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Issues and History

Current Projects

CWC's Appeal for Increased Water Quality Funding

Requesting Governor DeSantis' Support for Enhanced State Investment

  • Objective: The CWC urges Governor DeSantis to significantly boost state funding for Florida's water resources, focusing on the pressing needs of the Indian River Lagoon.

  • Funding Proposal: CWC recommends doubling the millage rates of Florida's Water Management Districts for FY2024/2025. This increase in property taxes is a practical approach to generate essential funds for water quality improvements.

  • Financial Gap: Current state allocation for IRL's restoration is inadequate, with an estimated requirement of $400 million annually. The gap places undue financial pressure on local entities and homeowners, especially for the septic system upgrades mandated by HB 1379.

  • Call to Action: CWC advocates for Governor DeSantis to direct water management districts to increase their millage rates. This step is crucial for fulfilling HB 1379’s requirements and for the overall improvement of Florida’s water quality.

Learn more on this page of the website.

"ALICE" Septic to Sewer Project

Improving Water Quality and Public Health

  • Challenge: Over 900 homes in Vero Beach still rely on septic systems, contributing to pollution in the Indian River Lagoon.

  • What is ALICE?: ALICE is an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed, and represents the growing number of families who are working, but due to child care costs, transportation challenges, high cost of living and so much more are living paycheck to paycheck. 

  • Action: CWC's pilot program to connect homes to sewer systems at a reduced cost, with support from local partners and financial assistance.

  • Goal: Expand the program to connect all homes requiring financial aid, thereby enhancing the lagoon's water quality.

Find out more on this page of the website.

Combatting Derelict Boats

Protecting Our Waters from Neglected Vessels

  • Problem: Abandoned and sunken boats pollute the Indian River Lagoon and pose navigational hazards.

  • Action: CWC is spearheading efforts to expedite the removal of these vessels using new state regulations.

  • Strategy: Implementing anchoring limitation areas and enhancing marine patrols to prevent future dumping.

Find out more on this page of the website.

Riverside Park Salt Marsh Restoration

Restoring parts of our county to how they should be

 

  • Project: CWC, in partnership with local organizations, is transforming Riverside Park's drainage canal into a salt marsh habitat, introducing four salt marsh plant species for shoreline stabilization and flood control.

  • Progress & Community Support: Despite challenges, the project is on track to achieve 95% vegetative cover. Enhanced by a $5,400 donation from Sunrise Rotary Vero Beach, and supported by the Coastal Conservation Association of Florida, Vero Beach Rotary Club, and the City of Vero Beach.

  • Impact & Future: The initiative, which restored 2,000 linear feet of shoreline, serves as a model for future efforts to improve the Indian River Lagoon's ecology. Educational signage to be installed post-recovery, sharing project insights and benefits.

Find out more on this page of the website.

History

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CWC's Legacy of Environmental Advocacy and Success

 

The Clean Water Coalition of Indian River County (CWC) has a rich history of successful initiatives that have significantly contributed to environmental protection and education. Our key achievements include:

  1. Educational Outreach: Hosting public speaker series to raise community awareness on environmental issues.

  2. Policy Influence: Successfully advocated for the ban on biosolids application in agricultural lands and influenced local policy on glyphosate usage.

  3. Community Engagement: Compiled annual questionnaires for local election candidates to clarify their positions on water issues.

  4. Infrastructure Support: Assisted in passing a stormwater utility assessment in Vero Beach, enhancing water management systems.

  5. Environmental Testing: Conducted tests in lagoon waters for enteric bacteria, indicating pollution sources and aiding in water quality improvement.

  6. Habitat Restoration: Played a pivotal role in restoring native salt marsh habitat at Riverside Park and supported a native garden project at the Board of County Commissioners building.

  7. Advocacy and Conservation: Opposed unnecessary land annexation, supported youth involvement in lagoon restoration, and provided oversight for marina expansions.

  8. Marine Protection: Advocated for a no-discharge zone, implemented anchorage limitation areas, and collaborated with law enforcement for the removal of derelict boats.

  9. Water Management Initiatives: Worked with local entities to strengthen basin management plans and promoted the development of a comprehensive countywide water supply and stormwater plan.

  10. Financial and Community Contributions: Successfully promoted a $50 million land acquisition bond referendum, signed up over 1,000 partners, and maintained a balanced budget, achieving a platinum level status from GuideStar.org.

These initiatives reflect CWC's unwavering commitment to environmental advocacy, community engagement, and effective policy influence, making a lasting impact on Indian River County's waterways and natural habitats.

We Need Your Support Today!

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