The CEJ team is joining the fight for the survival and thriving of Florida’s springs, and in particular, iconic Silver Springs near Ocala, Florida.

While Florida has various environmental organizations in place to “protect” the quality and quantity of springs’ minimum flows and levels, it clearly does not recognize a spring’s inherent right to exist and flow free from significant human disruption. The rules and regulations in place are of no avail if hydrological science is ignored and governmental bodies lack the political will to stop destructive practices that impede the water quality and quantity of the springsheds that feed the springs.

The current major threat facing Silver Springs is a consumptive use permit application to the St. Johns River Water Management District, submitted by Adena Springs Ranch, requesting to use over 13 million gallons a day to raise 10,000 head of cattle on 30,000 acres of land in Marion County. The property is located within the springshed of Silver Springs, a National Natural Landmark, and it comes at a time when the health of Silver Springs is already in jeopardy.

The flow of Silver Springs has declined 32% during the past decade. In addition, Silver Springs already suffers from the introduction of too much waste material and fertilizer run-off, which would only be increased by the manure and fertilizer from such a huge cattle operation.

This CUP application is merely the most recent example of the failure to recognize and enforce the natural limits of springs and springsheds. As a people, and as elected or appointed officials, we continue to fail to exercise the political will necessary to say “no” to economic activities that destroy the very basis of life. We must adopt laws based on the understanding that we cannot have a healthy economy unless the environment remains healthy.

Leading CEJ’s initiatives to protect the springs’ right to exist, flourish and thrive is Robert Williams. He will serve “of counsel” at CEJ while continuing to reside and work in Tallahassee. Rob is a great addition to CEJ, and his location in Tallahassee enhances CEJ’s presence in the State Capitol. I know you join us in welcoming Rob to CEJ.

Photo by Bill Belleville

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4 Responses to Fighting to Save Silver Springs’ Right to Exist, Flourish and Thrive

  1. Barbara says:

    Wow, You hit the nail on the head: “The rules and regulations in place are of no avail…! You write: “Leading CEJ’s initiatives to protect the springs’ right to exist, flourish and thrive is Robert Williams.” Welcome. Will he be working in concert with Southern Legal Counsel is gathering steam to do, or will his be a separate legal challenge? Re-posted your article at SOS’s informative page:

    • admin says:

      Thanks for your comment Barbara. Rob is in touch with Neil at the Southern Legal Counsel to see how to best coordinate legal initiatives; also with some folks from WAR, Inc. who work on the Withlahocee River.

  2. neil Chonin says:

    not sure my previous e-mail went through. Please call at 352 271 8890

    • admin says:

      Have forwarded your phone number to Rob Williams in Tallahassee. He’ll be getting in touch with you this week (if he hasn’t already).

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