Rivers Coalition’s River Kidz Have Had an Impressive Year!
The release of water from Lake Okeechobee into Martin County’s local waterways has become a problem for residents, but a local group of kids have decided to take a stand. The River Kidz could be seen at the St. Lucie Locks and Dam Wednesday, September 19 protesting and chanting, “Save our rivers, stop the discharges.” And that’s exactly what they are working toward.
The Rivers Coalition’s affiliate, River Kidz, set the example that children do have a voice in what happens to the future of our rivers. This past year they've raised $4,821.99 and donated money to the Environmental Studies Center and the Florida Oceanographic Society. Moreover, the River Kidz launched a petition for local, state and federal governments to stop agricultural fertilizer run off into the Indian River Lagoon and St. Lucie River that has 265 signatures and counting.
This year, they were also recognized at Keep Martin Beautiful’s Environmental Stewardship Awards where they received the “Youth Innovation Award.” River Kidz have taken action by not only cleaning the waterways with Keep Martin Beautiful during the International Coastal Cleanup September 15, but also raised money with the 2nd annual lemonade stand that day and various other fundraisers throughout the year.
To raise awareness year-round, the River Kidz have created collages posted in the various commission offices throughout Martin County, contributed to the Surfrider Foundation in conjunction to Stop Oil Drilling. They even have their own song and poems which aired on MCTV and can now be found on YouTube.com. And in addition to their own protest, the River Kidz participated in a mass protest against House Bill 421, fertilizer preemption that was defeated in the Florida Senate.
Most recently to end the River Kidz spectacular year they met with Justin Riney an environmental activist and founder of MOTHER OCEAN. He paddle boarded the entire 156 length of the Indian River Lagoon was greeted at his stop in Martin County by the River Kidz and given a key to the Town of Sewall's Point, the Kidz founding city. They deployed reefballs and oysters with Enviro-Force and Florida Oceanographic. They even participated and led two protests at the St Lucie Locks and Dam against the polluted freshwater releases of Lake Okeechobee that destroy seagrasses and the animals that depend on it. Senator Joe Negron and Chair Sarah Heard joined the Kidz in their efforts. They participated in the Environmental Studies Center Open House, the Children's Home Society, and even the Stuart Christmas Parade!
The kids are making a difference and fulfilling their mission: "to speak out, get involved and raise awareness because we believe kids should have a voice in the future of our rivers."
To say the least, the River Kidz are showing that they do have a voice in the say of the future of our rivers and they are going to make it known. For more information on the Rivers Coalition and the River Kidz visit www.riverscoalition.org.
Also, make sure you check out the newest addition: 10 Things Every River Kid Should Know!
Check out the River Kidz on MCTV!
Sign the River Kidz petition on change.org! The petition is asking for all government agencies to limit agricultural fertilizer running into the rivers.
This is an ongoing petition. Please show your support and sign!
Please friend us on Facebook or go to www.riverscoalition.org to learn about all the cool things we are doing!