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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.
Amendment 1 – Florida’s Water and Land LegacyCongratulations to all who worked so hard in support of Amendment 1 on the November 2014 ballot, which passed with 75% of votes in favor. The measure will dedicate about $1 billion annually for conservation purposes.
CEJ Events & PresentationsThe Myth & Magic of Florida Springs
featuring Margaret Ross Tolbert and Rick Kilby
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
A Rights of Nature Approach for Springs Protection
Jane Goddard and Rob Williams
Thursday, January 29, 2015
Santa Fe River Springs Protection Forum
Otter Springs, Trenton, FL
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.
Spring Field Trip
Saturday, April 25, 2015
Other EventsSave the Date!
Public Interest Environmental Conference
February 12-14, 2015
Details coming soon!
Save the Date!
Environmental and Earth Law Summit
April 9, 2015
Barry University School of Law
Details coming soon!
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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