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IRNA News, Rep. Posey Not Seeking Reelection, and more!

May 4, 2024 Weekly Newsletter


Support the Indian River Neighborhood Association


We all share a passion for a healthy and vibrant Indian River County. The Indian River Neighborhood Association is dedicated to safeguarding our local environment, ensuring a beautiful and sustainable future for generations to come.


Our ad-free newsletter and other informative resources empower residents to stay informed and engaged. If you value this commitment to transparency and community empowerment, consider supporting our mission by making a donation.


Your contribution strengthens IRNA's ability to be a strong, independent voice for our community. Your support allows us to advocate effectively on environmental issues that matter most to you.


Donate easily online at IndianRiverNA.com/Join or by mail to PO Box 643968, Vero Beach, FL 32964. Together, we can work towards a future in Indian River County we can all be proud of!


 

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Dan Lamson Graduates from Natural Resources Leadership Program


We are excited to announce that Dan Lamson, Executive Director of the Indian River Neighborhood Association, has successfully completed the intensive Natural Resources Leadership Institute (NRLI) program. As part of the 23rd class, Dan joined 20 other fellows in this eight-month program designed to build leadership skills and expertise in natural resource management.


Throughout the program, Dan explored topics like conflict resolution and collaborative governance – skills that are highly relevant to his work at IRNA. This experience has expanded his network of sustainability-minded professionals and enhanced his leadership abilities.


Thanks to the generous support of the General Joe Joyce Scholarship for Natural Resources Leadership and members of the IRNA Board of Directors, Dan was able to attend. His participation highlights the IRNA's dedication to developing leaders who can tackle complex environmental issues.


We are proud of Dan's achievement and eager to see how he applies his newfound knowledge and connections to protect and improve the natural resources of Indian River County.


 

Four designs for Vero Beach's Three Corners project get ranked (TCPalm) - Clearpath Services' ambitious and modern $504 million waterfront development proposal won the top ranking in Vero Beach's Three Corners project selection process.


First step on Vero Beach Three Corners redevelopment: Proposals ranked (TCPalm) - The Three Corners Site Evaluation Committee selected Clearpath Services' plan as their top choice, captivated by its proposal to transform the old power plant into a modern destination and build a visually striking arts center over the Indian River Lagoon.


Treasure Coast beach restoration: What it costs and how it works (TCPalm) - Counties continuously spend millions of dollars on beach renourishment projects to protect the beaches that are crucial to the Treasure Coast tourism industry, despite repeated erosion from hurricanes and tropical storms.


Vero Beach, Sebastian growing; should county expand its urban area? (TCPalm) - With thousands of new residents projected to move to Indian River County over the next 25 years, the county must decide whether to expand its urban service area or focus on bolstering its existing urban core.


Dog owners, beware: Poisonous cane toads invade island (Vero News) - A mild winter has led to an explosion of poisonous cane toads in Vero Beach, posing a deadly threat to pets.


Living shoreline installed at Riverside Park to slow beach erosion (WPTV) - ORCA has installed a living shoreline of oyster reef balls at Riverside Park in Vero Beach to slow beach erosion, improve water quality, and increase biodiversity.


Who put $400M into Florida budget for new reservoir? No one will say (Florida Politics) - $400 million was quietly included in the Florida budget to fund a reservoir project that might shift pollution to the St. Johns River, amid unclear origins and intentions behind the allocation, but it's not all bad.


 

Rep. Posey Will Not Run Again


In a notable political shift, U.S. Representative Bill Posey, IRC’s representative in Congress, announced he will not seek re-election for Florida's 8th District. Posey, who has served eight terms, made his announcement shortly after the candidate qualifying period ended, endorsing former Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos as his preferred successor. This endorsement came just hours after Haridopolos officially entered the race.


Haridopolos, alongside Republicans Joe Babits of Vero Beach and John Hearton of Satellite Beach, will contend for the GOP nomination. On the Democratic side, candidates Sandy Kennedy of Cocoa and Daniel McDow, a member of the West Melbourne City Council, have also qualified to run.


The 8th District, which includes all of Brevard and Indian River counties and parts of eastern Orange County, has been a Republican stronghold since 1994. The upcoming primaries on August 20 will determine the candidates for the November 5 general election.


This unexpected political development leaves the district preparing for a highly anticipated election season, with both parties fielding candidates who are eager to succeed Posey and represent the 8th District in Congress. The IRNA thanks Rep. Posey for his work for our district and we look forward to working with his replacement.


 

We need more STA capacity to clean and store water, period (VoteWater.org) - To end damaging discharges from Lake Okeechobee, Florida needs to increase stormwater treatment area (STA) capacity to clean and store more lake water.


In this Congressional race, clean water will be a big issue (VoteWater.org) - Republican Congressman Brian Mast and Democratic challenger Thomas Witkop are emphasizing clean water issues in their Congressional race in Florida's 21st District, highlighting their commitment to address the ongoing problems caused by discharges from Lake Okeechobee.


Countries consider pact to reduce plastic production by 40% in 15 years (The Guardian) - Countries are discussing a global pact to reduce plastic production by 40% within 15 years in an effort to protect health, the environment, and limit climate change.


Florida in 50 years: Study says land conservation can buffer destructive force of climate change (Sun Sentinel) - A new study reveals that completing the Florida Wildlife Corridor could help protect the state from the destructive impacts of climate change, but only if the state also adopts more compact development practices to limit sprawl.


Florida Says No to Federal Funding Aimed at Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Inside Climate News) - Florida chose not to participate in a federal program that would have given the state millions of dollars to create a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, despite Florida's high vulnerability to the effects of climate change.


What will it take to get companies to embrace reusable packaging? (Grist) - Businesses are struggling to successfully implement reusable packaging programs due to a lack of standardization and coordination across the industry, but a new set of global standards could help create a more efficient and scalable reuse system.


A Switzerland-size hole opened in Antarctica's sea ice in 2016-17. Now we know why (Space) - Scientists have finally discovered why a massive, Switzerland-sized hole appeared in the Antarctic sea ice in 2016 and 2017, revealing it was caused by a unique combination of winds, ocean currents and underwater geography.


 

The proposed Florida Right to Clean Water initiative aims to make a fundamental, enforceable right to clean and healthy waters part of our state constitution. This isn't empty political rhetoric, and it's designed to protect against the manipulation that has crippled past environmental efforts.


This fight impacts each of us directly:

  • Your right: To shield your family from the threat of toxic pollution seeping into drinking water or the food on your table.

  • Her right: To keep family traditions alive, swimming in waters used for generations without fear.

  • His right: To fish and provide safe, healthy food for his family.

  • Their right: To protect wetlands that safeguard their communities from flooding and ensure clean water.

  • Our right: To protect Florida's waters, acting as stewards for the generations of Floridians who come after us.


Join the cause! Empower yourself and our state. Every action counts. Visit FloridaRightToCleanWater.org to find out how you can help.

 

In a first, California cracks down on farms guzzling groundwater (Grist) - California regulators have imposed mandatory fees on farmers in the Tulare Lake region for excessive groundwater usage, marking a major shift in the state's approach to managing its dwindling water resources.


Increasingly Frequent Ocean Heat Waves Trigger Mass Die-Offs of Sealife, and Grief in Marine Scientists (Inside Climate News) - Scientists around the world are grappling with the increasing frequency and intensity of ocean heat waves, which are causing widespread die-offs of marine life and fueling harmful algae blooms, tropical storms, and sea level rise.


Science shocker: Light can vaporize water without heat, says MIT study (Interesting Engineering) - MIT researchers have discovered a surprising new phenomenon where light can directly cause water to evaporate, independent of heat, potentially revolutionizing our understanding of evaporation and its applications in various fields, including climate science.


Eutrophication Explained: Here's What Happens When Bodies of Water Get Overly Enriched With Nutrients (Science Times) - Eutrophication occurs when a body of water becomes overly enriched with nutrients, leading to excessive growth of algae and simple plant life, which can decrease biodiversity, increase water toxicity, and cause harmful effects on the ecosystem.


Firefly Populations at Risk Due to Climate Change, Urban Development (Environmental News Network) - A new study suggests that fireflies are in decline due to various environmental factors, including weather fluctuations and long-term climate change trends.


The Tug-of-War for Cyber Resilience to Guard Water Utilities (InformationWeek) - Cyberattacks on critical infrastructure like water utilities are increasing in frequency and sophistication, highlighting the urgent need for improved cybersecurity measures and a collaborative approach involving government, infrastructure operators, and technology providers.


 

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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