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Further correspondence has occurred between CEJ director Patricia Siemen, CEJ staff attorney Rob Williams, and the executive director of the St. Johns River Water Management District, Hans G. Tanzler, III.
Siemen and Williams’ initial letter to Tanzler requested that the District immediately implement a recovery strategy for the springs in the Wekiva River Basin, to restore the established minimum flows as soon as practicable. It also asked the District to place a moratorium on the issuance of further consumptive use permits within the Wekiva River Basin until a recovery plan and timetable are in place. Read the full letter here.
Tanzler’s response dated September 19, 2012, expressed concern for declining spring discharges and water quality, summarized the District’s work on MFLs and TMDLs in the Wekiva Basin springs, and discussed the development of a multi-year Springs Protection Initiative. Read the full letter here.
In their response dated October 1, 2012, Siemen and Williams pointed out the long-term downward trend of spring flows and emphasized the District’s statutory duty to act expeditiously to restore flows as soon as practicable. They called for a springs recovery plan to be developed by the end of 2012.
From the text of the letter:
We appreciate that you share our concerns regarding declining spring discharges and water quality. However, it is not enough to be concerned; you and the Board need to act to protect our springs.
Minimum flows are just that — they are the bare minimum which the district has determined is necessary to avoid significant harm to the ecology of the springs. Most of the springs in the Wekiva River basin have been below the established minimum flows for more than a year and a half.
. . .
The question that we and the public are asking is whether the district plans to do anything about it. The statute requires the district to act “expeditiously” and to restore flows “as soon as practicable.” Instead, the district appears to be proposing more studies, taking as long as possible to set minimum flows for the other springs in the district and then a lengthy drawn-out multi-year process for coming up with spring basin management plans. We believe that the district needs to come up with a recovery plan for all the springs in the Wekiva River Basin by the end of this year.
Sr. Pat Siemen on Rights of Nature at TEDxJacksonville 2013View video full screen on YouTube.
CEJ Events & Presentations“Ethics, Faith & Water”
A program of “Water Voices”
On September 14, 2015, 7-9 p.m.
High Springs New Century Woman’s Club
40 NW First Avenue
High Springs, Florida 32643
Join us for the “Ethics, Faith, and Water: A Confluence,” a public conversation on water ethics for Florida. The event is the third session of the “Water Voices” series.
• Cynthia Barnett, an award-winning journalist and author of the water books “Mirage,” “Blue Revolution” and “Rain.”
• Lucinda (Lu) Faulkner Merritt, a writer who serves on the Ichetucknee Alliance Board of Directors, the steering committee of the Floridians’ Clean Water Declaration and the executive committee of the Florida Springs Council.
• Sister Patricia Siemen, Esq., a Dominican Sister and attorney who is the director of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University Law School in Orlando.
• Robert E. Ulanowicz, Ph.D., an ecosystems scientist who is a professor emeritus with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and courtesy professor with the University of Florida.
Visit the: ICHETUCKNEE ALLIANCE for more information.
Bioluminescence Field Trip
Saturday, September 12, 2015
6:30 - 11:00 p.m.
Location to be determined
Brevard County, FL
Barry Law students, faculty, staff, and their guests are invited to a guided kayak tour of the Indian River Lagoon to experience the wonder of bioluminescence.
Contact: Jane Marsden, firstname.lastname@example.org or (321) 206-5691, for more information and to reserve a place.
Other Events:River Ruckus
St. Johns Riverkeeper
Saturday, August 29, 2015 • 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Riverside Arts Market
715 Riverside Ave.
A family festival to raise a ruckus for the river and show Jacksonville the St. Johns River is more than a scenic view: it’s a recreational asset that should be respected, protected, and enjoyed.
Contact: Shannon for more information.
Wekiwa Field School - Open to the public!
Florida Springs Institute
Start 28 Aug 2015, 9:00 AM
End 30 Aug 2015, 4:00 PM
Location: Wekiwa Springs State Park Youth Camp
1800 Wekiwa Circle
Apopka, FL 32712
The Florida Springs Field School is scheduled for three days of lectures and field trips. The Springs Field School will be held at the Wekiva Springs State Park Youth Camp facilities that include a lecture hall, dining hall, overnight cabins, and a swimming pool and conveniently located just north of Orlando, Florida. Field trips are tentatively planned to Wekiwa and Rock Springs.
Visit: Florida Springs Institute for more information.
Florida Wildflower Foundation's
2015 Wildflower Symposium
Friday, Sept. 25, and Saturday, Sept. 26
Location: Leu Gardens
1920 North Forest Ave, Orlando FL 32803
Visit the Wildflower Symposium webpage for more information.
Native Rhythms Festival
Wickham Park Amphitheater
World Cultural Music and Environmental Arts and Crafts
Free Admission - Family Event
November 12 - 15, 2015
Thursday: 5:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Friday & Saturday: 10:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Sunday: 10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Visit Native Rhythms Festivals for more information.
Learning to See Naturally ~ Nature Journaling WorkshopsVisit our nature journaling blog, Learning to See Naturally, for poems, photos, stories and other nature-inspired creative works from our workshop participants.
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