Silver Springs Restoration Includes a Free Ocklawaha River May 5th


Silver  Springs  Alliance  Highlights  Springs/Ocklawaha  Connectionon  May  5,  2015
The  connections  between  Silver  Springs  and  the  Silver  and  Ocklawaha  rivers  will  be  highlighted  at  the
Silver  Springs  Alliance’s  annual  public  forum,“Silver  Springs  Restoration  Includes  a  Free  Ocklawaha
River,”  6-­‐9  p.m.  Tuesday,  May  5,  2015,  in  the  Fort  King  Presbyterian  Church,  13  NE  36Avenue,  Ocala,
Florida  34470.  Admission  is  free  and  everyone  is  invited  to  attend.
“The  primary  goal  of  the  Silver  Springs  Alliance  is  to  protect  and  restore  Silver  Springs  and  the  Silver
River,”  said  Dr.  Robert  (Bob)  Knight,  president  of  the  Alliance.  “True  restoration  is  not  possible  without
reconnecting  the  Silver  River  to  the  St.  Johns  River  by  removing  or  breaching  of  the  Rodman  Dam.  A
recent  Memorandum  of  Understanding  between  the  St.  Johns  Riverkeeper  and  the  City  of  Jacksonville
offers  real  hope  that  this  Ocklawaha  and  Silver  River  restoration  can  finally  move  forward  after  47years
of  harm.”
The  evening’s  speakers  include:
Buddy  MacKay,  Esq.,
 former  Florida  and  U.S.  legislator,  Lieutenant  Governor,  and  Governor  of
Florida,  will  open  the  program  with  “Earth  Stewardship—Starting  at  Silver  Springs,”remarks
about  the  civic  responsibility  to  protect  the  public’s  “commons,”  the  Floridan  Aquifer  and  Silver
Springs.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddy_MacKay)
Lisa  Rinaman,
 St.  Johns  Riverkeeper,  will  speak  about  how“Water  Connects  Everything”  and
provide  details  on  the  importance  of  therecent  Memorandum  of  Understanding  between  the
Riverkeeper  and  the  City  of  Jacksonville  and  plans  for  Ocklawaha  restoration.
(http://www.stjohnsriverkeeper.org/our-­‐work/team/)
Matt  Keene,
 videographer  and  adventurer,  will  present  his  film,“River  Be  Dammed,”  that
provides  an  in-­‐depth  history  of  the  ill-­‐fated  Cross  Florida  Barge  Canal  and  its  effects  on  the
Ocklawaha  River.
(http://riverbedammed.org/matt-­‐keene/)
Whitey  Markle
 of  the  Suwannee-­‐St.  Johns  Chapter  of  the  Sierra  Clubwill  share  his  long  history
with  the  wilder  parts  of  the  Ocklawaha  River  and  his  song,“The  Poor  Old  Ocklawaha.”
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ra4uTlUvSZU).
“Marion  County  is  directly  affected  by  the  impacts  of  the  Rodman  Dam  on  the  Silver  and  Ocklawaha
Rivers,”  said  Heather  Culp,  secretary  of  the  Silver  Springs  Alliance  and  associate  director  of  the  Howard  T.
Odum  Florida  Springs  Institute  (FSI).  “The  degradation  of  these  rivers  and  springs  has  a  significant  impact  on  Ocala’s  environmental  and  economic  well-­‐being.  This  forum  will  serve  as  an  opportunity  for  the  community  to  come  together  and  learn  about  what  restoration  of  our  rivers  and  springs  means  for  our  state  and  for  our  future.”Knight,  an  independent  springs  scientist  who  is  the  director  of  the  FSI,  has  conducted  research  that  shows  how  Silver  Springs  and  the  Silver  River  are  seriously  impaired  because  of  declining  flow,  increasing  nutrient  pollution,  and  the  ongoing  presence  of  the  Rodman  Dam  on  the  Ocklawaha  River.  Removal  of  the  dam  is  needed  to  reestablish  the  historic  populations  of  migrating  fish  at  Silver  Springs,  because  healthy  populations  of  those  fish  are  essential  for  a  healthy  springs  ecosystem.
SSA_MayForum_2015For  more  information,  call  Heather  Culp  at  727-­‐859-­‐2736  or  Lucinda  Merritt  at  386-­‐454-­‐0415.