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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

UPDATE: Mayor Marks praises lack of permit challenge

Published January 29, 2008
Mayor John Marks says it's "great news" that the city is on track to receive a permit for its wastewater treatment plants and spray field.

The deadline for challenging a proposed state permit for Tallahassee's wastewater spray field passed Monday without an action being filed, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection said today. The lack of a challenge seems to signal that the controversy involving the city's wastewater spray field and Wakulla Springs is largely resolved.
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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Northeast Florida has strong opinions, few solutions for water debate

Published January 26, 2008
Many of the dozens of elected officials from across northeast Florida agreed Friday that allowing Central Florida to tap into the St. Johns River for drinking water would eventually bring disaster.

But they weren't certain what to do about it.

That was the message that emerged from a water summit that drew nearly 300 residents and officeholders.
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Monday, January 21, 2008

Floating desalination factory possible solution to water woes

Published January 19, 2008
Several fast-growing northeast Florida communities could tap into the Atlantic Ocean for drinking water by anchoring a desalination ship 21/2 miles off the coast.

If completed, the floating water factory could become the first major ocean-desalination system in the United States. The idea is to retrofit an oil tanker with filters and powerful pumps that would make up to 25 million gallons of drinking water a day, enough for more than 150,000 people.
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St. Augustine summit hopes to prevent water wars over St. Johns River

Published 1-18-2008
Central Florida's withdrawals from the St. Johns will be the topic of a water summit Friday, Jan. 25, in St. Augustine.

Orange County Mayor Rich Crotty was asked to be there, when the Northeast Florida Regional Council, led by council President and Clay County Commissioner Harold Rutledge, hosts the "Northeast Florida Regional Water Supply Summit: The Future of the St. Johns River." Orange County's intentions to tap into the St. Johns have just begun to come to light.

Seminole County is completing its application for a surface-water-treatment plant at Yankee Lake, drawing water from the St. Johns River.

According to the St. Johns River Water Management District, the City of Melbourne is permitted to withdraw up to 13.1 million gallons per day from the St. Johns River, and has been using this source for more than 48 years.
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Apalachicola sues to get more water from Lake Lanier

Published Jan. 18, 2008
The 97-page suit asks the court to declare a November interim operating plan for the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river system unlawful. The plan reduced the flow into the Apalachicola River to 4,250 cubic feet per second. Prior to the plan, the flow had been 5,000 cubic feet per second.

The plan resulted in a reduction of the flow at the Jim Woodruff Lock and Dam at the border of Georgia and Florida by 750 cubic feet per second.

The plan was reviewed and approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service because the Apalachicola River, which begins at the Woodruff Dam, is the home to species of mussels and sturgeon protected under the Endangered Species Act.

The Chattahoochee, which begins in North Georgia, converges with the Flint River at Lake Seminole to form the Apalachicola River.
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A pipe dream for the future

Published Jan. 18, 2008 (Opinion)
Now that wasn't so hard, was it? Granted, it took four years for the city of Ocala and state water regulators to finalize an accord to fix the drainage system that runs along a 2.5-mile stretch of Silver Springs Boulevard, and eventually dumps into a feeder creek at the headwaters of the Silver River.

But the repair of the so-called "monster pipe," a nearly 5-foot-wide culvert that since the 1960s has dumped oil, pesticides and other pollutants running off from State Road 40 East into the river, and the supporting network of five retention ponds and underground pipes demonstrates the good that come from a cooperative effort between state and local government.
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Ocala National Forest

Published MotorHome Magazine January 2008
Made up of almost a half-million acres in north-central Florida, an hour west of Daytona Beach and two hours north of Orlando, Ocala is a veritable wonderland for those who enjoy nature in its pristine beauty. Ocala has 19 campgrounds, three of which offer large spring-fed swimming holes that stay 72 degrees F year-round and provide a great stop on the way to better-known attractions in the Sunshine State -- or a destination of its own for those who like to hike, canoe and swim.

The waters at the three springs each have their own distinct personalities. The pleasant swim basin at Juniper Spring was a mere seep until the 1930s when it was dug out and enclosed in a concrete ring. Alexander Springs, on the other hand, gushes, blowing out a large caldron of sand and then produces a river rushing a dozen miles through the forest until its clear waters merge into the tannic-laden, coffee-colored waters of the St. Johns River. In years gone by, Salt Spring was known for jetting up -- fountain-like -- above the level of the waters, but modern demands on the water table have reduced it to a modest flow. Silver Glen Spring is another beautiful spring and provides a picnic and day-use area but no overnight camping.
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Thursday, January 17, 2008

First-ever water shortage order

Published January 16, 2008
Mandatory water restrictions for all water-use categories including residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural will become effective April 7 throughout the Suwannee River Water Management District. The District governing board has issued the agency’s first-ever Phase II Water Shortage Order and between now and April 7, District staff will meet with city and county officials to coordinate implementation and enforcement guidelines.

The unprecedented action was taken in response to extremely low groundwater levels experienced throughout the 15-county region during the current drought, coupled with predictions that the drought will intensify over the next several months.

The District is suffering its eighth-driest 24-month period since 1932, with a rainfall deficit of 28.7 inches.
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Monday, January 07, 2008

Take a 7-day trip down Suwannee River, sleep on its banks

Published January 06, 2008
Paddle Florida will be from March 20 to 27. (Not everyone participating has to make the entire seven-day trip. There are some options for making only part of the journey.) Registration deadline is Jan. 15. Paddlers can rent or bring their own boats. They also will need a tent for camping at night. Everyone who participates must have a personal flotation device, such as a life jacket. Cost for the seven-day trip is $250 for adults, $225 for students and seniors (65 and over) and $200 for children ages 6-17.

For more information go to http://www.paddleflorida.org/ or call 352-377-8342

Camp Indian Springs will Host Work Day

Published 01-06-2008
A work day at Camp Indian Springs is scheduled for Saturday, January 26, 2008 from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm.

We are continuing our erosion control project of fencing and trail work. We plan on setting rock trails at this event as well as completing some fence work. We have been working on some 2500+ linear feet of fence rail and trails for our advanced trail and walk ways. We received assistance form Wakulla Springs State Park in acquiring this fencing to help us better manage our erosion control, and foot and vehicle traffic around the spring. This is the first of several work parties specifically to install these rails.
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