To Develop a Plan to Restore Our Springs

Bob Knight, creator of the  Summit

To Develop a Plan to Restore Our Springs.   That is the goal and we know what is wrong.

Todd Kincaid told us that our water models are flawed.

Bob Palmer told us that the chest-thumpers in Tallahassee haven’t made a workable law yet.  Senator Simmons told us we should not expect too much, and he explained why he supports fracking in Florida.

Jim Gross told us how our water managers can make a small start toward credibility, which is non-existent today.  The water district executive directors were invited, but did not attend.  The water scientists on the staff, it is rumored, were discouraged from attending, although invited.  Discouragement means better not.

The water district representatives told us that the districts are doing a good job managing our waters.  The DEP told us it is protecting the environment.

Bob Knight told us that we need to reduce groundwater pumping by at least 50 percent.

Many, many people told us that we can reduce nitrate in ground water by reducing fertilizers and septic tanks, and that we can reduce over-pumping by simply regulating.  If we decide we want to.  If……

Linda Young told us that our DEP is willingly and happily allowing us to drink poisoned water.   Tom Frick did not explain why we should have these poisons, as he did at length last summer at the ERC meeting in Tallahassee.

John Moran gave us a beautiful verbal and visual essay even though his message was one of pessimism.

John Thomas told us that we have fine water laws which our state ignores.

Nathan Crabbe explained why the Gainesville Sun did not endorse one of our best environmentally oriented politicians.

Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson told us that art is an expression of our spirit and if we value it we should expect to pay for it.  Margaret Tolbert told us we must immerse ourselves in and surround ourselves with art.  Whitey Markle  lamented for the Ocklawaha in his own beautiful, inimitable way.

Someone said that our BMAPs are not working.  Someone else said that maybe our governor could do a bit more to help the environment.

Bob Ulanowicz gave us, free and at no charge, the true and inevitable solution to our water problem:  everyone must pay for it.

Burt Eno told us that persistent advocacy defeated the Rainbow River Ranch and prevented developer greed from further destroying the Rainbow River.

Cris Costello told us that the water-takers are devious and that they want to divide us and that we must unite and connect all over the state.  Cris Costello explained the need for environmental justice in a way that we can understand.   Katie Tripp told us to start close to home and that we must connect and not give up.

Dan Hilliard told us that politics has no business swimming in our waters.

Lu Merritt told us how much time we have.  She would probably add here that it is running out.

And Gwen Graham gave us a glimmer of hope which may come in about two years.

Thank you Bob for doing this and making it possible.  Please do another soon so we can continue making progress and networking.

Following are a few images of some of the identities involved.  Sorry we could not get more.

Florida Springs Council president Dan Hilliard with our glimmer of hope Gwen Graham.


Public outreach through Visual and Musical Arts, Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, Rick Kilby, Johnny Dame, Margaret Tolbert and Whitey Markle. What they do means a lot more to us and affects our lives much more than we realize. Like losing power during a storm, take it away and there is a terrible void we didn’t know would be there.


Legislative Initiatives – Senator David Simmons, Rob Williams, David Cullen, Bob Palmer and Heather Obara. Lawmakers, lobbyists and watchdogs. Not everyone agreed, but ideas were put forth.


Reaching the Public through Print Media. Kevin Spear, Bruce Ritchie, Nathan Crabbe, and Jason Evens. These guys are still important in spite of cell phones, computers and FaceBook. Just like Jean Luc Picard, we still like to hold a hard copy in our hand. What they say can change the world.


Lots of discussion whenever there was a break. Linda Bystrak, Debbie Segal, John Thomas, Lu Merritt (sorry Lu, it doesn’t happen often) Guy Marwick, Nathan Crabbe, Bob Ulanowicz, Lisa Rinaman, (unknown) and Dave Wilson. Networking is important.


Sometimes we need a little humor

:sprgsgrossgoofy                                sprgsbob-bored
Jim just finished his moderating duties                        Bob is dreaming of First Magnitude, but not springs


sprgsgross                sprgsjsq           sprgsmarkle

Jim Gross geologist    John Quarterman, WWALS               Whitey Markle  Sierra Club

sprgskincaid            sprgssulek             sprgsscris
Todd Kincaid  geologist    Jacqui Sulek  Audubon Society  Cris Costello Sierra Club


sprgspruitt              sprgsmoritz             sprgsbird
Jim Pruitt  OSFR            David Moritz environmentalist   Chris Bird  Alachua Co.
River lover                                                                                    Environmental Protection Dept.


sprgsslindayoung            sprgscriscorey                sprgslopez
Linda Young                          Kristin Cathey environmentalist    Jacki Lopez  Center for
Fl. Clean Water Network        and biologist                                    Biological Diversity


sprgsmelissa                                   sprgspalmer
Melissa Redon, FL Springs Institute         Bob Palmer, Florida Springs Council

Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, moderator, Sierra Club organizing representative, co-founder and ex president of OSFR, last president of Save Our Suwannee


President Pam Smith, OSFR and Heather Obara, Florida Springs Institute


OSFR President Pam Smith and Vice President Terry Phelan

Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life:  once taken, it cannot be brought back-



  1. What a great group of dedicated people we have working to protect our water from the forces of profit and greed. I am so proud of you all.

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