Florida Springs Restoration Summit 2018 Day 1

SRSroom In: Florida Springs Restoration Summit   2018 Day 1 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

 

Two years ago the Florida Springs Council held the first Springs Summit at the College of Central Florida in Ocala.  On November 1 – 4,  2018 the second one took place.  The main panels were held on Friday Nov.  and Saturday Nov. 3.  Each day 4 panels were held with a key-note speaker at lunch. Panelists consisted of environmentalists, scientists, and representatives from water agencies such as water districts, the Department of Environmental Protection, and other experts including university professors and private enterprises.

SRS2hiliard In: Florida Springs Restoration Summit   2018 Day 1 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

Dan Hilliard, president of the Florida Springs Council

SRS2bob In: Florida Springs Restoration Summit   2018 Day 1 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

Bob Knight, president of the Florida Springs Institute, did a great job putting everything together. Lu Merritt, of Ichetucknee Alliance, was the punctual timekeeper, and she made everyone toe the line.

Although there was a mixed bag of speakers, the slant of the summit of course was most certainly toward water protection and, as the title suggests, the restoration of our springs.  For which we are still waiting.  We still have not restored one spring, but our DEP and water districts have talked a lot and spent a lot of money.  All this while they continue to issue water permits.

SRS2thurlow1 In: Florida Springs Restoration Summit   2018 Day 1 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

Key-note speaker and a delightful person and speaker as well, is Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch, who should run for governor.   Most  celebrity speakers speak and run.  Not this one.  She was there at least 3 days.  Maybe 4, we don’t know.  She was on the recent Florida Constitution Revision Commission, headed by Scott-appointed anti-environment Carlos Beruff.

SRS2moran In: Florida Springs Restoration Summit   2018 Day 1 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North FloridaOur talented key-note speaker was introduced by the incomparable John Moran.  If Thurlow-Lippisch doesn’t make governor,  Moran should run.

A common theme heard throughout the summit, and emphasized by Thurlow-Lippisch was that Florida government, on down from the highest places have flagrantly and intentionally disregarded our water laws and statutes for a long time.  The result is that our water is fouled, a disgrace and a humiliation to its citizens.

 

SRS2mikethurlow In: Florida Springs Restoration Summit   2018 Day 1 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

Thurlow-Lippisch and President Mike Roth, of OSFR

SRS2marywork In: Florida Springs Restoration Summit   2018 Day 1 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

Here with Mary Hampton of the Villages Environmental Discussions Group, who was instrumental in bringing Thurlow-Lippisch to the Summit.

SRS2chris In: Florida Springs Restoration Summit   2018 Day 1 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

Chris Mericle of Sierra Club moderates a panel.  Chris has been extremely active fighting Sabal Trail and the proposed phosphate mine.

Some of the government representatives gave misinformation in their panels, typical of their dancing around the principal issues.  They know that over-pumping is the main cause, coupled with excess nitrates contributed principally by agriculture and also septic tanks.  The problem is the lack of leadership in Tallahassee.  They go after septics more than AG because agriculture is organized and given special privileges in Florida, as outlined by key-note speaker Thurlow-Lippisch and also lawyer John Thomas.  Additionally, residential home-owners lack the political clout of AG to resist.

SRS2whitey In: Florida Springs Restoration Summit   2018 Day 1 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

Whitey Markle, Chair of Suwannee St Johns Group Sierra Club, and member of  Florida Chapter Sierra Club Executive Committee.

SRS2gross In: Florida Springs Restoration Summit   2018 Day 1 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

Jim Gross, of Florida Defenders of the Environment.

SRS2kinard In: Florida Springs Restoration Summit   2018 Day 1 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

Wayne Kinard of Amigos Dive Center, leads frequent clean-ups on the Santa Fe River and terrestrial sinkholes.  Wayne is by far the best example of local dive shops, whose livelihoods depend on the river.

SRS2angeline In: Florida Springs Restoration Summit   2018 Day 1 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

Angeline Meeks of Florida Springs Institute.  Angeline also took first place in the poster session.

University of Florida and St. Johns River Water Management District spent 3 years and nearly 4 million dollars studying the declining and deteriorating Silver Springs when they already knew the cure.  Until we can change our leadership void in Tallahassee, these misplaced and wasteful activities will continue.

SRS2Ulan In: Florida Springs Restoration Summit   2018 Day 1 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida  SRS2cruz In: Florida Springs Restoration Summit   2018 Day 1 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

Bob Ulanowicz asks a question                                 Joe Cruz of Spring Hunters

Thanks to OSFR president Mike Roth, one of the most serious threats to local springs, the proposed phosphate mine, was aired very briefly, even though it was not a topic of the summit.

SRS2tris In: Florida Springs Restoration Summit   2018 Day 1 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

Tris Meucci, President Mike, and Jane Blais

SRS2booth In: Florida Springs Restoration Summit   2018 Day 1 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

Mike Roth with OSFR board member Jane Blais at the OSFR booth.  OSFR was a 2nd Magnitude sponsor of the event, and provided Saturday’s great lunch.

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


 

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