Protest to Nestle Water Grab, part I

nes rally staging parade In: Protest to Nestle Water Grab, part I | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Victoria Machado of UF leads the staging parade to begin the speaker series.

 

nes rally staging signs In: Protest to Nestle Water Grab, part I | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
At the staging area the participants may select a sign in case they did not bring one. They also receive instructions regarding the march.

The evening of Nov. 1, 2019, Our Santa Fe River, Inc., Suwannee St. Johns Group
Sierra Club and Climate Action Gator organized and deployed a passionate protest against Nestle water bottling company.

The reason for this protest is because Seven Springs Water Company wants to renew a pumping permit near Ginnie Springs to sell water to Nestle to bottle and ship out of the area.

The permit allows 1,152,000 gallons per day from two wells very near Ginnie Spring and the Santa Fe River.  This river is already flowing about 30 percent less than in previous years because of over-pumping, and the State of Florida is spending millions on restoration.  Allowing additional withdrawals is irrational and absurd and will surely make a negative impact and slow the restoration process.

The permit HAS NOT YET BEEN ISSUED.  You can help by going the Suwannee River Water Management District link on the website of oursantaferiver.org and entering comments.  This board will make a decision on the permit in the coming months so you still have time to comment.  They will read what you write and consider it.  You may make multiple comments as long as you write something new each time.

Passion ran high at the rally as upwards of 200 people came out to tell Nestle to leave our water alone.  Emphasis was on youth as three of our great speakers were of high school and college age.  They included:

Marihelen Wheeler, Alachua Board of County Commissioner. A longtime clean water advocate from this region of Florida.
Isaac Augspurg, a 14 year old student plaintiff in the Climate Action lawsuit against the State of Florida. Isaac’s Grandfather is a Founder of Our Santa Fe River.

nes rally marihelenmmj In: Protest to Nestle Water Grab, part I | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
OSFR board member and organizer of the rally Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson introduces Marihelen Wheeler, Alachua County Commission and strong water advocate.

 

nesrally issac In: Protest to Nestle Water Grab, part I | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Young Isaac Augspurg addresses the crowd.

Mike Roth, President of Our Santa Fe River, an organization that organized to stop four water bottling permits in 2006 and successfully stopped all of them with this community involvement.

nes rally mike In: Protest to Nestle Water Grab, part I | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
OSFR president Mike Roth.

Emma Turner, a leader of the Young Leaders for Wild Florida, who have been taking up the charge to speak out against land and water use harm in our area.

Anton Kernohan, a youth climate and environmental justice activist who is the lead organizer for the various Youth Climate Strikes here in Gainesville, Vice President of Climate Action Gator at UF, and Outreach Director of North FL for Youth Climate Strike.

nesrally emma 1 In: Protest to Nestle Water Grab, part I | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Emma Turner

nesrally anton 1 In: Protest to Nestle Water Grab, part I | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Anton Kernohan has plenty of energy.

Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, a Founding Board Member of Our Santa Fe River, Vice Chair of Suwannee St. John’ Sierra Club, riparian property owner and who has dedicated a great deal of her personal time in giving our culturally valued spring-fed Santa Fe River the protection it needs to survive.

nes rally mmj speaker 1 In: Protest to Nestle Water Grab, part I | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Merrillee organized a flawless rally and march and here explains the importance of Nestle’s intended environmental threat to the Santa Fe. She also explains what we can do to help stop them. For information go to the OSFR website at oursantaferiver.org.

We are delighted to see our three young speakers present and participating.  We are also happy to see they brought many fellow advocates with them. We desperately need young people to continue our mission, and Nestle was the magnet to attract them.  Nestle seems to draw world-wide ire wherever they abuse the public.

nesrally college1 In: Protest to Nestle Water Grab, part I | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
University students march in the parade and express their opinion of Nestle.
nesrally college2 In: Protest to Nestle Water Grab, part I | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
More students after the march.

Due to the many images of attendees we will continue with Part II shortly.

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


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