Current News


Ichetucknee Alliance Comments on State Park’s New Management Plan

Posted on July 14th, by in Current News. No Comments

On July 13, 2017, the Ichetucknee Alliance sent comments about the new unit management plan for Ichetucknee Springs State Park to the Acquisition and Restoration Council of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. To read the Alliance’s letter, click here.

As you read the letter, remember that the Alliance’s stated mission is to restore, protect and preserve the Ichetucknee River, its associated springs and ecosystems as well as the Floridan aquifer that feeds the springs and provides our drinking water. There is strong evidence that tubing on the upper portion of the river is damaging the aquatic ecosystem and underwater vegetation; see the photos below that have been supplied by Jim Stevension, a member of the Alliance’s Advisory Board.

Because of the damage that tubing is causing, the Alliance has called for a halt to tubing on the upper portion of the Ichetucknee … Read More »


Our New Bumper Sticker: Why “No Water No Farms No Food”?

Posted on July 5th, by in Current News. No Comments

“No Water No Farms No Food” is the more complete message because it restores water to its primary place of importance—to our farmers, to our springs, to ourselves, to our economy. (Scroll down to read more.)

Maybe you’ve seen them while you’re driving, those bumper stickers that say “No Farms No Food.” I doubt anyone would disagree with that logic, but that’s not the whole picture—especially when you consider that long-term trends show our groundwater levels throughout North Florida are declining. That decline is one of the things that worries those of us who are involved with trying to restore, protect and preserve the Ichetucknee, because those declining groundwater levels are hurting our springs and threatening the security of our drinking water supply.

For every foot that the level of fresh groundwater drops, the level of saltwater underneath rises by 40 feet. Yes, you read that right—40 feet. … Read More »


One Geologist’s To-Do List for Restoring Springs

Posted on June 21st, by in Current News. No Comments

By Jim Gross

 

Editor’s Note: Jim Gross, the geologist who spoke at one of our Water Voices programs in 2016, wrote the following in an email thread I received; he has generously given us permission to print it here. When people ask, “What is causing the problems with our springs?” and “What can we do?,” the following paragraphs provide excellent answers and guidance.

 

What I’ve heard recently is that restoration likely involves both increased flows and decreased nutrient loading, which is not really surprising when you think about it. Springs are like organisms—they need adequate amounts of freshwater and that freshwater must be free of toxic substances.

I believe we can restore our springs to much of their former glory. We humans are perhaps the smartest species ever to inhabit Earth, but smart and wise are different aspects of our nature.

Just off the … Read More »


We Need Your Help for Our Challenge to the North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan

Posted on June 21st, by in Current News. No Comments

Earlier this year, the Alliance filed a legal challenge to the new North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan on behalf of the Ichetucknee River System. We took this action because we believed the plan was required to include an effective restoration strategy for the river and springs, which it failed to do. Unfortunately, both the St. Johns River and Suwannee River water management districts—the agencies that we challenged—questioned our legal standing and dismissed our challenge.

Our attorney, John Thomas, has now filed an appeal of that dismissal with the First District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee. We want a court to decide if the agencies being challenged should have the ability to dismiss a challenge brought against them because the agency determines that the petitioner lacks standing. If the court finds in our favor, this case could set a precedent that might help other groups defend the health … Read More »


A Picture Report of the Ichetucknee in May 2017

Posted on May 26th, by in Current News. No Comments

by John Moran

 

Editor’s Note:  Gainesville photographer, writer, springs advocate and Lifetime Ichetucknee Alliance member John Moran visits the Ichetucknee every year on his birthday. This year (2017), he graciously agreed to share this series of his birthday trip photos. Thanks, John!

This picture report begins with a few underwater pictures shot in the short stretch between the headspring at the Ichetucknee and the canoe launch. This is the small “window” where you can remember a time when the entire river looked so healthy. The comparison to the Devil’s Eye Spring underwater photo is striking. I made the “healthy” pictures in the restricted area with permission from the park manager. This is my 31st consecutive May 17th birthday outing on the Ichetucknee and, oh the changes I’ve seen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Statement by IA Advisory Board Member Bob Ulanowicz to the League of Women Voters in Orlando

Posted on April 30th, by in Current News. No Comments

An inevitable Tragedy of the Commons occurs when a necessary resource becomes available free of cost to a community. Ladies & Gentlemen, this tragedy is unfolding as I speak – right beneath our feet!

Most in this room pay a delivery fee to an urban utility for their water. But the gross majority of water from our aquifer is pumped without cost by agriculture, industry and rural homeowners. Theoretically, withdrawals are regulated by consumptive use permits and minimum flow levels, which in reality are political footballs. Anyone with sufficient resources and power can subvert these controls. Our newspapers are full of examples.

We necessarily struggle to improve the efficiency of water use, but such measures are overwhelmed by increased demands. We are increasingly pumping brackish water in numerous coastal areas, a situation that is practically irreversible. Desalinization is too costly to support … Read More »


Show Your Work

Posted on January 5th, by in Current News. No Comments

by Bob Palmer, Ichetucknee Alliance Advisory Board Member

Think back to sixth grade.   Remember those pesky math tests where your teacher wouldn’t give you any credit if the question was “what’s 144 divided by 6?” and you just wrote down “24”. You had to “show your work”. If you didn’t, your teacher would suspect, perhaps with some justification, that you’d snuck a peek and copied your answer from the smart girl sitting next to you.

Well, the State of Florida – supposedly a great place for Open Government – has made NOT showing its work into a new art form. And unless citizens get sufficiently outraged, our “public servants” are going to get away with it.

Consider three recent examples from the world of environmental decision-making where State regulators have gone out of their way not to show their work.

First, there’s Sleepy Creek, … Read More »


My 40th-Birthday Relay Through the Ichetucknee Trace (Part 1)

Posted on December 31st, by in Current News. No Comments

by Eric Flagg

I was in my undergraduate program for Environmental Science at UF (1996-1998) when I first met Jim Stevenson. He was speaking to one of my classes and was at the time, I believe, director of the Florida Springs Task Force.

He made a big impression on me as someone I’d like to emulate with my career. Since then the ethos of that grand park system that he was a part of as chief naturalist has changed dramatically. Today, there is not nearly as much room to accomplish what he and other park employees were able to since the 1970s-1980s.

Years went by. I worked as an environmental consultant for about 10 years, then went back to graduate school and earned my master’s in documentary filmmaking.

Fast forward to summer 2013 when my production company partners, Isaac Brown and Ana Habib, held … Read More »


Ichetucknee: All-Star of the Springs Heartland

Posted on November 20th, by in Current News. No Comments

The very knowledgeable writer, river guide, owner of Adventure Outpost in High Springs, and Ichetucknee Alliance supporter Lars Andersen wrote a lovely blog about the Ichetucknee for Riverguide’s Journal and he has graciously given the Alliance permission to share the blog, which you may read here.


Ichetucknee Alliance Statement to Suwannee River Water Management District Board of Directors

Posted on January 12th, by in Current News. No Comments

January 12, 2016

It has been some time since the Ichetucknee Alliance requested a moratorium on large water use permits, so I am here today to re-state that call.

Here is what we want to see before any more permits are issued: Development of a water balance or water budget that must compare “income” to the district (the amount of water received from rainfall) to the district’s “expenses” (the amount of water leaving via runoff, evapotranspiration, and CUMULATIVE permitted withdrawals).

Our water is a shared resource that needs to be managed as a public trust with an emphasis on conservation. As Cynthia Barnett has written, we need to make sure that the way we are using water today does not jeopardize fresh, clean water for our children, businesses, and ecosystems tomorrow. Without a water budget, none of us has any assurances that our … Read More »





Recent Posts

Ichetucknee Alliance Comments on State Park’s New Management Plan

On July 13, 2017, the Ichetucknee Alliance sent comments about the new unit management plan for Ichetucknee Springs State Park to the Acquisition and...

Our New Bumper Sticker: Why “No Water No Farms No Food”?

“No Water No Farms No Food” is the more complete message because it restores water to its primary place of importance—to our farmers, to our...

One Geologist’s To-Do List for Restoring Springs
By Jim Gross

 

Editor’s Note: Jim Gross, the geologist who spoke at one of our Water Voices programs in 2016, wrote the following in an...