in the US is the shortage of trained installers, which requires new training initiatives and pathways to upskill the workforce and meet rising demand.


AI is a Net Win for the Environment (Worth) - Despite its own environmental footprint, AI offers significant potential as a tool to monitor climate change patterns, aid in adaptation strategies, and drive sustainability-focused innovation across various industries.


The Clues for Cleaner Water (Environmental News Network) - Researchers are investigating electrochemical ozone production (EOP) as a potential sustainable alternative to chlorine-based water disinfection, aiming to understand its molecular mechanisms for improved efficiency and scalability.


Nature can't run without parasites. What happens when they start to disappear? (Grist) - Parasites, often seen as harmful, play surprisingly vital roles in ecosystems, and climate change is causing alarming declines in complex parasite populations, which could have cascading effects on the health of the entire environment.


EV Sales Are Taking Off. Why Is Oil Demand Still Climbing? (Inside Climate News) - While global electric vehicle sales are soaring, oil demand remains high due to continued reliance on fossil fuels in sectors like petrochemicals and transportation, highlighting the challenges in achieving a rapid energy transition to address climate change.


Wharf expansion worth $2.1 billion boosted by Cape Canaveral's space industry could be coming (Florida Today) - A $2.1 billion expansion of Port Canaveral could be needed to accommodate the booming space industry's maritime needs, driven by increasing launches and the need for more space for rocket recovery operations.


How ‘15-minute cities’ could save time, reduce emissions, and build community (Grist) - The concept of the "15-minute city" proposes redesigning urban environments to ensure all necessary services and social activities are accessible within a 15-minute walk or bike ride, aiming to save time, reduce emissions, and enhance community connectivity. Although the approach faces resistance, its successful implementation in cities like Paris shows potential for improving urban living by fostering greater local social cohesion and environmental sustainability.


Climate Change Is Pushing Animals Closer to Humans, With Potentially Catastrophic Consequences (Inside Climate News) - Climate change is driving animals into closer contact with humans, increasing the potential for conflict (like snakebites or polar bear attacks) and the spread of zoonotic diseases (such as malaria or Lyme disease).


 

Want your voice to be heard? Use this link to easily contact elected officials—from your city council to the President. Your voice can make a real impact. While the IRNA may occasionally prompt you to contact specific officials about urgent issues, we keep this list handy for your convenience. Can't find who you're looking for? Just let us know; we're here to help connect you with the right people.


 


 







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