Silver Â Springs Â Alliance Â Highlights Â Springs/Ocklawaha Â Connectionon Â May Â 5, Â 2015
The Â connections Â between Â Silver Â Springs Â and Â the Â Silver Â and Â Ocklawaha Â rivers Â will Â be Â highlighted Â at Â the
Silver Â Springs Â Allianceâ€™s Â annual Â public Â forum,â€œSilver Â Springs Â Restoration Â Includes Â a Â Free Â Ocklawaha
River,â€ Â 6-Ââ€9 Â p.m. Â Tuesday, Â May Â 5, Â 2015, Â in Â the Â Fort Â King Â Presbyterian Â Church, Â 13 Â NE Â 36Avenue, Â Ocala,
Florida Â 34470. Â Admission Â is Â free Â and Â everyone Â is Â invited Â to Â attend.
â€œThe Â primary Â goal Â of Â the Â Silver Â Springs Â Alliance Â is Â to Â protect Â and Â restore Â Silver Â Springs Â and Â the Â Silver
River,â€ Â said Â Dr. Â Robert Â (Bob) Â Knight, Â president Â of Â the Â Alliance. Â â€œTrue Â restoration Â is Â not Â possible Â without
reconnecting Â the Â Silver Â River Â to Â the Â St. Â Johns Â River Â by Â removing Â or Â breaching Â of Â the Â Rodman Â Dam. Â A
recent Â Memorandum Â of Â Understanding Â between Â the Â St. Â Johns Â Riverkeeper Â and Â the Â City Â of Â Jacksonville
offers Â real Â hope Â that Â this Â Ocklawaha Â and Â Silver Â River Â restoration Â can Â finally Â move Â forward Â after Â 47years
of Â harm.â€
The Â eveningâ€™s Â speakers Â include:
Buddy Â MacKay, Â Esq.,
Â former Â Florida Â and Â U.S. Â legislator, Â Lieutenant Â Governor, Â and Â Governor Â of
Florida, Â will Â open Â the Â program Â with Â â€œEarth Â Stewardshipâ€”Starting Â at Â Silver Â Springs,â€remarks
about Â the Â civic Â responsibility Â to Â protect Â the Â publicâ€™s Â â€œcommons,â€ Â the Â Floridan Â Aquifer Â and Â Silver
Lisa Â Rinaman,
Â St. Â Johns Â Riverkeeper, Â will Â speak Â about Â howâ€œWater Â Connects Â Everythingâ€ Â and
provide Â details Â on Â the Â importance Â of Â therecent Â Memorandum Â of Â Understanding Â between Â the
Riverkeeper Â and Â the Â City Â of Â Jacksonville Â and Â plans Â for Â Ocklawaha Â restoration.
Matt Â Keene,
Â videographer Â and Â adventurer, Â will Â present Â his Â film,â€œRiver Â Be Â Dammed,â€ Â that
provides Â an Â in-Ââ€depth Â history Â of Â the Â ill-Ââ€fated Â Cross Â Florida Â Barge Â Canal Â and Â its Â effects Â on Â the
Ocklawaha Â River.
Whitey Â Markle
Â of Â the Â Suwannee-Ââ€St. Â Johns Â Chapter Â of Â the Â Sierra Â Clubwill Â share Â his Â long Â history
with Â the Â wilder Â parts Â of Â the Â Ocklawaha Â River Â and Â his Â song,â€œThe Â Poor Â Old Â Ocklawaha.â€
â€œMarion Â County Â is Â directly Â affected Â by Â the Â impacts Â of Â the Â Rodman Â Dam Â on Â the Â Silver Â and Â Ocklawaha
Rivers,â€ Â said Â Heather Â Culp, Â secretary Â of Â the Â Silver Â Springs Â Alliance Â and Â associate Â director Â of Â the Â Howard Â T.
Odum Â Florida Â Springs Â Institute Â (FSI). Â â€œThe Â degradation Â of Â these Â rivers Â and Â springs Â has Â a Â significant Â impact Â on Â Ocalaâ€™s Â environmental Â and Â economic Â well-Ââ€being. Â This Â forum Â will Â serve Â as Â an Â opportunity Â for Â the Â community Â to Â come Â together Â and Â learn Â about Â what Â restoration Â of Â our Â rivers Â and Â springs Â means Â for Â our Â state Â and Â for Â our Â future.â€Knight, Â an Â independent Â springs Â scientist Â who Â is Â the Â director Â of Â the Â FSI, Â has Â conducted Â research Â that Â shows Â how Â Silver Â Springs Â and Â the Â Silver Â River Â are Â seriously Â impaired Â because Â of Â declining Â flow, Â increasing Â nutrient Â pollution, Â and Â the Â ongoing Â presence Â of Â the Â Rodman Â Dam Â on Â the Â Ocklawaha Â River. Â Removal Â of Â the Â dam Â is Â needed Â to Â reestablish Â the Â historic Â populations Â of Â migrating Â fish Â at Â Silver Â Springs, Â because Â healthy Â populations Â of Â those Â fish Â are Â essential Â for Â a Â healthy Â springs Â ecosystem.