The meeting of the governing board today at the Suwannee River Water Management District in Live Oak saw the swearing in of new board member Charles Keith of Lake City, as well as a brief visit by Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection Jon Steverson.
Secretary Steverson had nothing but praise for the district staff, and among the many good things he said about the district is that it is among the lowest in administrative costs, and one of the fastest in processing water permits.
OSFR President Pam Smith presented a white paper which outlined our organization’s mission and requests. This statement appeared earlier at this post, and was generally well received by the board.
Of the recommended projects for the Regional Initiative Valuing Environmental Resources (RIVER) program, the heaviest funded is the Mill Creek Sink Water Quality Improvements which runs directly into the Santa Fe River. This was approved for $400,000 by the district, with the City of Alachua contributing $1 million. Alachua City Commission District Representative Gary Hardacre was present to express appreciation to the board for funding the project, important to help protect the fragile cave system where the aquifer is exposed to contamination. Mr. Hardacre is a loyal reader of our posts, for which we are appreciative.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-