Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

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It’s time for DeSantis to appoint clean water allies to St. Johns Water District | Our view

lilker srwmd board 3 In: It's time for DeSantis to appoint clean water allies to St. Johns Water District | Our view | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) | Protecting the Santa Fe River
SRWMD meets with no quorum in Sept., 2019. Photo by Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson.

The Editorial Board is much too kind to DeSantis and our water managers, who are all continuing the status quo of allowing industry generally all the water they want  at the expense of our dying rivers and springs.  This trend has been on-going for years and the results are chipping away at our resources and quality of life — springs dying, algae invasions, dead fish, tourists staying away, beaches closed– it goes on and on.

It is shameless and inexcusable.

We will add that at the time this is written, the Suwannee River Water Management District Board of Directors cannot make any ruling because they have only four members of a nine-member board.

Read the entire article here in Florida Today.

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

It’s time for DeSantis to appoint clean water allies to St. Johns Water District | Our view

USA TODAY Network- Florida
Editorial boards August 20, 2020

When he took office, Gov. Ron DeSantis vowed to tackle water quality and preservation on a “war footing.” It was a rallying cry to a righteous cause. Water — oceans, lagoons, lakes, rivers, springs and the vast underground aquifers that supply the state with its drinking water — is essential to Florida’s way of life. And it is under threat from pollution and over-pumping.

But the governor can’t go to war without generals. And his ranks are puzzlingly bare.

Nowhere is that more evident than on the governing board of the St. Johns River Water Management District, where five positions — of nine — are vacant and have been for most of DeSantis’ term.

It’s a bizarre failure to act because DeSantis clearly knows how important these positions are. One of his first acts as governor was to clean house at the South Florida Water Management District, asking all nine governing board members to resign — which they did. A month later he wrote Senate President Bill Galvano to rescind three of former Gov. Rick Scott’s appointments to the St. Johns board, along with appointments to the boards of the state’s other three water management districts.

The trouble is, nobody was appointed in their place.

That’s a problem, because these boards do important work. In Brevard, Volusia, Flagler and St. Johns counties, the water management district oversees much of the conservation land in the area. It’s responsible for allocating water-use permits, some of which allow the withdrawal of millions of gallons of water per day from the aquifer. The district also oversees regulatory decisions, including permits to destroy wetlands, and guides restoration efforts for some of Florida’s most iconic springs and water bodies. Without foresight and oversight, bad decision making could take a serious toll on northeast Florida’s natural beauty and local residents’ quality of life.

This editorial first appeared in the The Daytona Beach News-Journal.

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  1. Robbie, we are rapidly heading deeper into the woods because Florida has decided their natural resources are less important than money. So they are on the road to putting their legal foot into their big mouth, as the springs dry up, the fish die, the beaches become cesspools and the tourists go elsewhere. They also put wastewater into deep injection wells, not knowing what they may or may not be doing to our aquifer. So they are poisoning Florida inside and out. Saves money.

  2. “Everything for everybody at no cost to anyone” is the siren song of the Chamber of Commerce crowd. The economic and environmental reality is, as we know, different: new development creates a new urban consumer base, and new consumers create new demands on the supply of goods and services–that is the business model. But excessive demand creates shortages–the inability of past civilizations to maintain
    a balance between supply (natural resources) and demand (consumption) led to the internal collapse of their empires. We aren’t out of the Malthusian “woods” yet!

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