The Clean Water Coalition is proud to welcome Steve and Janice Milisec, local owners of The Mattress Market, as its 900th partner in its mission to protect and restore our waters. The Milisecs give personal attention to their customers at their two locations, 1602 U.S. 1 and 6311 20th Street, Vero Beach. Pictured above is Steve Milisec with CWC Membership Chair Charlie Pope.
One of the Clean Water Coalition’s local initiatives has been monitoring three sites in the Indian River Lagoon for enteric bacteria. Enteric bacteria can indicate the presence of human or animal feces in the water. When present in high concentrations and if ingested or exposed through a cut or sore, enteric bacterium may cause human disease, infections or rashes.
The Department of Health monitors the beaches and Wabasso Causeway with funding from Florida’s Clean Beaches Program. The CWC felt more sampling in the lagoon would fill an important data gap.
A high percentage of the samples to date has resulted in a “poor” rating based on EPA’s Recreational Water Quality Criteria. To view the data go to the CWC website: https://www.cwcirc.org/water-quality-monitoring
CWC will keep our partners informed about potential funding solutions offered during the legislative session. The support of our concerned partners, now numbering 900, will be important to this effort.
The CWC is also organizing for the coming 2021 legislative session. Our Indian River Lagoon has been declared impaired (polluted) by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, along with many other Florida waterways.
We know the sources of pollution, mainly leaking septic systems and stormwater run off. We know what action is needed to prevent this pollution. But Florida is lacking adequate funding to address this economic and health crisis. Since 2010, administrative budget cuts have drastically reduced staff and funding for critical Florida agencies tasked with protecting our water quality and drinking water supply.
CWC is working to partially restore funding for the Water Management Districts. A state-wide survey was conducted by FAU that indicated most Floridians are concerned about water and are willing to pay higher fees to help clean up Florida’s waterways. This water quality crisis must be solved as it is a threat to the quality of life for all Floridians.