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
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.