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July 2003

SUMMER VACATION

    As usual for July, we will not be having a public meeting.  If you recall last July we had a special meeting by Linda Young of the Southeast Regional Office of the Clean Water Network.  She provided an update on the issues regarding the challenge of Florida's "Impaired Waters Rule".  We are still involved in that process and there are several new developments to report on that issue.  Please see the article "What's Hot" inside for the latest.
    Our next "general meeting" will be September 23.  You will find the announcement for that meeting in the September newsletter, or on our website.

OYSTER DIE-OFF

     Several of our members have reported that they have noticed a dramatic die-off of oysters in the St. Sebastian River in the last year or so.  Recently a few of them were surveying the river and the Indian River Lagoon trying to find any live oysters.  A few months ago it appeared that the die-off had been virtually one hundred percent, in and around the immediate vicinity of the river!
    Frank Wegel brought this to the attention of several persons who do research on various issues in the lagoon area, but none were aware of how dramatic the die-off has been, or a possible cause.  It was brought to our attention that the EPA has information posted on their website about a disease that has decimated the oyster populations on the Gulf Coast.  You will find a link to the EPA article on the "News and Information" page of our website, under "General Information".
    Hopefully this is a temporary situation as we recently heard the comment that it appears there may be some new oysters seeding themselves in the river.  We have sent a letter to the DEP asking for any information they can provide on the situation.

THANK YOU ALICE HARBER

    The Harber Family has been a member of the Friends since nearly the inception of our group.  Mrs. Alice Harber created a position in our organization for herself as our "historian", but recently she has decided to "retire" from that position.  It would be an understatement to say that she will be missed!  We will forever be indebted to her for her diligence and dedication at documenting the people and events that have made us who we are today.
    As a result of Alice's retirement, we are looking for anyone who would be interested in filling the position of historian for our group.  If you are interested, you can send us an email to the address on the front page of this newsletter, or call Tim Glover at 772-589-0636.