On June 23rd the Florida Conservation Coalition spearheaded one of the largest and most successful environmental events in recent memory at Silver River State Park, where thousands showed up to protest the degradation of one of the Florida’s most spectacular springs. Bob Graham began by thanking local groups for making the event a success. He would like to see the cooperation shown organizing this event as a model for future events. He also asked: Why are we here? His answer: I have memories of the beautiful fish and water. It makes me proud that we have such magnificent springs. He would like to preserve this beauty for his 11 grandchildren. He also used a few bad words when describing the crisis we are in with Silver Springs. Lee Constantine talked about catfish football and how had disappeared with the degradation of the springs.
Bob Knight John Moran
Bob Knight of the H. T. Odum Florida Springs Institute provided scientific data, which document the cause of the crisis. During the past 20 years, the quality of the water has been severely degraded by nitrate pollution and quantity of the water has been severely reduced by drought and over pumping. John Moran displayed many of his iconic photos of the Itchetucknee River, Peacock Springs, Newnan’s Lake, and blue eyed scallops. He also displayed then-and-now photographs of the Itchetucknee, Kissengen, and White Sulpher Springs. Our own Whitey Markle and the Swamprooters sang a bunch of great songs including his most recent “The Poor Old Ocklawaha.” At the end John Moran gave a rousing passionate speech stating that water is at the heart of the Florida experience. He also challenged politicians to get out in front of the parade or get run over! See his speech on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pF1SAvMuhqM. All-in-all the event was a smashing success.
Either John Moran or Bob Knight remarked that your personal action plan should include
- Stop watering your lawn.
- Stop fertilizing your lawn.
- Write your local representatives.
One of these guys also commented that the drinking water in Cedar Key now has a noticeably salty taste.
Linda, Whitey, Daniel and students Whitey