STUART, Fla. -- Congressman Patrick Murphy asked Treasure Coast residents for more supports as he gears up to ask congress for funding for projects to keep Lake Okeechobee discharges from the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon.
Murphy listened to concerns from nearly 200 people at Thursday’s Indian River Coalition meeting.
At the meeting, Murphy said he plans to meet with the Army Corps of Engineers chief in Washington D.C to push for sending water south through sugar land.
He also invited everyone in the meeting to join him in Washington D.C. for a lobbying event on September 19.
One woman in attendance hopes Murphy will be able to make a difference in Washington. Kathy Thomas feels so passionately about the St. Lucie River, she wrote a song about it.
“I’m a songwriter, I might as well give that away,” said Thomas. Murphy listened to her song.
“Song writing is funny, when you care, it comes out,” said Thomas.
Thomas has four children, and five grandchildren, who she wants to be able to take to the beach.
“I want my children at the beach. They’re all surfer, and skate boarding people, they’re so cute. They can’t go to the beach, ” said Thomas.
She has faith in Murphy to change that. “A vehicle like Patrick can get it into the White House, into Congress, into the House, into where it needs to be,” said Thomas.
"Unfortunately, There’s a lot of gridlock and a lot of issues," said Murphy. He did say that the health of the Indian River Lagoon and St. Lucie Estuary is a top priority to him.
Some residents expressed concerns about how long it will take to see progress in the condition of the waterways. Many blame pressure put on lawmakers from the sugar industry to not send water south for delays in action.
Murphy said Thursday that he has not ever taken money from the sugar industry, nor does he plan to. He says sugar will have little influence on his plans for short and long term solutions.
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