VoteWater adds new members to Board of Directors

Stuart-based VoteWater has announced the addition of two new members, Carl Bettinger and Todd Thurlow, to the organization’s Board of Directors.

Carl Bettinger

Bettinger, of Palmetto, is a physician and attorney who earned a mathematics degree from Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., in 1978, then his M.D. from the Boston University School of Medicine in 1982.

After a four-year residency in internal medicine at the University of New Mexico, he earned his J.D. from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 1990. As an attorney from 1990-2015 and partner with Shapiro and Bettinger, then Shapiro Bettinger Chase LLP in Albuquerque, he specialized in large, complex civil litigation against for-profit health and nursing home companies.

He retired to Snead Island in 2014.

Thurlow, of Stuart, is a 7th generation Floridian and a third-generation Stuart attorney, practicing in the areas of estates and trusts and estate and gift taxation.

Todd Thurlow

The son of local historian Sandra Thurlow and brother of Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch, who serves on the Governing Board of the South Florida Water Management District, he’s long tracked changes to Stuart-area waterways and collaborates on the “Indian River Lagoon” blog with his sister, providing Google Earth overlays of historical maps, aerials and satellite data.

In addition, he hosts the “Eye on Lake O” website, which automates the collection of satellite imagery and online government data to track local algae blooms and the discharges into the St. Lucie River.

“Floridians statewide should be just as excited as I am to have Carl Bettinger and Todd Thurlow join the board of VoteWater,” said VoteWater Board President Blair Wickstrom.

“Both Carl and Todd live in severely affected watersheds in Florida. Bettinger, an avid angler, knows firsthand how devastating phosphate mining can be to a local fishery. The Piney Point disaster, which fueled a massive red tide and fish kill in Tampa Bay last year should have never happened, and with Carl’s input to VoteWater, hopefully it won’t happen again in the future.

“Thurlow brings a spotlight to an ongoing and equally devastating problem, the toxic buildup of polluted water in Lake Okeechobee. Todd takes public information and makes it readily available to anyone interested in keeping tabs on pollution in the lake. This is important to over eight million Floridians living in South Florida because it impacts them personally. Keeping too much water in Lake Okeechobee fosters pollution in the lake, starves Florida Bay and the Everglades of water and eventually leads to massive toxic discharges to both coasts.”

VoteWater, formerly, is a 501(c)4 group founded in 2014 to fight political corruption in Florida by galvanizing public resolve to end the systemic pollution and mismanagement of our waterways.