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 of Florida’s springs.
Legal cases are expensive. The Ichetucknee Alliance, like many of our nonprofit water advocacy groups, operates on a shoestring budget supported primarily by membership fees. We are fortunate, however, to have an ally in the Florida Springs Council, of which the Alliance is a member. The Council has agreed to help us with the legal costs of our challenge and subsequent appeal. We estimate that it may take 90 days for the appeal to work its way through the court system.
Here’s how you can help. Please consider making a donation to the Florida Springs Council’s new legal fund. You may earmark your donation by writing “Ichetucknee Alliance” on the memo line and sending your check to:
Florida Springs Council
Attention Heather Obara
P. O. Box 268
High Springs, FL 32655
The Legal Committee of the Florida Springs Council is chaired by Margaret Stewart, Esq., the associate director of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University Law School in Orlando. More information about the Council is available here: