Victory For The Wetlands And Aquifer!

wetlands crowd In: Victory For The Wetlands And Aquifer! | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

After six hours of waiting and listening to public comments, the wise leaders of Alachua County voted four to one to an amendment to the county’s Water Quality Code. The amendment was proposed  because of the severe 2017 hurricane season and establishes county-wide wetland protection requirements, which basically extend the protection into unincorporated areas of the county.  Public interest was high, with a total of 58 speakers, 46 of whom recommended approval and 12 rejection.  The anticipated organized opposition from agricultural interests did not materialize.  The crowd was reported at 294 with two overflow rooms.

wetlands whitey2 In: Victory For The Wetlands And Aquifer! | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida wetlands bird In: Victory For The Wetlands And Aquifer! | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida  wetlandsmarihelen In: Victory For The Wetlands And Aquifer! | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Whitey Markle  Sierra Club                           Chris Bird, Alachua Co.                       Maryihelen Wheeler  SF Lake Dwellers

wetlands maryvonne2 In: Victory For The Wetlands And Aquifer! | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida  wetlandstracy In: Victory For The Wetlands And Aquifer! | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida  wetlandskaithleen In: Victory For The Wetlands And Aquifer! | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Maryvonne Devensky Sierra Club         Tracy Marinello FL Defenders        Kaithleen Hernández Civic Media Center

Commissioner Byerly carefully scrutinized the language in order to close loopholes, and successfully removed the exemption allowing a municipality to opt out.  After several hours, the vote was taken around 11 o’clock and resulted in approval, four to one, with Commissioner Pinkoson dissenting.

OSFR was well represented although only your historian spoke. Other groups who spoke include Florida Defenders of the Environment, League of Women Voters,  Santa Fe Lake Dwellers, Alachua County Environmental Protection Advisory Committee, Citizens Against Phosphate Mining, Florida Springs Institute, and others. Several CAPM members were present, but only Kate Ellison spoke.  In addition to Alachua County, speakers came from Baker, Marion, Columbia, Union and Bradford.

wetlandsknight In: Victory For The Wetlands And Aquifer! | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida  wetlands scott2 In: Victory For The Wetlands And Aquifer! | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida  wetlandsmoritz In: Victory For The Wetlands And Aquifer! | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida  wetlandsgross In: Victory For The Wetlands And Aquifer! | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Bob Knight FL Springs Institute       Scott Camil Sierra Club       David Moritz Alachua Co.           Jim Gross FL Defenders of Enviroment

Chris Bird of the Alachua Department of Environmental Protection and his staff made an excellent presentation that explained very well the impact and importance of this protection for the wetlands.  Commendations go to the commissioners and staff for not only the correction decision for the environment, but also for their professionalism in conducting county business.

wetlandsoverflow 2 In: Victory For The Wetlands And Aquifer! | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida                   wetlandsoverflow1 In: Victory For The Wetlands And Aquifer! | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Overflow rooms

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


 

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