April 22, 2024
Clearing the waters in the Indian River Lagoon

Photo: Chris Zuppa/Tampa Bay Times

Southeast Florida Roundup

Clearing the waters in the Indian River Lagoon

The CEO of Scotts Miracle-Gro offers to pay for a two-year study.

Mike Vogel | 12/26/2014

The 156-mile-long Indian River Lagoon, covering 40% of Florida's east coast, has become critically endangered by runoff from agriculture, septic tanks and suburban and urban areas.

In the search for a way to clean up the lagoon, researchers have found an unlikely ally: The leading company in the industry whose products are often blamed for contributing to the nutrient overload: Scotts Miracle-Gro.

The $2.8-billion company, which is headquartered in Ohio, has a long history in Florida, maintaining a research site at Apopka since 1964. CEO Jim Hagedorn happens to have his primary home in Martin County on the St. Lucie River, part of the estuary system, and works often from Scotts' West Palm Beach office. "As a resident of the Treasure Coast, and as someone with a passion to be on the water, I have witnessed the challenges in the St. Lucie River, the Indian River Lagoon and other waterways," Hagedorn said in a statement last year.

That statement announced Scotts' financial support —$625,000 to date — for a twoyear, peer-reviewed study by the respected Ocean Research and Conservation Association on the sources and types of pollution affecting the estuary. In a related effort, local state Sen. Joe Negron obtained $2 million in state funds for ORCA to install 25 waterquality monitoring stations in canals and tributaries the length of the lagoon.

ORCA co-founder Edith "Edie" Widder says an independent committee will oversee the Scottsfunded research to ensure it's unbiased. She says she told Hagedorn, when he approached the group about helping, that if the results show "you're the problem, I'll say it loud and clear."

Scotts says it wants consumers to feel comfortable using its products, and will make any changes dictated by the scientific evidence. Scotts already has stopped using phosphorous in lawn maintenance products and has cut the use of total nitrogen, while increasing the share of slow-release nitrogen.

The ORCA donation is part of Scotts' $5-million, threeyear Florida initiative to fund water and habitat restoration in Tampa Bay, aid in lagoon cleanup and create community gardens and green spaces in each of Florida's 67 counties and to educate consumers on the best use of its products to safeguard the environment.

BOCA RATON — Developers Rosemurgy Properties and Giles Capital Group bought 90-unit Boca Sol and a partnership interest in the Addison Park townhouse project to add to its student-housing portfolio. The portfolio is anchored by its 598- bed University Park upscale student housing project scheduled for completion this summer along the same 20th Street corridor. Boca Sol will be repositioned for student housing under the name University Square while 165-bed Addison Park will become University View. > Boca residents Terry and Kim Pegula bought the NFL Buffalo Bills for $1.4 billion. Penn State grad Pegula, who made his fortune in natural gas fracking, already owns the NHL Buffalo Sabres.

BOYNTON BEACH — The Seminole Tribe will acquire Mackinac Savings Bank, its second go at acquiring a bank. It didn't complete a deal to acquire Fort Lauderdalebased Valley Bank, which later failed.

CORAL SPRINGS — Indiabased pharma company Lupin is adding 45 jobs and a new lab to its Broward operation.

DELRAY BEACH — Fort Lauderdale-based Citrix acquired for undisclosed terms Virtual, a startup that does cloud-based virtualization for iOS and Android.

FORT LAUDERDALE — Airplane crew-supply company OSM Aviation hired 58 cabin crew Members after hiring 104 in late 2013. The company provides Norwegian Air Shuttle and Finnair with fight attendants, captains and first officers. The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Holy Cross Hospital created a residency program in internal medicine that will begin in July. As it expands over the next three years, it will train 42 residents. > The Galleria mall over seven years wants to add seven residential buildings, ranging from 15 to 45 stories and totaling 1,600 units, a 150-room boutique hotel, senior living apartments and neighborhood retail and service on its 40-acre site.

HOLLYWOOD — The Related Group and Fortune International broke ground on their 40-story, 40-condo, 367-hotel unit Beachfront Hyde Resort & Residences Hollywood Beach, scheduled for completion in 2016.

JUPITER — Tiger Woods will open The Woods Jupiter: Sports and Dining Club at Allied Capital and Development's Harbourside Place.

PALM BEACH COUNTY — The county's tourism tax generated a record $34 million in revenue last year, up 11%.

POMPANO BEACH — Shred-it leased a new 34,800-sq.-ft. location, double the size of its existing space.

SOUTH FLORIDA — Trader Joe's opened stores in Boca Raton, Palm Beach Gardens and Pembroke Pines in the fourth quarter. San Francisco-based ride-sharing service Lyft launched in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach following the launch of rival Uber.

WEST PALM BEACH — Good Decisions Sober Living Center closed after an FBI raid, eliminating 92 jobs.

WESTON — The Maroone family, which made its fortune in car sales, broke the $10-million mark in donations to Cleveland Clinic Florida. The clinic's new cancer center is named the Maroone Cancer Center.


Silver Airways appointed CFO Sami T. Teittinen CEO, replacing David Pfieger, who resigned to become CEO of Hawaii Island Air. Teittinen joined Silver in January 2014 from BBA Aviation Flight Support, where he was CFO.


Gulf stream Goodwill

Every Goodwill Industries store holds the potential for a treasure amid the bargains, but none is as unique as the Goodwill boutique on Sunset Avenue on Palm Beach. About a mile north of Worth Avenue, the small store's donated stock can include Coach and Gucci bags, Brooks Bros., Brioni and Canali suits, Judith Leiber accessories or a pair of Christian Louboutin crystal-studded heels. Proceeds from the store support Gulf stream Goodwill, which operates throughout the Treasure Coast.

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