September 30, 2014
Buried deep in the heart of a 75-page federal court order was a statement we should display from the roof tops.
Quote it early, quote it often.
Somehow, we all missed it.
The words came from U.S. District Judge Lynn Bush (no relation to those other Bushes) in our lawsuit attacking the periodic dumpings of polluted dirty freshwater into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries.
"The St. Lucie River is by all accounts, a national treasure," the judge wrote.
"The longterm environmental consequences of defendant's (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) massive discharges into the river are tragic, and the court takes note of plaintiffs' tireless efforts to reverse that damage."
Bing's dictionary defines that as a "very sad event: an event in life that evokes feelings of sorrow or grief."
Unfortunately, the court ruled that a remedy to stop the harmful discharges must come not from the courts but from Congress. She dismissed the case.
You can read the full order as well as voluminous pleadings at RiversCoalition.org.
In the end the soiled ball is back in the polluters' court and the congressmen and other minions who forever dance to the influential tune of profiteering despoilers.
Clever public relations and promises of change dull our senses once again. The very same influenced politicians who presided over the tragedy still reign.
While we gird for the next round of toxic drainage poisons, our leaders spiel forth misdirection tactics that would only slightly curtail the onslaughts, and even then far beyond the horizon.
Still, there is hope (surely hope springs...)
The single most important goal must be development of a storage flowway from the south end of Lake Okeechobee, running through cleansing marshes and a
dynamic storage area.
That would bring back estuaries teeming with thousands of important life forms.
It can be done.
Let the tragedy end.
- Karl Wickstrom