Audubon Florida News

Audubon Florida and St. Johns Riverkeeper Take Adena Permit Concerns to Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Audubon Florida Executive Director Eric Draper and St. Johns Riverkeeper’s Lisa Rinaman met with Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Deputy Secretary for Water Policy and Ecosystem Restoration Greg Munson today in Tallahassee to express concerns about the 13 million gallon per day groundwater permit requested to support a beef cattle/slaughterhouse operation near Ocala.

The two conservation leaders received assurances that DEP leadership is aware of opposition to the permit and will work with the St. Johns River Water Management District to make sure that water resources are not harmed.

Lisa and Eric pointed out areas of concern including reduction in flows to Silver Springs (nominated as one of Florida’s Special Places) and other springs, impacts to drinking water supplies and impacts to other waterways that are Outstanding Florida Waters.

Lisa pointed out that Silver Springs and the Silver Rivers are water sources for the St. Johns River, which would likely be affected by the massive water withdrawals. The large scale cattle operation would require intensive irrigation and fertilization of pasture grasses on relatively poor soils to grow enough grass to allow tens of thousands of cattle to gain weight before being slaughtered.  Pollution from fertilizers and manure will leach through the sandy soils into groundwater, springs and other waterways.

Audubon Florida and St. Johns Riverkeeper are working with other conservation allies and local communities to keep people informed and rally opposition to the permit.

Stay engaged; join Audubon at the Silver Springs & Florida’s Imperiled Waterways Forum in Jacksonville on May 15, presented by St. Johns Riverkeeper, Silver Springs Alliance and the Florida Springs Institute.

You can help right now by sending an email using Audubon’s easy email form: Defend Florida’s Silver Springs.


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