Area Officials Band Together To Speak With One Voice On Health of Indian River Lagoon
By Space Coast Daily // April 22, 2016
One Lagoon, One Community, One Voice
BREVARD COUNTY • ROCKLEDGE, FLORIDA – In the aftermath of last month’s massive fish kill in the Indian River Lagoon, municipal officials from across Florida’s east coast are banding together to speak with one voice on behalf of the area’s precious natural resource.
Working with environmental experts, leaders of the Space Coast League of Cities and Treasure Coast Regional League of Cities are forging the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) Regional Compact, designed to ensure local concerns about the lagoon are fully addressed. The Compact will provide a blueprint for IRL restoration efforts.
“Regional Compacts are a priority of the Florida League of Cities and this problem — which is bigger than one county or one region – is a real-world example of why they are important,” said Treasure Coast Regional League President and Sebastian Council Member Richard Gillmor.
“It’s a communal pool and we all share this vital resource. Working together to share ideas, strategies and the workload, we can take a comprehensive look at a challenge that’s crucial to all of us.”
On April 11, the Space Coast League of Cities Board of Directors voted unanimously to enter into the IRL Regional Compact. Now the Treasure Coast Regional League of Cities Board of Directors have followed suit, voting Tuesday, April 20, to join the Compact with unanimous support.
“The IRL Compact was proposed almost two months ago and we are thrilled that it has been unanimously endorsed by members of both leagues. It is a testimony to the strong commitment of the IRL Leagues to actively work together toward restoration of the Lagoon,” said West Melbourne Council Member Dr. Stephany Eley, who serves as chair of the Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Policy Committee for the Florida League of Cities.
“It is our hope that other governmental bodies, as well as the private sector, will join us in the Compact: One Lagoon, One Community, One Voice.”
A formal signing ceremony for elected officials representing municipalities for each of the two regional leagues will be held at the Ted Morehead Lagoon House, home of the Marine Resources Council, located at 3275 Dixie Highway, N.E. in Palm Bay on April 30 at 2 p.m.
“Local government has always been closest to the people, and our lagoon has been damaged by people who aren’t close enough to understand the needs of this delicate ecosystem,” said Space Coast League President and Indialantic Deputy Mayor Stu Glass.
“I am proud that our local leaders have recognized the power of joining together to accomplish a goal that will benefit all of our residents for years to come. Thanks to members of the academic and environmental communities who have partnered with us on this collaborative effort, we could not do it without you.”
The Space Coast League of Cities has asked other public and private entities to enter into the Compact, including:
• Brevard, Martin, Indian River, Okeechobee and St. Lucie County Commissions
• Cape Canaveral Port Authority
• Brevard County Tourist Development Council
• Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast
The two leagues are working in partnership with Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program Executive Director Dr. Duane De Freese, Marine Resources Council Executive Director Dr. Leesa Souto, and Brevard County Natural Resources Management Department Director Virginia Barker to help plan the first IRL Compact Summit, which will determine the focus of a one-year action agenda for the Compact partners.
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ABOVE MAP: A formal signing ceremony for elected officials representing municipalities for each of the two regional leagues will be held at the Ted Morehead Lagoon House, home of the Marine Resources Council, located at 3275 Dixie Highway, N.E. in Palm Bay on April 30 at 2 p.m.