FREE THE OCKLAWAHA RIVER BY THE BREACHING OF RODMAN DAM

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In April 2016 the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) headquartered in Palatka, Putnam County, Florida released on their website for dissemination to the public an official document entitled: "Technical Publication SJ2016-1: Effects on Lower St. Johns River Nutrient Supply and TMDL Target Compliance from the Restoration of a Free-Flowing Ocklawaha River" authored by John Hendrickson, Environmental Scientist VI, SJRWMD.

Congratulations to John Hendrickson who was promoted in 2018 from "Environmental Scientist VI" to "Supervising Environmental Scientist" for the entire St. Johns River Water Management District!

The findings of "Technical Publication SJ2016-1" report that the potential downstream detrimental nutrient load to the St. Johns River estuary by a free-flowing Ocklawaha River will be much less than previously predicted (by old 1999 science) and at these lower levels can probably be mitigated in other sections of the St. Johns River basin using measures and procedures known to SJRWMD.

We, the undersigned persons being registered voters and/or real property owners of the state of Florida do hereby respectfully petition the SJRWMD and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FL DEP) to earnestly begin, move forward with, and finally carry out the process of restoring to free-and-swift-flowing-again the Ocklawaha River -- "Source to the Sea" -- from its Silver Springs supreme headwaters to its St. Johns River estuary. This restoration process would require the breaching of the earthen Kirkpatrick (Rodman) Dam at the location where the historic Ocklawaha River channel flowed through it prior to September 30, 1968.

For this process to begin in earnest the SJRWMD would soon need to approve and issue to the FL DEP the Ocklawaha River restoration Environmental Resource Permit that was originally submitted in 1997; and the FL DEP would soon need to inform and request that SJRWMD no longer hold this Ocklawaha River restoration permit application in abeyance because FL DEP does earnestly intend to move forward with the process that would ultimately involve the breaching of Kirkpatrick (Rodman) Dam to allow the Ocklawaha River to be free-flowing again -- "Source to the Sea" -- from Silver Springs to the St. Johns River.

I, "Ocklawahaman" Paul Nosca, sincerely request that only registered voters and/or real property owners of the state of Florida respond to and sign-on to this petition.

As the administrator of this petition I shall -- from time to time -- deliver via email all of the pertinent signature and comment documents to the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FL DEP). I have no access to the petition signers email addresses.

Saturday 6/24/17 was the 1-Year Anniversary of the creation of this "FREE THE OCKLAWAHA RIVER BY THE BREACHING OF RODMAN DAM" online petition. This SIGN-FOR-FREE $$$ petition had 2,112 supporters and more than 550 favorable comments as of that date.

Sunday 6/24/18 was the 2-Year Anniversary of the creation of this "FREE THE OCKLAWAHA RIVER BY THE BREACHING OF RODMAN DAM" online petition. This SIGN-FOR-FREE $$$ petition had 2,404 supporters as of that date.

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The SJRWMD "Technical Publication SJ2016-1" by John Hendrickson contains the data -- about DISSOLVED SILICA, NITROGEN, and PHOSPHORUS (and their combined effects on possible [downstream] St. Johns River harmful algal blooms) -- best supporting that the restoration of the Ocklawaha River will be beneficial for the entire St. Johns River (Florida's ONLY "American Heritage River") basin.

Hendrickson, John. 2016. Effects on Lower St. Johns River Nutrient Supply and TMDL Target Compliance from the Restoration of a Free-Flowing Ocklawaha River. Technical Publication SJ2016-1. 107 pages. St. Johns River Water Management District, Palatka, Florida is available at: ftp://secure.sjrwmd.com/technicalreports/TP/SJ2016-1.pdf

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OCKLAWAHA RIVER HISTORY: Former Governor Lawton Chiles on 6/16/95 announced the following, "After a careful review of the Ocklawaha River/Rodman Reservoir issue, I am hereby directing the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, in cooperation with the St Johns River Water Management District, to proceed immediately in applying for permits to restore the Ocklawaha River and in moving forward with a plan to begin an orderly and phased drawdown of the Rodman Reservoir."

QUITE OFTEN "Ocklawahaman" Paul Nosca is asked this same general question by sincere people:

WHY HASN'T THE OCKLAWAHA RIVER ALREADY BEEN RESTORED SINCE GOVERNOR CHILES AND THE FLORIDA CABINET ORDERED IT TO BE DONE BACK IN THE 1990's?

The official answer to that question is as documented in these following three quoted paragraphs from Technical Publication SJ2016-1 by the SJRWMD's John Hendrickson:

(1) "In 1991, federal de-authorization of the Cross Florida Barge Canal Project resulted in the transfer of canal lands to the state of Florida. An ad hoc Canal Lands Advisory Committee (CLAC) was formed to provide recommendations to the Governor and Cabinet on the disposition of the barge canal lands and structures. After deliberating on the recommendations of the CLAC, the 1993 Legislature passed Chapter 92-213, Laws of Florida, which directed the Department of Natural Resources (now the Florida Department of Environmental Protection [FDEP]) to ' . . . study the efficacy, both environmental and economic, of complete restoration of the Ocklawaha River, partial restoration of the river, total retention of Rodman Reservoir, and partial retention of the reservoir . . ..' Funds were provided for the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) to undertake the study of these four alternatives. As part of the comprehensive assessment performed by SJRWMD, Volume 11 of the Environmental Studies Concerning Four Alternatives for Rodman Reservoir and the Lower Ocklawaha River, Surface Water Quality and Alternatives Analysis for Rodman Reservoir (ECT, 1994) predicted a post-restoration increase in nitrogen (in the form of nitrate+nitrite-N) and phosphorus (as orthophosphate) loads of 878 and 30 metric tons/yr to the LSJR.

(2) "Despite the predicted increase in downstream nutrient load, the positive aspects related to the restoration of floodplain functions, increased unique habitat and migratory fish passage appeared to provide overall net environmental gain. At the directive of then-Gov. Lawton Chiles and the Florida Cabinet, FDEP in 1997 submitted a permit application to SJRWMD for the removal of Rodman Reservoir to restore a free-flowing lower Ocklawaha River.

(3) "But in 1999, once the permit application package was complete, the case for the restoration was deemed insufficient to meet the environmental resource permit (ERP) and consumptive use permit (CUP) public interest tests, and SJRWMD staff informed FDEP that they could not recommend approval to their Governing Board. The most prominent concern contributing to the recommendation of denial centered on the potential adverse impacts of increased nutrient load to the lower St. Johns River. Adding to this concern was the fact that the lower St. Johns at the time was one of the most prominent water bodies included on the 1999 consent decree between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Earthjustice to establish Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for impaired Florida waters. FDEP requested that SJRWMD not take agency action and to hold the permit in abeyance indefinitely, a status which has continued until this day."

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When you join with the "Ocklawahaman" to "FREE THE OCKLAWAHA RIVER BY THE BREACHING OF RODMAN DAM" by signing the online petition FOR-FREE $$$ it costs you NO $$$. "Ocklawahaman" has NO lawyers or staff for you to payroll! You get to buy a backpack, BBQ dinner, canoe, or kayak with your DOUGH and enjoy the remaining segments of the free-flowing Ocklawaha River and its superbly forested jungle-like corridor.

Most sincerely, "Ocklawahaman" Paul Nosca, Administrator of the "FREE THE OCKLAWAHA RIVER BY THE BREACHING OF RODMAN DAM" online petition.


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