Ribbon Cutting – Good News for the Ichetucknee

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Official opening of the Ichetucknee Springshed Water Quality Improvement Project, Columbia County.

A happy day when we can report good news for our rivers and springs.  Such was today when Suwannee River Water Management District, working with Columbia  County and Lake City, formally finished the Ichetucknee Springshed Water Quality Improvement Project.

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A portion of the 120-acre wetland to recharge the aquifer and remove nitrates.

This project treats wastewater from Lake City on a sprayfield on Sisters Welcome Road, with the combined benefits of recharging the  aquifer through wetlands and removing up to 77,000 pounds of total nitrogen.  This greatly reduces the nutrient loading in the river.

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Noah Valenstein, Executive Director of the Suwannee River Water Management District, addresses the crowd.

This is the largest constructed treatment wetland in the Suwannee River Water Management District and adds up to 1.58 million gallons per day in aquifer recharge.

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Senator Bill Nelson supports the environment.

Wetland Solutions Inc., run by OSFR advisor Bob Knight, provided consultation for this project, which began construction on October 15, 2015.

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Map depicting the Ichetucknee springshed.

OSFR commends the Suwannee River Water Management District, the City of Lake City and Columbia County for funding this project which is a step forward in cleaning up our rivers and springs.

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Executive Director Valenstein conversing with Jerry Krummrich of Four Rivers Audubon Society.

Several state and local dignitaries were in attendance, including Sen. Bill Nelson, politicians Ted Yoho and Elizabeth Porter, Bucky Nash and Scarlett Frisina of the Columbia County Commissioners.  Others in attendance were Robert Bridges of the Lake City Reporter, representatives from the Ichetucknee State Park, Valerie Thomas and Jerry Krummrich from Four Rivers Audubon Society, Debbie Segal, from Alachua Audubon, your historian representing OSFR, and many others from DEP and other agencies.

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Suwannee River Water Management District’s Ombudsman Steve Minnis wields the official ribbon cutting instrument. It looks rather formidable. Perhaps this is overkill.

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


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