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FSSR Newsleter - January 2009


    Ken Grudens, Executive Director of the Indian River Land Trust will be our guest at our meeting this month.  The Indian River Land Trust was instrumental in the development of the St. Sebastian River Greenway, and Ken will give us an overview and update of Greenway projects and funding.  Ken will also provide some information about the new North County Greenway Plan that has been developed by the Indian River County MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization).
    The January meeting is also our Annual Business meeting at which current Friends members will be voting on this year's Directors.  The slate of nominees is Anne Dann, Tim Glover, Gayle Heath, Russell "Buzz" Herrmann, Sherry Shipley and Bruce Zingman.
    In addition, we will also be drawing for the St. Sebastian River bridge painting raffle and presenting our annual Environmental Enhancement Award.  See related stories in this newsletter for more information.
    The meeting will be Tuesday, January 27, 7:30 PM at the North Indian River County Library on CR512 in Sebastian.  The meeting is free and the public is welcome.

    Each year we present our "Environmental Enhancement Award" to an individual, business or organization that we feel has done the most in the past year to improve or protect our local environment.  This year we have chosen the recently completed Indian River County Main Relief Canal mechanical filtration project and the two main engineers involved with the project as our recipients.
    Keith McCully and Cliff Suthard are the two engineers that work for the IRC Stormwater Division who have shepherded the project to completion recently and you may have seen reports in the local paper about its success.  So far the system has been working effectively and removed several tons of trash, debris and floating plants that would have otherwise gone into the Indian River Lagoon.  It has also removed truckloads of dirt that would have contributed to the sedimentation of the lagoon.
    According to the Press Journal article, December 27, 2008, this is the first system of its type known in the world.  The county will also be adding other innovative features to the stormwater system to improve water quality.  The next step is underway to add manmade marshes and settling ponds where nutrients will be absorbed.  The federal government is requiring communities remove these excessive and detrimental nutrients throughout the Indian River Lagoon.
    It is nearly impossible to reverse the effects of development, so innovative and costly projects such as this will hopefully provide the needed water quality improvements to restore the health of the Lagoon.