Ocklawaha Paddle — October 22, 2011

Thirteen hardy paddlers having faith the 40 degree October 22 morning mist rising from the warmer, spring waters of the Ocklawaha River, would give way to a warm day on one of Florida’s most pristine waterways. For much of the scenery, it may have been similar to 17,000 years ago, when the river appeared, following an ancient fault line formed millions prior. Creating the very unusual high bluff banks on one side and low, river bottom land on the other, supporting a wide variety of large wildlife. Human’s footprints over the centuries limited our sightings to lazy gators, playful otters, sunning turtles and numerous water birds.
Experiencing this environmental wonder first hand, hopefully encourages all to be an active partner in preserving it for future generations. Unfortunately the St. Johns Water District is proposing pumping from the Silver Springs area to surrounding counties that currently have very minimal water conservation measures in place, all the while the average outflow from the spring is down almost 50% over the last 50 years. For your grandchildren sake, become involved in the local water conservation issues.