The Environmental Issues Group (EIG) studies environmentally sensitive natural resources in order to guide and educate its members, the LWV, community leaders, and government officials on critical issues; and advocates for appropriate public policy to address these issues. The primary issues currently being addressed are: renewable energy; fracking; water conservation, quality and supply; sea-level rise; and climate change.


  • Invite representatives of environmental agencies and organizations to share information at monthly meetings and participate in related conferences as well as field trips in order to inform ourselves on the issues so that we can disseminate the information we obtain.
  • Participate in diverse community events with our exhibits to educate members of our communities.
  • Keep up-to-date on state and local legislative efforts related to the environment and communicate our positions on bills, resolutions, and issues that affect our county, state, and country as individuals or as LWV members if requested to do so by our state or local league. Apprise the LWVPBC and the public on state or local legislative activities.
  • Participate in the LWVFL Natural Resources Group call and collaborate as appropriate with other Florida League chapters and with environmental organizations to promote awareness and advocacy of the issues.

EIG Accomplishments: 2019-2020

  • Major Events:  Organized a Cool Topics panel presentation on climate change in collaboration with the City of Delray Beach to bring awareness and address the effects of sea level rise and climate change. This year’s annual event was entitled RISE: A Climate and Art Weekend.
  • Activities:  Participated with a table-set on the theme of “Alternatives to Single-Use Plastics” at the Palm Beach Atlantic University Earth Day Fair, the RISE event in Delray Beach, and the COBWRA Water Wise & Why Symposium; attended the 3-day 2019 Southeast Florida Regional Climate Leadership Summit, coordinated a field trip to the Tellus Corporation (biodegradable containers) & Everglades Agricultural Area, and participated in webinars conducted by the 1000 Friends of Florida on legislative and environmental issues.
  • Advocacy:  Requested and coordinated a recommendation from LWVPBC Board to include “Climate Emergency” in response to the LWV’s request for 2020-2022 program priorities that align with the LWV’s Making Democracy Work® initiative; provided legislative updates each month for EIG; met with Senator Lori Berman (Aide Abby Ross) on environmental issues; provided letter of support to Boca Raton City Council on its Florida Public Service resolution concerning energy efficiency; spearheaded the Climate Emergency Action Motion at the 2019 Biennial LWVFL Convention; and shared information, events and support with an informal group of mainly South Florida League environmentalists.


Mary Mertz, marymertz@me.com561-512-6560
Nikki Descoteaux, nikkidescoteaux@gmail.com508-360-7070


EIG Meetings are typically held the first Saturday of each month at various branch library locations.  Please confirm meeting date and location on the LWVPBC calendar.

Important Environmental Events

LWV EIG Events

3/27   Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute – Tour (cancelled)

4/17   Earth Day Fair – Palm Beach Atlantic University (cancelled)

TBA    Tour of Loggerhead Marinelife Center

Other Interesting Opportunities

4/18   1000 Friends of Florida Webinar

Links of Interest

Governmental Offices and Non-Profit Organizations

Governmental Offices – Palm Beach County

Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resource Management

Palm Beach County Office of Resilience

Palm Beach County Soil and Water Conservation District

Palm Beach County Water Resources Task Force

Boca Raton Office of Sustainability

Boynton Beach Sustainability

Delray Beach Office of Sustainability and Resiliency

West Palm Beach Office of Sustainability


State and Regional Governmental Agencies
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Florida Department of Environmental Protection

South Florida Water Management District

State of Florida Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection

Non-profit Environmental Groups

1000 Friends of Florida

Audubon Everglades

Everglades Coalition

Everglades Trust

Florida Native Plants Society

Florida Conservation Voters

Sierra Club Loxahatchee Chapter

Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact

Coalition of Boynton West Residential Associations Water & Wetlands Committee



Jaqui Thurlow-Lippisch (SFWMD)





FAU Green Schools Recognition Program for 2020

Training and participation as judges to help determine which PBC schools will be recognized for their  environmental stewardship and culture

Feb-March 2020

Eco-Leader Decal Program

Rewards Program for eco-friendly businesses

Under development

EIG Observer Corps

Members attend local governmental meetings such as county commission meetings and/or local sustainability or resilience meetings and submit updates to keep EIG members informed on environmental-related action activities.


EIG Outreach Committee

Staff information table at local events to promote eco-friendly practices and inform/educate communities about alternatives to single-use plastics


EIG Website Enhancements

Addition of information on environmental events, activities/photos, and links for members to seek/learn about such activities.

Implementation pending

Open Forum(s) on the environment for candidates for county/state legislative seats in PBC in the 2020 election

Plan and prepare to co-host an open forum on the environment for candidates for state legislative seats and selected county offices in the 2020 election


Power Point Presentation (PPT) on Climate Change in PBC

Develop a PPT on impacts of Climate Change in Palm Beach County

Future project – under discussion

Power Point Presentation (PPT) on single-use Plastics

Develop a PPT on reducing use of single-use plastics and adopting alternatives to single-use plastic products

Future project – under discussion

Power Point Presentation (PPT) on water issues in PBC

Develop a PPT on water-related issues in Palm Beach County

Future project – under discussion

Brochures on Florida Women Past & Present, Protectors of Our Environment

Development of topical brochures, likely electronic versions, that can be shared with other LWV FL chapters and used for educating citizenry. Collaboration with members of LWV Broward. This serves to celebrate the Centennial of the LWV and the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

Under development

Videos produced by “PROTECT YOUR WATER”

Click on the image below to play the video.

FRONTLINE- Plastic Wars

Click on the image below to play the video.

PBS Frontline video- Plastic Wars


  • Positive Impacts of Coronavirus on the Environment
    Positive Impacts of Coronavirus on the Environment
    by Kathy Panko There is no denying that the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic have been nothing short of catastrophic – and that will change our lives for a very long time. However, we can take one positive out of this difficult period – the environmental impact. With everyday life coming to an abrupt halt, our planet...
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    As part of the 100th-anniversary celebrations of the League of Women Voters and Women’s Suffrage, as well as the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we are pleased to bring you booklets acknowledging the contributions of women to Florida environmentalism in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Some of the women are well known; some lesser-known, but all are instrumental in addressing...
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    EARTH DAY 2020
    by Kathy Panko Earth Day is celebrated annually on April 22nd, and 2020 marks the 50th anniversary. The theme this year is climate action, which represents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and the support systems that make our world habitable. The first Earth Day was a unified response to an environment in crisis – oil spills, smog,...
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  • Environment
    PBC Green Schools
    PALM BEACH COUNTY GREEN SCHOOLS RECOGNITION PROGRAM by Kathy Panko   The Environmental Issues Group of the LWVPBC is proud to support The Green Schools Recognition Program (GSRP), a program conducted by Florida Atlantic University (FAU), Pine Jog Environmental Education Center, in collaboration with the school districts of Palm Beach and Martin Counties. The GSRP encourages both public and private schools...
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  • Fighting Pollution and Climate Chan
    Fighting Pollution and Climate Change
    FIGHTING POLLUTION AND CLIMATE CHANGE by Richard W. Emory, Jr.   The Environmental Issues Group held its first meeting of the new year on January 4, 2020. Richard Emory, an EIG member and author of the recently published book, Fighting Pollution and Climate Change: An EPA Veteran’s Guide How to Join in Saving Our Life on Planet Earth, introduced his...
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  • Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment 1
    Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment
      Palm Beach County and seven of its southeastern coastal cities have agreed to join forces in a year-long, comprehensive review of climate change impacts. The study will assess how sea-level rise, extreme temperatures, and strong storms will impact 300,000 residents in southeastern Palm Beach County now and in the future.   Palm Beach County will formally collaborate on this...
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