Mosaic Overflight, Part 1

MosaicFhole1 In: Mosaic Overflight, Part 1 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) | Protecting the Santa Fe River

Thanks to several people, not sure who they all are, your historian was able be on board a flight over Mosaic mine south and east of Tampa on July 27, 2017.  Some of those people are Cody Phillips, Gina La Bruno, Ed Golly and Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson.  If there are more, please excuse my ignorance and accept my apologies.

The flight was on a Cessna 210, year of 1977, kept in top, like-new condition by owner/pilot Ed Golly of Tampa who most generously provided transportati0n, first by Tesla and next by Cessna.  Companions on the flight were serious water warriors Betty Osceola and Houston Cypress from deep in the Everglades.  Also aboard were Kat Springs, AKA Kathy Wood, and son Aaron, who I believe enjoyed the flight almost as much as your writer.  Which means means he really liked it.

MosaicFhole2 In: Mosaic Overflight, Part 1 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) | Protecting the Santa Fe RiverPerspective is elusive here, as the water sits atop a high gypstack.  The huge sinkhole is between the two ponds and can be seen in the upper center.

Adding to the enjoyment was leaving from Tampa Executive Airport, which in 1972 was known as Vandenberg, where your writer earned his pilot license from Eddie Vandenberg.  The airport was quite different back then.

MosaicFhole3 In: Mosaic Overflight, Part 1 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) | Protecting the Santa Fe River

Another view, showing all the equipment on top of the stack.   The area shown here was a lake of toxic water until the sinkhole opened up in August, 2016 and drained it into the aquifer.

Very soon after takeoff the infamous New Wales gypstack appeared on the horizon.  This oft-photographed hole has changed very little, but the surroundings are now very different than last September when it was first seen by the public.

It is a little hard to tell, but it appears that Mosaic has filled the entire lake bottom on the top of the gypstack, right up to the sinkhole, as can be seen in the closeup.  It appears that no machinery has been close to the opening as yet.

The fact that Mosaic and the DEP both covered up the fact that the sinkhole was possibly putting nearby residents at risk was harmful to the reputations of both the phosphate company and the state agency.

Their cover-up lasted nearly three weeks before discovered by a Tampa TV station.   Mosaic eventually apologized, but the DEP said only that they followed the law and admitted to no ethical or moral wrongdoing.   Many deem this inexcusable conduct by an agency which is supposed to protect the environment instead of catering to industry.

MosaicFreclaim1 In: Mosaic Overflight, Part 1 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) | Protecting the Santa Fe River
In the photo above we see reclaimed land where phosphate-bearing ore was removed.  Since so much earth is removed, water fills in some areas.  Swimming in and consuming fish from the waters may not be recommended.  Much of the reclaimed land has no dwellings nor agriculture, but some areas do.

MosaicFplantSBartow In: Mosaic Overflight, Part 1 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) | Protecting the Santa Fe RiverOne of several of the Mosaic plants scattered in the area.

MosaicFdrag1 In: Mosaic Overflight, Part 1 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) | Protecting the Santa Fe River

One of several draglines scooping up the earth.  This one is several miles south of Bartow.  It will be many years before this land is reclaimed, and many say it will never be the same as before.  This scene could be on the Santa Fe River if HPS II achieves their goal in Union and Bradford Counties.

MosaicFgroup In: Mosaic Overflight, Part 1 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) | Protecting the Santa Fe River
Left to right, Kathy Wood, Aaron Wood, Betty Osceola, pilot Ed Golly, Houston Cypress

As there is too much material for one post, we will continue with more later.

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



  1. Thank you for sharing, this is a information that concern everyone the time to look the other way, needs to stop we have to step up and defend our birthrights LIFE (water) is sacred, to be a real human we most start to respect our selves and become our best version, respect and compassion for a living PLANET. EARTH is our celestial mother we have to care and protect her, I’m so graceful for all your endeavor to bring to us all of this information for it is power for us that can see what is happening and wants to see a Change to keep PLANET EARTH save for future generations.

  2. Everyday we see more egregious things happening to our state & environment all due to Governor Rick Scott his lack of love for this state and all wild things living is starting to rapidly DESTROY this states environment. He even threatened his employee’s in his administration if they talk about Climate Change or Global Warming they will be fired & he cut the states EPA!!! All this Governor has done since in office is enhance HIS WEALTH & HIS GREEDY CORPORATE POLLUTERS with raping this state for their own GREED with disregard of the consequences and or future generations. We can stop this, soon his rein will be up as Governor, WE MUST NOT ALLOW HIS EGREGIOUS CRIMINAL TO BE ELECTED AGAIN in any OFFICE OF POWER. WE CAN DO THIS……. the power of the people and our numbers are our greatest asset for change. TIME FOR A POLITICAL REVOLUTION, we all see that Republicans don’t care about the environment (or not enough of them) for change VOTE DEMOCRAT if you want to save your state. It’s IMPERATIVE WE VOTE IN A DEMOCRAT FOR GOVERNOR. You see our so called president doesn’t believe in climate change and wants to strip the EPA we must protect ourselves.

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