Thursday Oct. 10 was the retreat day for the Board who traveled to Cedar Key for the slightly less formal meeting. Business was done, however within the comfortable atmosphere of the friendly people of Cedar Key.
We were pleased to see the Board wisely watching the taxpayers’ pennies when discussing the item pertaining to the Sustainable Suwananee Program Agreements. This is a cost-share program essentially to pay the farmer not to farm in order to reduce nitrogen loading in groundwater and also reduce water consumption.
Most of the nine participants would receive upwards of $390,000 per year for ten years, and the Board quickly determined that they could perhaps purchase an easement or perhaps even the property for that amount.
At last month’s board meeting the members also chose to seek less expensive alternatives, and we applaud these choices. Hopefully this scrutiny will be a continuing trend.
After lunch on our own (some say the best thing about the SRWMD is the free lunch they have at home base meetings) attendees were treated to several presentations by the expert staff at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Nature Coast Biological Station. Not quite finished, with the third floor still under construction, this station is home to many interesting research projects by the expert scientists stationed here.
Projects ranged from the local lighthouse restoration, the three-thousand-year old oyster reef restoration, to snook studies and how sea-water rise from climate change will affect the city.
Your OSFR representatives were unable to tour the shoreline Master Plan as duty called us to High Springs for a meeting with the City Commission.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-