Posted August 8, 2016
Can we proceed to restore the Indian River Lagoon? cont'd.
Leadership, Vision and Courage
By Wayne Mills
I wish to express my support and admiration to the Brevard County Commission for their leadership, vision and courage for proposing a plan to Save the Indian River Lagoon. It is a well thought out plan that is affordable for the benefit of the people of Brevard County and for future generations to enjoy the many beautiful and enchanting venues provided by the Indian River Lagoon (IRL).
As the past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) and current honorary member I can fully appreciate the magnitude of this plan to restore, preserve and protect the IRL. The IRL is such a rich and wonderful natural asset. The proposed plan will provide an positive economic impact worth over $6 billion for the immediate and future benefit to the county.
CBF will celebrate its 50th birthday next year and from my experience with the restoration of the Chesapeake I suggest to you that the Plan to Save the Lagoon is a wise investment for everyone in Brevard County. In addition, the IRL is a gift from Mother Nature and our creator and should be respected and restored for the benefit of all.
It’s not easy and it’s not simple. As the Plan outlines it requires a systematic and scientifically supported analysis of the measures required and the economic analysis and prioritization of how to proceed in an optimum fashion. The Plan is rigorous and thorough and is designed to get the maximum reduction in pollution from the dollars invested.
As the supporters of the Chesapeake Bay are now observing the improved regulations and investments made were worth the effort and are now paying dividends. This year the Chesapeake is yielding the improvements expected from the benefits of the Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Blueprint (Blueprint) to restore the Chesapeake first implemented in 2010. This year bay grasses are returning in abundance along with oysters and water clarity and the Blueprint Plan is only about 40% implemented.
In another Florida venue when it became painfully obvious some years ago that septic systems were polluting the waters of the Florida Keys the state and Monroe County made it possible for owners to covert to public sewer and to amortize the cost of doing so over 20 years on their tax bills. In doing so they helped save the Keys from the death throws of a polluted nightmare where property values would plummet and tourism would be threatened. The point being that saving the environment is a smart investment.
I encourage all those in Brevard who are hopeful that the Indian River Lagoon can be restored in their lifetimes that it is definitely very doable. Brevard County is so fortunate to have the services of their outstanding and talented Director of Natural Resources, Virginia Barker. Virginia and her staff must be congratulated on their very sensible, scientific and comprehensive analysis of the sources of pollution effectively killing the eco-system of the IRL. The Plan they designed will skillfully reduce the dangerous excesses of nitrogen, phosphorous and sediments destroying the IRL.
To be able to safely recreate, fish, swim and boat on the IRL is a magnate for tourism and is a major real estate attraction for the quality of life that it provides. Property values will be enhanced and the tourism tax revenues will increase. The bottom line is everyone benefits from the proposed Plan not to mention a whole spectrum of marine life that exists in the IRL.
I encourage everyone who cares about the Indian River Lagoon and about their children and grandchildren’s chance to enjoy it to actively support the Plan.
Wayne Mills is past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) and is active Advisor [EMERITUS] to the newly-founded Brevard Indian River Lagoon Coalition.
*ED. NOTE: This commentary was published as Op-Ed column by Florida Today on August 7, 2016. The views expressed here are solely those of the author. SCPA does not endorse candidates and welcomes commentary on a wide range of issues, including political campaigns, local,regional and national. If interested in contributing commentary, please contact SCPA.
re: Brevard's plan to save the LagoonWritten by Wayne Mills
Posted August 8, 2016