On a rare, perfect March day in Florida, neither too hot nor too cold, Jane Blais, Alan Toth and your historian set out to kayak to the confluence of the New River and the Santa Fe. Alan is a documentary maker from Berkeley, CA filming parts of North Florida and expressed his desire to see that rare and rarely visited spot. He last visited the area in December and attended several meetings of CAPM and the Bradford County commissioners.
OSFR board member Jane is familiar with the area so off we went. Unfortunately, even though Chastain Seay Park is closed due to high water damage, the area near the confluence is in a state of low water.
Finding the park put-in ramp closed, we went to the Hwy 18 bridge, devoid of boat ramp, and were able to launch the kayaks. Progress was made downstream, but the goal was not reached due to lots of fallen trees blocking the river.
OSFR board member Jane Blais on New River
Even though the exact destination eluded the group, an exceptional day was spent enjoying the quiet beauty of the river, and Alan was pleased with the photos he captured. Lands near the river scenes may someday be torn asunder by a proposed phosphate mine. These peaceful waters are one of about three remaining areas where the Oval Pigtoe Mussel can be found. Mining would put this near-extinct animal in extreme jeopardy.
Our thanks go to Jane Blais for the generous donation of her time, expertise and her kayak for Alan.