Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

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Water Voices: FDEP Expert Swihart Speaks on Water Policy


Water Management Expert Tom Swihart Speaks at “Water Voices” April 27, 2015

Could Florida do a better job of managing our water and safeguarding our springs and rivers? Does thepublic have adequate input into water management decisions? What are water reservations and how could they help our waters? How does the public interest factor into water management decisions? Could fertilizer restrictions and price incentives be used to solve some of our water problems? Should managing water for the protection of recreation and fish and wildlife have a higher priority?

These topics and more will be up for discussion when Tom Swihart speaks and answers questions about “The Florida Water Policy Toolbox” 7-9 p.m. Monday, April 27, 2015, at the High Springs New Century Woman’s Club, 40 NW First Avenue, High Springs, Florida 32643. Admission is free and everyone is invited.

Swihart has a Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Florida State University and is the former Administrator of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (FDEP’s) Office of Water Policy. He worked for FDEP for three decades, during which he oversaw the adoption of state water quality standards and the department’s water quality monitoring program. His duties in the Office of Water Policy included updating the Florida Water Plan, overseeing annual reports on the status of regional water supply planning, revising state water policy rules, managing the adoption of minimum flows and levels (MFLs) for water bodies, and directing the state water conservation program for public water supply. He has written a book, “Florida’s Water:  A Fragile Resource in a Vulnerable State,” and maintains a blog about Florida’s water issues at:

“Water Voices” is a new educational speaker series organized by the Ichetucknee Alliance, Our Santa Fe River, and the High Springs New Century Woman’s Club. The goal of the series is to expand the discussions about water problems on the Ichetucknee and Santa Fe Rivers to include elected representatives, water managers, business and community leaders, clergy, farmers, ranchers and the public in an environment that promotes a diversity of ideas and information sharing.

The “Water Voices” format includes a presentation by the featured speaker; at least a half-hour for questions, answers and discussion with the audience; and an evening wrap-up with light refreshments and the opportunity for one-on-one discussions.

Copies of Swihart’s book, “Florida’s Water,” will be available for purchase at the event.

This “Water Voices” event is listed on Facebook at:

For more information, call Lucinda Merritt at 386-454-0415 or Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson at 352-222-8893

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