Saturday, June 28, 2014

Urgent: We need 100 witnesses to the decline of springs




Your Support is needed NOW
We need 100 WITNESSES 
to CHALLENGE 
Sleepy Creek Lands (aka Adena Springs Ranch)

In early June, Sierra Club filed a challenge to the St. Johns River Water Management permits for Sleepy Creek Lands, formerly Adena Springs Ranch. The project site is in Marion County near the small town of Ft. McCoy adjacent to Mill Creek. In the first of three phases of a 30,000 acre beef operation that will ultimately withdraw 5.3 million gallons of water per day (mgd), Sleepy Creek Lands/owner Frank Stronach is seeking a permit to withdraw 1.46 mgd from an already over-tapped aquifer.

The Sierra Club and our co-petitioner, St. Johns Riverkeeper, also maintain that the increased nutrients from grass fertilizer and wastes from 9,500 head of cattle will endanger the health and restoration of the Ocklawaha River, an OFW and the St. Johns River, an American Heritage River.  The pumping of the aquifers to irrigate pastures will affect the Silver River, Silver Springs, and Salt Springs all of which are designated OFWs.  These springs and rivers belong to all the citizens of Florida and we must do our best to protect them from destruction. 

We need your help. To maintain Sierra Club's right to challenge these permits we need to prove that our members enjoy and benefit from outdoor activities on these water bodies and have a deep interest in protecting and restoring these water bodies.  This is referred to as establishing "standing."

1. If you have enjoyed outdoor activities such as canoeing,photography, kayaking, fishing, swimming, bird watching,camping, etc. along any of the affected waters and springs...
2. If you own a home, business, or property on any of the affected water bodies listed above...
3. If you lead eco-tours or outings along any of these water bodies...
4. If you live in close proximity to Mill Creek near Ft. McCoy ...

You can stand up for protection of Florida's springs and rivers by letting us know of your commitment to be a standing witness. You should be willing to speak to a hearing judge that you have a compelling interest in the protection of these springs and rivers and their fish and wildlife because of your enjoyment and activities.  We will need over 100 names of potential standing witnesses.  Your help is critical to us. 

PLEASE EMAIL US TO GIVE US YOUR NAME AND PHONE NUMBER, WHAT SIERRA CLUB GROUP YOU BELONG TO, WHAT YOUR INTEREST IS AND WHERE. WE WILL CONTACT YOU AS SOON AS POSSIBLE TO GIVE YOU INFORMATION ON THE HEARING DATES AND LOCATION. 


TRAVEL EXPENSES TO THE HEARING WILL BE REIMBURSED BY SIERRA CLUB. 

A huge thank you to anyone who can do this!  Thank you all.    

Contact us with any questions: 

Linda Bremer, SC- FL Legal Chair, linda@bremer.net

Cris Costello, Regional Organizing Representative
941-966-9508cris.costello@sierraclub.org