Governor Rick Scott and Cabinet make poor decision for health of the Ocklawaha and St. Johns Rivers
On Tuesday, August 29, 2015 the Florida Land and Water Adjudicatory Commission--comprising Governor Rick Scott with CFO Jeff Atwater, AG Pam Bondi and Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam--failed to overturn a water supply plan adopted by the St. Johns River Water Management District that does not protect our water resources. The Putnam County Environmental Council, Inc. had appealed the plan adoption in a fight to protect our rivers spanning many years.
The water supply plan identifies both the St. Johns River and the lower Ocklawaha River as Alternative Water Supplies. With this designation, the water supply plan now presumes that withdrawing these surface waters is consistent with the public interest. When permitting water withdrawals that use these resources, the district will not have to consider the public interest further.
This step to streamline surface water usage follows the district's recognition that water levels in the aquifer have declined substantially enough that many areas are now Priority Water Resource Caution Areas.
Simply put, the water supply plan does not place an adequate focus on water conservation. The Governor and Cabinet's actions harm the St. Johns and Ocklawaha Rivers and their floodplains and ecosystems.
Spaces filling for opportunity to see the Ocklawaha River during a drawdown of Rodman Pool
Beginning this October, the Department of Environmental Protection will conduct a drawdown of the Rodman Pool. A drawdown is a reduction of the water level within the pool to help the DEP manage the pool.
During the drawdown, submerged springs and flooded portions of the Ocklawaha River will be uncovered. The drawdown is great time to see the river and gain an appreciation for the decades long fight to restore the Ocklawaha.
To help our members see the river during the drawdown, Florida Defenders has worked with three outfitters—Lars Anderson, Captain Erika Ritter and Captain David Ziegler—to schedule trips by kayak and pontoon boat on Thursday, November 19, Friday November 20 and Saturday, November 21.
Join us and see the Ocklawaha during this unique time! Additional information, including pricing and an opportunity to reserve a spot are available on our website.