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‘Hands Along the Water’ set for Sunday

August 9, 2018
Lehigh Acres Citizen

Floridian's concerned over the water quality issues happening across the Sunshine State will stand together as one in a peaceful demonstration called "Hands Along The Water."

Sunday morning, at 10:15 sharp, hundreds and potentially thousands of residents will lock hands for 15 minutes in silence "to show that we do not, and will not, stand for our beautiful beaches, wildlife, homes and livelihoods to continuously be destroyed and impacted by the water released from Lake O," said the event's Facebook page.

Thirty different beach sites across the state will stage the event that asks people to arrive by 10 a.m.

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Along with the locking of hands in unison, volunteers of Hands Along The Water encourage those to "speak with residents, hear the stories of loss, illness, and devastation that we all suffer and help support this peaceful movement, share and be instrumental in allowing our voices to be heard."

This is a family event spanning coast to coast and made possible solely by volunteers and is not supported or funded in any way by groups or organizations.

"Florida is not only loved by its residents but by hundreds of thousands of people across the world. The tourism alone creates countless jobs for our populations and we can't allow that to diminish and fail," read a release from the volunteers.

"We must unite as people and take a stand to create solutions for the future of this state and its residents. Without YOU helping the people of this great state be heard, our fight is unheard," they continued.

The volunteers ask that attendees wear a mask if concerned about their health/immune system, to wear shoes on the beach to avoid bones from dead fish, to wear a blue or aqua colored shirt, to bring water in a reusable bottle and to not bring signs, banners or the like.

They also ask attendees not to bring pets for safety reasons.

"This is a family event, being held by volunteers along the coasts. This event is not being sponsored by any organization. There will be no money or donations being collected, and we will not be promoting any one organization. We are locals that want our beaches back and to save marine life," the release stated.

Lee County event sites include the Cape Coral Yacht Club Beach, Fort Myers Beach, Bonita Beach and Sanibel/Captiva.

"Together, we can make a difference. This will speak louder than any sign or angry words," Dominique Kuzer, organizer of the Cape Coral event said.

The idea stemmed from a Facebook post about standing in solidarity along the water and spread like wildfire-a positive aspect of social media.

The original event location was to be on Fort Myers Beach, but Kuzer quickly volunteered to host a Cape event.

Various other residents from all over Florida volunteered to represent their city or town that shared the same passion.

"This was made possible by the teamwork of all coordinators. We reached out to local news outlets and radio stations, as well as a lot of social media promotion. Erin Brockovich even re-tweeted the event," said Kuzer

Brockovich's substantial following allowed more eyes than ever to educate themselves on the matter and grow the event into what is has become.

"I can't put into words how amazed I am to see how much it's grown. It's surreal," said Kuzer. "It's very humbling. I'm grateful to be part of something so crucial to our environment. It's amazing to see the support and backing from so many different communities."

Her involvement in the Hands Along The Water movement has inspired the hopeful veterinarian to become more involved in community issues and volunteer work.

"Come on out. Wear a blue shirt. Put a mask on. Let's get together so we can make a change. It's going to take a community to fix this, she said. "Together, we can make a difference."

Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj

 
 

 

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