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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.
Florida’s Water and Land LegacyCongratulations to all who are working diligently and passionately in support of Amendment 1 on the November 2014 ballot. More than 960,000 voters signed petitions to place The Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment on the ballot. Learn more about Amendment 1 at VoteYeson1FL.org.
CEJ Events & Presentations
Save the Dates!
Fall Field Trip
Saturday, September 27, 2014
The Myth & Magic of Florida Springs
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Spring Field Trip
Saturday, April 25, 2015
Building an Earth Democracy: Protecting the Rights of Mother Earth & Humanity
February 2-6, 2015
Doon Valley, Dehradun, India
Join Dr. Vandana Shiva, PhD, Dr. Mira Shiva, MD, and Sister Patricia Siemen, OP, JD for a residential workshop at Navdanya's Earth University to examine the Rights of Mother Earth, and the customs and laws that protect all inhabitants' rights of exist, regenerate, and thrive.
Contact: Dr. Vinod Bhatt - vinod (at) navdanya.net or Patricia Siemen - psiemen (at) barry.edu
Discover more at Navdanya.org.
Other EventsUp the River Downtown
Saturday, August 23, 2014
A 10K open water swim, kayak flotilla, and bicycle ride focused on the St. Johns River, hosted by JumpingFish.
Contact: Info (at) JumpingFish.net
or (904) 673-4549
Learn more at JumpingFish.net.
Choosing our Legacy: Understanding Amendment 1
Thursday, August 28, 2014
6 p.m. - Music by The Ashley Gang
6:30 p.m. - Program
Gleason Performing Arts Center - FIT
Learn how Amendment 1 can protect rivers, lakes and streams, restore natural treasure, and preserve our beaches and shores. Speakers include former U.S. Senator and Florida Governor Bob Graham, environmental attorney Clay Henderson, and local business owner and 5th generation Floridian Laurilee Thompson. Hosted by Preserve Brevard.
Discover more and register for this FREE event at Choosing our Legacy.
3rd Annual Adena Protest Flotilla & Benefit
Saturday, September 13, 2014
Ocala Boat Club at Ray Wayside Park
Silver Springs, FL
The Water Protection Fund hosts a downstream paddle/float from Silver Springs to the park for an afternoon of live music, games, food and solidarity. Flotilla launches at 1 p.m. from Silver Springs State Park.
Contact: ahlers.karen (at) gmail.com
or (352) 546-3560
More info available at Water-First.org.
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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- Peak Meat Production Strains Land and Water Resources August 22, 2014