Monday, August 13, 2012

Vanishing Point: North Florida's Disappearing Waters

Vanishing Point is a photographic documentary on the ongoing degradation of lakes and streams around north central Florida. The project contains images from the winter of 2011 through June 2012 and concludes with a call to action to help save these waters from over-consumption and nutrient contamination.

Vanishing Point: North Florida's Disappearing Waters

Friday, August 10, 2012

Water News for July, 2012

We must change

Water Quality War Rages On

Recent Rains not enough

On Sinkholes, Deniers and Speaking Out (Kudos to Ron Littlepage)

Conservation Lands are a Big Bargain

Water Democracy

[Too many articles in here to post]

Is Florida a Good Steward of Water?

State hasn't done enough to avert water crisis

Another temporary "Pumps Off"?

A Florida Asset

More Mega Projects Turning to Private Sector

Will Florida Save the Springs or Let them Die

Roads in Columbia County where the Old Ichetucknee once ran

Silver Springs vs Adena Springs

SRWMD Groundwater Levels Rebound

Finding Our Voice on the Water Crisis

Listen to High Springs

No “made up” science in Adena Springs water wars

Whitey Markle – free the Ocklawaha

Silver Springs is a symbol of deeper issues

Purchase of land aims to protect Glades

Fountains of Life
Freeing the Ocklawaha neither free nor beneficial
Florida Environmental group sues over algae blooms
Is anybody listening?

Don't gamble on springs
Troubled Springs
Herschel Vinyard - Cooperation is the key
Adena Springs Ranch in the Court of Public Opinion

United for Water
Taking a Dive: Exploring Stressed Springs
Anti – sand mining campaign ramps up.
My Word:  Ranch permit won’t hurt springs
Coalition presents 15000 signatures

Water News for June, 2012

Water at Heart of Ranch Debate, (, June 1, 2012)
Judge Upholds DEP Water Rules
Loving Our State to Death
Letters to the editor 06-04-12

Adena More than Economics
Water Rally a Call to Action

Alarmists Needed: Water Pumping Request is Tip of the Iceberg
A Water Report Card: Legacy - F

Barbara A. Purdy: Our water is our heritage (Gainesville Sun, June 6, 2012)

Webb Farber: 'New' water needed
Governor praises DEP Secretcary Herschel Vinyard amid controverises, criticism, (The Florida Current, May 31, 2012)

High Water Rates in Mount Plymouth
Governor approves Study Committee on Investor-Owned Water and Wastewater Utility Systems
How Water Prices Increased After 10 of the Largest Water System Sales
Fact Sheet - Distribution System Improvement Charge: A rip-off for consumers

Aqua America in Florida

More concerns aired at Ag water policy meeting

Low water flow woes

Access to public lands

Letters to the editor 06-10-12

Low Tide on the Santa Fe

DEP is Blind to State's Green Slime

SRWMD limits take effect tomorrow

FLOW demands answers

Letter to the Editor

New director will have tough job

Ann Shortelle New Director

Silver Springs may become State Park

The second half of this article is about PCS Phosphate's 84 mgd CUP

Ann Shortelle - $32,000/year annual increase

June 23 Water Workshop in Ocala

Letters to the Editor

Environmental land Bank Controversy in Clay County

Getting the Water Right

Dollars, Sense and Drought

Adam Putnam - We Don't Need the EPA

Potato Chips or Future Lawns  - Thank you Jill

That Giant Sucking Sound

Cedar Key salt water intrusion

Making Silver Springs a state park

The tarnished jewel

Undoing the water work of 25 million years

Water War pits Silver Springs against cattle  Part 2

More on Cedar Key salt water intrusion

Come to Silver Springs on Saturday

Georgia's most polluted river

Bob Graham asks Scott for leadership on springs

Vinyards Response to Graham

Baker County delays decision on sand mines

Macclenny to spray sewer sludge

Grants for wildlife and spring protection

Where's the will?

Salty Cedar Key

Water Forum draws hundreds

Protecting the idea of Florida

This is not the first fight to save Silver Springs

Vinyard - To get the water right we must get the science right

Drought remains but rain has helped

Mighty spring faces murky future

Indifference to a saline crisis

Our hearts are deeper than their pockets

It ain't over

40 year old law to protect springs and rivers goes unheeded

US Supreme Court refuses to hear tri-state water dispute

US Supreme Court stays out of water war

T.S. Debby a Temporary Fix

Feast or Famine

Surplus Water

Sampson Lake residents want motor boats banned

Friday, June 1, 2012

Water News for May, 2012

North Florida Regional Water Supply Partnership
Floridan Aquifer
Silver Springs
Sand Mines

Environment Secretary Vinyard’s Current Claims Contradict His Previous Filings

Tallahassee — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is trying to decide which Herschel Vinyard to believe – the one who claimed his expertise in handling pollution permits as his chief qualification to serve as Florida’s top environmental official or the one who is now alleging, through a state lawyer, he had nothing to do with permits.  At stake is whether he will be barred from handling water pollution matters as the result of a federal conflict-of-interest complaint filed by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) and the Florida Clean Water Network.

The groups today released the latest correspondence from EPA questioning why information on Vinyard’s résumé and state job application, and even the Governor’s press release announcing his appointment as Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), are all incorrect, as Vinyard now declares.  The April 27, 2012 letter from EPA Regional Counsel Mary Wilkes asks Thomas Beason, the General Counsel for DEP, which Vinyard oversees, to “explain the apparent discrepancy between the assertion in your letter” that Vinyard was not really employed by the company he said he worked for in state filings or doing work he once bragged about but now disclaims. 

The federal Clean Water Act forbids appointment of any state decision-maker on pollution discharge permits in federal water quality programs who “has during the previous two years received a significant portion of his income directly or indirectly from permit holders or applicants for a permit” (emphasis added).  Vinyard represented himself as director of operations for BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards where he was responsible for its wastewater permits and other regulatory affairs.  He also chaired the Shipbuilders Council of America, representing 40 companies operating 100 shipyards.

“Secretary Vinyard should stop wasting state resources playing peek-a-boo with the EPA.  His ploy that he is not in clear violation of federal law because he lied on his job application is just plain absurd,” stated Florida PEER Director Jerry Phillips, a former DEP enforcement attorney, noting that Governor Scott should fire him if he falsified his application. “By using state lawyers to dissemble on his behalf, Mr. Vinyard is only making a bad situation worse.”

The next move may aggravate the jeopardy for Secretary Vineyard, as making false official statements to a federal agency is a crime which could result in loss of office and imprisonment, sanctions far more serious than those he now faces.  Unfortunately, EPA has not moved swiftly to resolve the February 2011 complaint, despite one promise last November to render a final decision “within two weeks.” 

“Mr. Vinyard is making decisions that affect our waters every day, and most if not all of his decisions over the past 15 months have reflected a pro-polluter bias,” said Linda Young, Director of the Florida Clean Water Network. “As a regular user of our waters I am personally so unimpressed with our state and federal government’s level of concern over Vinyard’s disregard for the law that I think a citizens’ arrest is now in order.”


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Stakeholders Named to North FL Regional Water Supply Partnership

Stakeholder representatives on north Florida water supply issues named

PALATKA, Fla., May 9, 2012 -- Twelve representatives were named today to the North Florida Regional Water Supply Partnership's stakeholder committee, an advisory body that will share viewpoints of stakeholder groups with the St. Johns River and Suwannee River water management districts and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to help address the region's water supply issues.

Chosen to represent the groups, organizations and entities that have an interest in the region's water supply, committee members are:
  • Public water supply: Ray O. Avery, Clay County Utility Authority; David Clanton, City of Lake City Utilities
  • Commercial/power generation: Athena T. Mann, JEA; James Cornett, Cornett's Spirit of the Suwannee Inc.
  • Industrial/mining: J. Michael O'Berry, Vulcan Materials Co.; Stan Posey, PCS Phosphate
  • Agriculture: Kerry Kates, Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association; Thomas Harper, Harper Farms
  • Environmental: Patrick T. Welsh, University of North Florida and Save Our Lakes; Jacqui Sulek, Audubon Florida
  • Local government: Keystone Heights Mayor Mary Lou Hildreth; Dixie County Commissioner Gene Higginbotham

Action Items from 5/3 Clay-Putnam MFLs Work Group Meeting

The information below is provided as follow-up to three action items from last week’s Clay-Putnam MFLs Prevention/Recovery Technical Work Group meeting.
·       Preliminary Augmentation Technical Analyses: The two analyses mentioned are posted on the SJRWMD FTP site  See “Lake Augmentation Concepts…” for the analysis conducted by CH2MHill & “SJRWMDAssessment” folder for the analysis conducted by the District.

The “KeystoneDSSConservation…” file (posted in PDF & ppt) is the basis of the statistics discussed by the Conservation Subcommittee. This document summarizes application of the SJRWMD Residential Conservation Tool we discussed during our October Work Group meeting (

·       North Florida Groundwater Model Domain: see model domain 1 on the attached graphic. Withdrawals within this geographic area were part of the “pumps-off” groundwater modeling scenario we discussed last week.

If the FTP site asks you for a password, click the “guest” radio button, type in “anonymous” for the user name, and use your email address as the password.
Thank you all for your continued interest and participation.

Jennifer Gihring

May 22 Meeting for LAWA

We are planning a meeting of the Lake Area Water Alliance for Tuesday, May 22nd, 6:30PM at the KH Woman’s Club.  If you cannot come please send at least one representative from your organization.  We should have a lot of information to share as there will be reports from our Lake Recovery Stakeholders, Mayor Hildreth about FLOW meetings and possibly a report from Joyce King about the Audubon meeting they have planned with JEA.

To be effective, we need input from all of our organizations to move forward in our unified effort to replenish our aquifer and restore our lakes.  Also, I would also like to suggest that we discuss coordinating a clean up day of Lake Geneva with the City of KH.  It would be fantastic if all of our organizations get on board with this. While it is at a historic low would be an excellent time to clean up the garbage, and this would be a great opportunity to bring attention to our efforts as an organization, conservation initiatives, etc. 

Jackie Host, President