OSFR board member, founding member and ex-president Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson has been invited to be a guest speaker at a world-wide symposium at the University of Guelph in the city of Guelph, about 60 miles west of Toronto in Ontario, Canada. The university is a prestigious research institution with emphasis on science.
Here the topic is Nestle bottled water and the symposium is sponsored by the Wellington Water Watchers, a non-profit Canadian group. The event runs from Nov. 11 through 14, 2019. Merrillee will be sitting with other leading world advocates from the USA, Canada, France, Brazil, and fittingly, Switzerland. (Nestle owners are from Switzerland.)
Merrillee has been courted intensively as an expert on the Nestle bottled water issue by local and foreign newspapers, including the Guardian and the New York Times, and by TV and radio stations, including NBC.
In addition to her TV appearances and radio interviews, she has also authored or co-authored numerous editorials on bottled water in various newspapers which has drawn national attention to the situation at High Springs and Nestle.
She has researched the local history of water-bottling companies in Florida and has been instrumental in stopping four such companies along the Santa Fe River.
Her long experience in local and state water issues and active participation in water management district meetings, city and county commission meetings, and her interactions with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection gives her a unique insight and understanding in procedural requirements and methods.
These state and local governing agencies often consult with her on water issues, either by phone or by invitation to appear at in-house policy-making meetings.
Her hard work opposing private water bottling has brought OSFR and the water-bottling issue to the international forefront.
On your latest mission, we say godspeed Merrillee.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-