Letters to the Editor: June 10, 2021

Treasure Coast Newspapers

Published 4:00 a.m. ET June 10, 2021


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Vero Beach should do its fair share of controlling stormwater runoff

In response to Bob Burr’s June 5 letter (and others): Yes, the lagoon is 156 miles long and the city portion is only a few miles. The county and other municipalities must share the burden of restoring lagoon water quality — and they do.

All our neighboring cities have stormwater utilities and the county has spent tens of millions developing Egret Marsh, Osprey Acres and Moorhen Marsh, all large stormwater parks that filter hundreds of million gallons of water on the way to the lagoon.

Why shouldn’t Vero Beach do its fair share?

Approximately 200 outfalls in the city of Vero Beach drain stormwater from our streets and buildings. Only a few have a basic filtering treatment. The stormwater from the rest goes straight into the lagoon.

This runoff contains gasoline, oil, hydraulic fluid and brake and tire dust from vehicles, cigarette butts and trash from our streets and in addition herbicides, pesticides, pet waste, leaves and soil from our yards. One result in the news recently is the huge number of manatee deaths. For many of these the cause of death is starvation. Manatees eat seagrass which is being killed by runoff from pollution. In the last 10 years, seagrass has diminished to a small fraction of its previous coverage due to muck accumulation and rampant algae blooms.

Since stormwater is a major source of lagoon pollution, along with leaking septic tanks, our city needs to upgrade and improve stormwater treatment. The stormwater utility will provide funds to do that.

The vast majority of Vero Beach homeowners will pay an assessment of $2.38 a month, many smaller homes will pay less than $1. Isn’t that a small price to pay to help preserve our beautiful piece of paradise? 

Charlie Pope, Vero Beach, is the partnership coordinator for the Clean Water Coalition of Indian River County.

‘Planned obsolescence’ is planned for our current vehicles

Apparently, the concept “planned obsolescence” is soon to be the rule as daily travel to schools, shops and workplaces will mandate transport via electric-powered vehicles.

Unfortunately, this shall not proceed without some drawbacks, such as limited charging facilities, increased demand on power grids, and lithium-battery manufacture and disposal.

Currently mining operations are being curtailed or closed down; which implies that rare earth minerals shall be obtained in countries such as China that have no such restrictions. Good for them — bad for our economic recovery.

Perhaps the electric mandate could be limited to commercial vehicles such as long-distance transports, school buses and commercial delivery fleets where centralized…

Read more:: Letters to the Editor: June 10, 2021

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