Our Correspondence with the Florida Environmental Protection Agency About Spoonbill Marsh, Vero Beach, FL.


Jill Margolius

Public Information Specialist
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Southeast District – West Palm Beach
3301 Gun Club Road, MSC 7210-1
West Palm Beach, FL 33406

Dear Jill;

Thank you for returning my call.

Here are three articles I have written in sequential order on Spoonbill Marsh.

We spoke about Mr. Barry Shapiro’s complaint, where he suggests Spoonbill Marsh is “an environmental tragedy but also a potentially criminal action.

He cites Dr. Grant Gilmore: “According to ecological expert Dr. Grant Gilmore, Spoonbill is also killing off fish species.”

Dr. Gilmore wrote me a note copied below saying he was misquoted.

It is interesting that Mr. Shapiro’s complaint was filed three days before the election aimed against Commissioner Solari.

Basically I am interested in if Mr. Shapiro’s complaint is legitimate.

I did have the opportunity to speak with the Executive Director of the Indian River Land Trust as to whether water from Spoonbill was overflowing onto their property and he said they have hired a firm to look into it, are working cooperatively with the County and if there are any issues, they will be dealt with, once again, in cooperation with the County.

He felt there was too much drama associated with the issue.

So any help you can give me in calming people down would be greatly appreciated.


Thomas Hardy




From: Richard Gilmore <rggilmorej@gmail.com>

Date: Tue, Sep 13, 2016 at 9:47 PM
To: hardythomast@gmail.com


I notice a number of misquotes for me in your Spoonbill Marsh article. I never said Spoonbill is “killing off fish species.” I did say Spoonbill “does not function” as a native marsh or mangrove wetland as it was designed to treat water and is engineered. Spoonbill by no means functions as a native wetland typically found in Indian River County and apparently does not support roseate spoonbills as a result. This is based on 40 years of comparative wetland research observations. I believe Spoonbill needs to receive the same research and scrutiny that we have conducted at other Indian River Lagoon wetlands with abundant hard data on vegetation, hydrological cycles (tidal and annual sea level rise inundation patterns), fish and bird use. It may treat water for nutrient loading as it is designed to do so, but certainly does not appear to behave as a natural Indian River County wetland that our fish and water fowl prefer to utilize, particularly as a young of the year fish settlement site, a post larval snook and tarpon nursery.”

Our response to Dr. Gilmore:

Thomas Hardy <hardythomast@gmail.com>
Sep 13 to Richard Gilmore

Hi Dr. Gilmore;

In my article any misquotes would be due to Mr. Shapiro. I relied entirely on the written information he provided to me and would be pleased to make any necessary corrections. Thank you for your correspondence.


Thomas Hardy

Margolius, Jill 3:22 PM (5 hours ago)

“Mr. Hardy, I forwarded your email to the Tallahassee Press Office.”

Today, September 30, 2016 I emailed Mr. Shapiro to inquire if he had any news.  He replied that “the investigation is in the hands of the DEP. From this point on I will communicate with legitimate members of the media only.”

When I asked “What do you define as legitimate members of the media?,” he replied “Not bloggers with a political agenda.”

In this regard:


From: Sarahanne Driggs <sdriggs@press.org>
Date: Wed, Sep 21, 2016 at 12:26 PM
Subject: NPC Welcome
To: “hardythomast@gmail.com” <hardythomast@gmail.com>

“Mr. Hardy,

Welcome to the National Press Club! Your application for membership has been accepted and you are now a member of the Club.

The National Press Club is the world’s leading professional organization for journalists. It serves its members through activities that bolster their skills, through services that meet the changing needs of the global communications profession, and through social activities that build a vital media community in Washington and across the world. The Club is where news happens in the nation’s capital and is a vigorous advocate of press freedom worldwide.

The National Press Club is known as “The Place Where News Happens.” Global leaders in government, politics, business, music, film and sport visit the club every day. They speak here at public and private events because the press is here.”

Our Club has more than 3,500 members, including journalists from every major news organization.

Mr. Hardy is also a Charter Member of the Columbia Journalism Review, who’s mission is to be the intellectual leader in the rapidly changing world of journalism. It is the most respected voice on press criticism, and it shapes the ideas that make media leaders and journalists smarter about their work.

Columbia Journalism Review is published by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.


One thought on “Our Correspondence with the Florida Environmental Protection Agency About Spoonbill Marsh, Vero Beach, FL.

  1. Pingback: Shapiro and Taylor Continue to Lash Out on Spoonbill Marsh Despite Science That Deep Well Injection is Out of Sight, Out of Mind. What is Their Agenda? | Vero Communiqué

Leave a Reply