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
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
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.
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
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.”
“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.