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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Jefferson County buys headwaters of Wacissa

Published October 29, 2008 - Tallahassee Democrat
After Mark Glisson retired from the Department of Environmental Protection and moved to Jefferson County, he decided this river project was for him, and he helped broker the deal. Paula Sparkman of Bird, Leinback and Sparkman negotiated the contracts with the owner, the Wilson Family Trust. The $500,000 price may be lower than the land's assessed value, said Sparkman, who said she was proud that the headwaters would be "preserved for the future, for the public."

Tourism is a piece of Jefferson County's economic development plan. The Wacissa River draws many visitors without much promotion. Now the Jefferson County Tourist Development Council can begin to advertise this attraction in earnest.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Natural History lecture series begins at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park

Published October 20, 2008 - North Florida News Daily
An Evening Natural History Lecture Series on environmental issues including leaping sturgeon in the Suwannee River will begin Oct. 29 at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park. This lecture series will feature renowned US Geological Survey Research/Scientist/author Dr. Ken Sulak of the University of Florida, along with a number of other biologists from UF who will speak on a variety of interesting topics involving marine biology.

CAMPAIGN NOTEBOOK: Obama pledges to protect water

Published 10/18/2008 - The Florida Times-Union
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is pledging to protect Florida's waterways, including the St. Johns River.

The campaign has unveiled a plan that would enhance federal financing for water and wastewater treatment infrastructure. He and running mate Joe Biden also support full funding for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, which finances water quality projects.

Two new upgrades celebrate the St. Johns River

Published 10/19/2008 - The Florida Times-Union
The good news for the river involves a new Web site that's been created by the St. Johns Riverkeeper.

It can be found at www.mystjohnsriver.org and it's loaded with information about the river.

The interactive site details facts about the river, describes its history and the culture of the people who have lived on it and depended on it, and explains the threats to its health.

Butler property study totals $29,880

Published October 18, 2008 - Lake City Reporter
The current 360-acre sprayfield is irrigated at two-inches per week, Clanton said. The sprayfield takes water from a 14-acre reservoir that can hold 45 million gallons of water, which is pumped to sprayguns by four, 200-horsepower pumps.

The SRWMD sees the project as helping the Ichetucknee Springs Basin and other groundwater, according to SRWMD Executive Director David Still.

County Leaders Urge Citizens To Face Corps

Published October 16, 2008 - The Times
On Monday, Oct. 20, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Apalachicola courthouse annex, the US Army Corps of Engineers will hold the first of five "public scoping" meetings on the revision of the water control manual for the Corps' operation of the federal reservoirs on the Chattahoochee River.

Schedule of scoping meeting, which will close Nov. 20, is at www.apalachicolariverkeeper.org Citizens may submit comments at the meetings or through the Corps website at www.sam.usace.army.mil and going to the ACF Water Control Manual Update link.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

County plans beginner kayak, canoe trips

Published October 13, 2008 - Star-Banner
The Marion County Parks and Recreation Department is planning canoe and kayak trips for adults this fall beginning Thursday, Oct. 16.

For more information, or to pre-register, contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 352-671-8560.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Unique collaboration built plan to restore St. Johns River

Published 10/10/2008 - The Florida Times-Union
On Sept. 15, the Total Maximum Daily Load Executive Committee, an unprecedented and diverse working group, reached an apex of years of work and voted, unanimously, to endorse its work product, the Basin Management Action Plan, for the Lower St. Johns River Basin.

The action plan's implementation will benefit the 101-mile-long segment of the St. Johns River that flows between the mouth of the Ocklawaha River and the Atlantic Ocean.

State finalizes $600 million river rescue plan

Published 10/10/2008 - The Florida Times-Union
The head of Florida's environmental agency finalized a plan Friday for Northeast Florida's cities and utilities to spend more than $600 million helping the St. Johns River.

The Basin Management Action Plan is supposed to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus entering the river. That would shrink algae blooms and help underwater grass beds where many fish live or eat.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Boating restrictions lifted on parts of St. Johns River

Published October 9, 2008 - Orange Sentinel
As water levels on the St. Johns River continue to drop, and are now below flood-stage levels, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has lifted restrictions that prohibited vessels from operating on some portions of the river.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

State Park Volunteers Building Spooky Attractions

Published 10/8/2008 - The Suncoast News
Some spooky sightings already have been reported at Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park, where volunteers are preparing for the annual Halloween in the Woods event.

A pirate ship and a giant bat are taking shape as crews from the Salt Springs Alliance park volunteer group construct things that will go bump in the night Oct. 24 and 25.

Wakulla Springs fights nitrate contamination

Published 10/8/08 - The Famuan
Tallahassee residents who get their drinking water from Wakulla Springs can breathe a sigh of relief after local officials have identified the source of unhealthy nitrate deposits in the water.

After a three year cooperative study between the United States Geologists Service and the City of Tallahassee, Hydrologist and USGS member Hal Davis said the deposits are coming from Crawfordville's spray fields, the inflow from the northern part of Leon County and the septic tanks were the major sources of nitrate to the springs.

A question of leadership

Published 10/8/2008 - Star-Banner (Opinion)
...we think if the County Commission exhibits the proper leadership to save two of the most precious freshwater sources in the state - Rainbow and Silver springs - others will follow, knowing that the health of the springs and the aquifer feeding them affects all of us, environmentally and economically. And even if they don't, that is no reason for Marion County to adopt the ludicrous position that it will do nothing because no one else will.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Minimum Flows, Maximum Importance

Published October 7, 2008 - Hernando Today
So when it comes to pumping water to meet west central Florida's burgeoning demand, how much is too much?

The Southwest Florida Water Management District is working to answer that question for dozens of water bodies in its 16-county region, including the Withlacoochee, Weekiwachee and Chassahowitzka rivers

The district's regulatory department and governing board will use the minimum flow levels when deciding on whether to grant a permit for water supply projects or groundwater pumping in the region.

White Springs history worth visiting in person

Published 10/07/2008 - North Florida News Daily
Florida's Nature & Heritage Tourism Center, Headquarters of the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail gives you a one-stop information center. Explore information on canoeing, historic sites, National and State Forests, wildlife, biking, hiking and unique Florida experiences.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Paddle Florida returns in November

Published October 05, 2008 - Valdosta Daily Times
On Nov. 8-15, Florida’s premier canoe and kayak camping adventure will be held again on the Suwannee River and will feature a seven-day, 93-mile trip, starting at the Stephen Foster State Folk Culture Center in White Springs and ending up in Branford.

Additional information on Paddle Florida can be obtained by visiting www.paddleflorida.org for registration and journey details.

Oppose water permit

Published October 5, 2008 - Orange Sentinel (Opinion)
Citizens of Lake County: We live in a county named for our beautiful lakes. These lakes and our quality of life are being threatened by the St. Johns River Water Management District's possible granting to Niagara Bottling a permit to withdraw 177 million gallons of water a year from the Floridan Aquifer.

The County Commission voted to file a legal challenge to the granting of this permit. The members of the Golden Triangle Republican Women's Network voted at our September meeting to support commissioners' action.

Business Briefcase

Published October 5, 2008 - Hernando Today
Jack Hanna, famed wildlife expert and television personality, will be at Weeki Wachee Springs attraction Thursday, Oct. 9. He will film a portion of his made-for-kids reality show, "Into the Wild." The unscripted series documents Hanna's adventures throughout the world as he encounters fascinating animals and cultures. The highlight of the filming will be when the show's star jumps into the spring to swim with the world famous mermaids. "Into the Wild" recently won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Children's Series. For more information, call the park at 352-596-2062 or visit www.weekiwachee.com

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Scientists turn their attention to Spring Creek in Wakulla

Published 10/1/08 - Tallahassee Democrat
Scientists have found that water flowing underground at Lost Creek in Wakulla County comes out at both Spring Creek and Wakulla Springs, researchers reported Tuesday.

With at least 14 springs, Spring Creek at times has one of the largest flows of any Florida springs system. But the main spring also stops flowing at times, as it did in late 2006.

Protecting Wakulla Springs

Published Sep 30, 2008 - WCTV
The Wakulla Springs Basin Working Group held a meeting Tuesday where scientists and cave divers unveiled their latest findings.

"In times past we had to switch from outhouses to the standard septic tank. It's now time in the vulnerable areas of our recharge areas to switch from these standard septic tanks to the new nitrogen removing septic system." said Jim Stevenson, the coordinator for the Wakulla Springs Basin Working Group.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Seminole's thirst for St. Johns water draws fire

Published October 2, 2008 - Orange Sentinel
The administrative hearing will span three weeks this month, with a decision not expected until late this year.

Seminole County's attorney went on to stress that the county has spent heavily, nearly $125 million, to recycle treated sewage for lawn irrigation. Much of the spending has resulted from intensive construction required to equip old neighborhoods with new pipes to distribute reclaimed wastewater.

The effort will lessen the county's demand for Floridan Aquifer water by at least 8 percent, de la Parte said.

Otter Springs has new owner

Published October 2, 2008 - The Gainesville Sun
The Suwannee River Water Management District became the new owner of Otter Springs in Gilchrist County Wednesday.

The district paid $6.8 million for the 636-acre site which contains two, second-magnitude springs, more than a mile of Suwannee River frontage, a camp ground with 100 RV sites and other recreational facilities including a lodge. The completed sale means that a permit that would have allowed 400,000 gallons of water to be pumped from the springs each day has been eliminated.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Water Withdrawal Administrative Hearing Starts Today

Published October 1, 2008 - WOKV
The administrative hearing surrounding a permit to allow Seminole county to withdraw water from the St. Johns River starts today. The St. Johns Riverkeeper, Neil Armingeon, says they've raised about $175,000 towards this fight that is expected to last a couple of weeks.

Santa Fe College, Thomas Center shows focus on water

Published 10/1/2008 - Gainesville Sun
We have two shows in two different locations, both focusing on water and both inspired by the same. The first, "Portray, Preserve, Prosper — Florida's Eden: Springs Heritage Region," is running as Santa Fe College's Santa Fe Gallery.

The second, "Liquid Muse: Paintings from the St. Johns Region," is being hosted by the Thomas Center through Oct. 19