Fate of Silver River in State's Hands
MARION COUNTY - The fate of the Silver River is now in the hands of state politicians as the Environmental Protection Agency comes up with new standards for the level of pollutants damaging the river and its springs.
"I can remember swimming in the Silver River when it was clear, now is not so clear," Marie Martineau said.
And neither was what can be done to clean it up Tuesday.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection hosted a workshop explaining how they will come up with the maximum figure of nutrients allowed in the Silver River.
"The DEP has a process where we reach out to the community and hear their concerns as we are concerned," FL DEP Secretary, Herschel Vinyard told TV20.
But some citizens were angry that Vinyard and some of the local commissioners weren't there for the public comments portion of the workshop.
"Once the introductions were over, the decision makers that could actually do something about this left. That's the main thing that bothered me today," Save our Suwannee President Annette Long said.
Long came with algae from local waters that is plaguing area springs because of increased nitrate levels from fertilizers, waste water facilities and animal waste.
Tuesday the DEP asked for a whopping 79 percent nitrate reduction.
"We failed at doing the job we need to do for our water quality," Robert Knight of the Florida Springs Institute told the crowd.
Residents took the chance to ask the agency for help in stopping billionaire Frank Stronach from being allowed to operate Adena Springs, a 15,000 head cattle ranch in Fort McCoy, pumping up to 13 million gallons of water from the Floridian Aquifer every day.
"How we can look at short term goals above that, it really escapes me," Guy Marwick told TV20. Marwick helped in the foundation of the Silver River Museum. "I don't understand it," he said.
Marvick says that amount of water would reduce the already low flow of the springs and the cows would produce the same amount of waste as 160,000 residents.
But the Adena Springs Ranch has gotten support from local county leaders.
Commissioners Stan McClain, Charlie Stone and Mike Amdsen stayed for the public comments but commissioners Carl Zalack and Kathy Bryant had prior engagements and left just before.
But since it was a meeting hosted by the DEP, they were not required to be there.
Residents are able to send the DEP letters with comments and suggestions before August 13th at:
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Division of Environmental Assessment and Restoration Bureau of Watershed Restoration
2600 Blair Stone Road, Mail Station 3575
Tallqahassee, Florida 32399
You may also email Richard W. Hicks at firstname.lastname@example.org
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