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.
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.Read More
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…Read More
by Robert E. Ulanowicz, Ph.D. Most are aware of Florida’s growing water crisis, but few seem eager to consider the elephant in the parlor. Water expert Thomas Swihart reports that agricultural irrigation accounts for more than 60 percent of all freshwater consumed in Florida ([i]), although the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services reported in 2011 that the agricultural sector comprised…Read More