- ABOUT US
- Rights of Springs
On November 20, 2013, CEJ director Patricia Siemen and CEJ staff attorney Rob Williams responded to a letter from Deputy Secretary Drew Bartlett of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection concerning the ongoing degradation of the Wekiva River and its associated springs.
Their response challenged assertions in Bartlett’s letter dated November 8, 2013, claiming that the minimum flow levels (MFLs) for the Wekiva River and its springs were being met, with the exception of Palm Spring; that water restrictions were no longer necessary; and that significant reductions in annual nutrient loading would be achieved under the Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP).
Williams and Siemen’s letter points out that according to the St. Johns River Water Management District’s own data, the springs and the Wekiva River have been and remain under the minimum levels required to avoid significant harm to the Wekiva Basin ecosystem, and the failure of the Department to implement water restrictions when called for by the scientific data.
Williams and Siemen also challenged the methodology and effectiveness of the BMAP, which reduces Total Nitrogen loading by only 2% when an overall reduction of 80% total nutrient loading is what is necessary to achieve pollution reduction goals.
From the text of the letter:
Both of these processes [minimum flow levels and pollution reduction goals] and the accompanying charade of public participation create the illusion of environmental protection and compliance with the law. However, Nature is not so easily fooled. The protection of groundwater recharge to Wekiwa Springs, Rock Springs, and the many other springs that feed the Wekiva River is crucial to the long-term health of the Wekiva Basin Ecosystem. As the Wekiva Basin Area Task Force noted a decade ago, “simply put, if the necessary quantity and quality of recharge of groundwater to the aquifer does not occur, then the vegetative and wildlife resources of the Wekiva River Basin will not be sustained.” The “inconvenient truth” is that the River is not receiving the necessary quantity or quality of groundwater needed to sustain the Wekiva Basin Ecosystem.
We need a real plan designed to attain the target reduction of nitrate pollution to 0.35 mg/L within five years as the current law provides. We also need a recovery plan for the springs and the Wekiva River which will restore all the flow which has been lost as soon as is practicable, as required by Section 373.0421(2), Florida Statutes.
Florida’s Water and Land LegacyCongratulations to all who worked so diligently and passionately to collect the signatures required to place dedicated funding for conservation land acquisition on the ballot in 2014. More than 960,000 voters signed in support of this measure! Learn more about this initiative at Florida's Water and Land Legacy.org.
CEJ Events & PresentationsSr. Pat Siemen: Healing the Earth by Restoring Rights
February 21-22, 2014
Healing Our World & Ourselves
Second Annual Conference: Coming Together
UU Fellowship of Vero Beach
Vero Beach, FL
Learn how the Rights of Nature movement could allow Earth and all beings to flourish.
For a flyer, click here. For information and to register, visit HealingOurWorldAndOurselves.org or call (772) 486-4029.
Other EventsWe Want Clean Water Rally
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
11:30 to 1:30 p.m.
On the Steps of the Old Capitol
Let your voice be heard! Rally in Tally for a new water ethic, solutions to Florida’s water quality and quantity problems, and a clear message to our water managers that the people of Florida demand clean water.
Read more details at WeWantCleanWater.com.
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.
- Engelman to Step Down as Worldwatch Institute President February 27, 2014Will Continue at Worldwatch as Senior Fellow; Board Chair Ed Groark Will Be Acting President Washington, D.C.—Worldwatch Institute President Robert Engelman has announced his decision to step down as head of the pioneering environmental research organization. Engelman will become a Senior Fellow at Worldwatch and return to the environmental and population re […]Supriya Kumar
- Engelman to Step Down as Worldwatch Institute President February 27, 2014