The Ichetucknee Alliance is having a membership drive with reduced rates that make it easier than ever for you to support our activities! From now until June 30, 2016, the special discounted membership rates are $10 for a student or senior, $15 for an individual, and $20 for a family.
Our goal is to increase the Alliance’s membership because there is power in numbers when we speak to Florida’s water managers, elected representatives, and members of the press. The more members we have, the stronger our voice can be for the Ichetucknee River, its associated springs, and the Floridan aquifer that feeds the Ichetucknee and provides our drinking water.
As a paid member of the Alliance, you will be eligible to vote when we elect officers at our annual meeting in March 2016. You will also help to support activities similar to the ones we’ve engaged in during the past three years:
- Creating and organizing Water Voices, a free series of programs designed to broaden and deepen the public conversation about water problems in the Ichetucknee area. (Water Voices sessions are videotaped and uploaded to the Internet so people who cannot attend are able to view them.)
- Working to ensure that a proposed natural gas pipeline was routed away from the Ichetucknee River.
- Commenting on and then legally challenging the insufficient Minimum Flows & Levels (MFLs) set for the Ichetucknee River by the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP).
- Meeting with representatives of SRWMD and FDEP to ask them to enforce Florida law to protect the Ichetucknee.
- Identifying sensitive areas of land near the Ichetucknee and recommending purchase of these areas or acquisition of conservation easements to SRWMD.
- Launching a manatee-sighting program headed by volunteer Lars Andersen.
- Partnering with Current Problems for a cleanup at Cannon Sink in Lake City.
- Monitoring water quality on the Lower Ichetucknee River (outside the state park) through the regular SpringsWatch program and assisting with a baseline monitoring study of the Ichetucknee that was conducted by the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute.
- Making presentations about the Ichetucknee to a group of Paddle Florida participants and to the Columbia County Commission.
- Creating and maintaining a lively Facebook group page with posts that now reach over 800 people.
- Creating and maintaining a website with information about the work of the Alliance, including identification of water quality and quantity problems on the Ichetucknee and suggestions for possible solutions.
- Staffing information tables and providing information about the Ichetucknee and the Alliance at public events and festivals.
Upcoming activities being planned by the Alliance include:
- A planned presentation to the Columbia County Commission about how land use affects our water, in cooperation with our sister organization, Our Santa Fe River.
- Creation of exhibition panels about the Ichetucknee and about how water use decisions are made in Florida to accompany Water/Ways, a traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution that will be on view in High Springs during July and August 2016.
- A panel critique of springs-related messaging to identify ways to educate more people about water problems and potential solutions.
- The fourth session of Water Voices, “Up and Down with the Floridan Aquifer,” will feature geologist Jim Gross and is tentatively scheduled for February 29, 2016, at Florida Gateway College (FGC) in Lake City, with FGC’s Water Resources Program as a new co-sponsor along with Our Santa Fe River.
Holiday Hint #1: Memberships to the Alliance make great holiday gifts! To renew your membership and/or to make a membership gift, see our website at:
Holiday Hint #2: The Alliance’s t-shirts and hats also make great gifts and you may find them here:
Please renew, if you’re already a member, and please consider joining us and/or giving memberships as gifts this holiday season. Thank you!