Ichetucknee Headspring; photo: Stewart J. Thomas
June 1920: Swimmers at the Columbia County Camp, Ichetucknee Springs, Florida, photo by R. W. Blacklock. State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/41419
Painting by Steven Earl
November 1960: View of Ichetucknee River’s Headwaters, Columbia County, Florida, photo by Karl E. Holland. State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/78256
Scientists at the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute (FSI) have given the Ichetucknee a "C-" grade on the most recent report card, which is included in the new baseline assessment of the Lower Ichetucknee that FSI has published. Click on "The Science," above, to see the full report and look for the Alliance's press release in the "News" tab at the top of this page. We don't think "C-" is a grade to brag about. We all need to be doing a better job to care for this beloved natural system, just one part of the Springs Heartland of Planet Earth.
Ethics may well be the missing piece that will help us solve the puzzle of Florida's water problems, including the problems of reduced flow and impaired water quality that are plaguing the Ichetucknee. Gainesville journalist and author Cynthia Barnett has written extensively about the ethical dimension of these problems. Click on "The Ethics" to read the white paper that Barnett wrote for the Collins Center on Public Policy, "Our Water, Our Florida." Click on "Water Voices" under "Events" at the top of this page to find a video link to a panel discussion about "Ethics, Faith, and Water: A Confluence" in which Barnett and others participated in September 2015.
If you think that the Ichetucknee is a treasure worth saving, here is your chance to help. Several months ago, the Alliance legally challenged the new North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan because we don't think the plan did enough to ensure restoring the Ichetucknee to health. Both water management districts that were involved with the plan--Suwannee River and St. Johns River--dismissed our challenge. We are now appealing that dismissal and the Florida Springs Council (FSC), of which the Alliance is a member, is helping us with legal costs. Please consider making a donation to FSC's legal fund. Your donation will help the Alliance as well as other springs advocacy groups that are members of the Council. No amount is too small, because all those small amounts add up; no amount is too large, either! Thank you for your consideration.
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…Read More
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…Read More
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…Read More