Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

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Water Voices Educate, Inspire, Motivate


Learn More About Amendment 1 at Water Voices March 9, 2015, in High Springs

Pegeen Hanrahan and Aliki Moncrief—two members of the team that steered the Florida Water and Land Legacy Initiative (Amendment 1) to passage by 75 percent of Florida’s voters in November 2014—will speak about “Amendment 1:  Need, Intent, and Implementation” at a free public program 7-9 p.m. Monday, March 9, 2015, at the High Springs New Century Woman’s Club, 40 NW First Avenue, High Springs, Florida 32643.

The event marks the inauguration of Water Voices, a new speaker series co-sponsored by the aforementioned Woman’s Club, the Ichetucknee Alliance and Our Santa Fe River, two educational nonprofit water advocacy groups in the High Springs/Fort White area.

“Water Voices is designed to educate, inspire, and encourage conversations,” explained Lucinda Merritt, secretary of the Ichetucknee Alliance who is one of the event’s organizers. “We want to bring in speakers who may not always be part of our local water discussions, to widen the scope of the dialogues we have and, hopefully, to open communications for new ways to solve our water problems.”

“We want these programs to feature conversations, not just talking heads,” added Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, president of Our Santa Fe River who is also an event organizer. “The first half-hour of the program is reserved for our speakers and then we’ll have a half-hour of questions, answers, and discussions with the audience. We’ll also have time at the end of the program for guests to enjoy light refreshments and one-on-one conversations with the speakers and with each other.”

Pegeen Hanrahan is a University of Florida graduate and Professional Engineer who was term-limited in 2010 after 12 years of elective service and two terms as Mayor of Gainesville. For over 10 years, she has been a consultant to the Trust for Public Land’s Conservation Finance Team, helping local governments develop and fund land conservation and parks. In that capacity, she served as the Deputy Campaign Manager for Florida’s Water and Land Legacy and is now on the Board of Directors of that organization.

Aliki Moncrief is a Harvard University Law School graduate who has worked for Earthjustice and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, where she served as a Senior Attorney/Litigation Specialist and as Deputy General Counsel. As State Director of Environment Florida, she developed programs and campaigns to solve environmental problems within a political context. She joined Florida’s Water and Land Legacy as Field Director to place Amendment 1 on the ballot and continues her work with that organization as Executive Director.

“The High Springs New Century Woman’s Club has served our community proudly for the last 115 years,” said the club’s Jayne Orr. “Members of our Conservation and Community Service/Public Relations programs are looking forward to being part of this historic event.”

“We’re thrilled to bring Water Voices to the residents of Alachua and Columbia counties,” said Ichetucknee Alliance Vice President Cathy Street, who will moderate the speaker-audience discussions. “And we’re thrilled to have two excellent guests for our first program. We hope that having an engineer/former elected official and an attorney/enviro-political strategist will motivate many of our elected representatives and governmental officials to attend. Everyone who cares about the future of water in the Santa Fe River, the Ichetucknee River and the Floridan aquifer is invited to join the conversation at Water Voices.”

For more information about Water Voices, call Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson at 352-222-8893 or Lucinda Faulkner Merritt at 386-454-0415.


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