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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 & PresentationsMore dates coming soon!
Other EventsGuided Sea Turtle Watch Programs
Barrier Island Management and Ecosystem Center
June and July, 2015 • 9 p.m. – Midnight
Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge
Melbourne Beach, FL
Reservations are required for this very popular activity, which includes an educational program about Florida's sea turtles and sea turtle nesting on the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, followed by the opportunity to view a Loggerhead sea turtle nesting on the beach.
St. Johns Riverkeeper
Saturday, August 8, 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.
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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