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March Newsletter

Are You a Numbers Person?


The CWC is looking for a volunteer to serve as their Treasurer for the Board of Directors.  The job requires a little financial savvy but is not a huge time commitment.  A paid accountant keeps the books, issues check and records payments.  The treasurer updates the Board monthly, offers annual budgeting advice and arranges for timely annual reports.


Clean Water Coalition Secures Major Grant

to Extend Septic-to-Sewer in Vero Beach

The Clean Water Coalition is thrilled to announce it has secured a $199,500 grant from the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program (IRLNEP). This significant funding will allow us to expand our pilot, septic-to-sewer conversion project throughout the City of Vero Beach.This grant, combined with strong support from the Indian River Land Trust, the Community Foundation of Indian River County and the cooperation of the City of Vero Beach brings us closer to our goal of connecting ALICE qualified homeowners, on septic tanks to Vero Beach's STEP System.

We are incredibly grateful for the early backing we received for our pilot project, which provided crucial data, bolstering our grant application.The Economics Opportunities Council has been an invaluable partner in our septic to sewer project.  They are experienced in working with families and assist CWC by screening applicants for the septic to sewer program.

To apply or get more information contact:

Economic Opportunities Council: Judy Livingston - 772-562-4177

Clean Water Coalition: Keith Drewett - 410-533-4566 

"This grant is a huge win for the health of the Indian River Lagoon and the Vero Beach community," said Judy Orcutt, President of the Clean Water Coalition. "Septic systems are a major source of pollution in our waterways. Thanks to this grant, we can make a real difference to improve water quality."

We extend sincere thanks to the IRLNEP and all our generous donors. Together, we're making a cleaner, healthier future for Vero Beach!


What is a MRF (pronounced merf)?

A Materials Recovery Facility.  The MRF that recycles for Indian River County (IRC) is located in St. Lucie County.  Twelve semitruck loads of recycling are taken to the MRF daily from IRC.

What % of the material deposited for recycling is actually recycled?

Only about 60% blue recycling cart contents end up being recycled.  

Which materials recycle best?

Aluminum (uncrushed cans, please) and cardboard boxes and paper.              

Which material is hard to recycle?

Glass – Lesson:  buy your beer in cans – not glass bottles. Aluminum is easier to recycle than glass. Much of the glass at the MRF is ground down and used as cover material for the landfill. It can help control odors, deter pests, and prevent litter from being blown away by the wind. However, it is generally not repurposed.

Milk cartons made from a composite material like paperboard do not recycle. Plastic milk jugs do – even with the caps on!

Plastic water bottles recycle well, but…..why drink water in a plastic bottle?  A published study by Columbia and Rutgers Universities found approximately 240,000 plastic fragments per liter in bottled water.  Tap water contains plastic fragments but in much smaller quantities.

Indian River County handles 500 tons of trash and 350 tons of recycling per day. To put this in perspective, if we were to visualize the 500 tons of trash as full-grown elephants (each weighing about 5 tons), it would be equivalent to the weight of 100 elephants being discarded every single day. In contrast, the 350 tons of recycling would be like saving the weight of 70 elephants from ending up in the landfill and instead giving them a new lease on life through recycling.

The county expects to run out landfill space by 2040. Where will our trash go then? The next time you are shopping, think about whether you really need that item! Avoid single use items.



High Cost of Seagrass Loss???

CWC partner, Bill Wood, spotted this dead baby manatee in the Main Relief Canal Area.  Fortunately, he was able to reach someone from Fish and Wildlife to retrieve the carcass before an alligator consumed it.  The wildlife officer informed Bill that the baby was not full term and could have miscarried due to lack of nutrition for the mother.


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