ON THE RIVER-May 2013

by SHANNON BLANKINSHIP
Outreach Director, St. Johns Riverkeeper
River Lives: short documentaries celebrating the cultural life of the St. Johns River
May 4, 3 pm, Museum of Contemporary Arts Jacksonville, 333 N Laura St
River Lives paints a varied portrait of our relationships with the St. Johns, featuring film shorts of distance swimmers, activists, a permaculture farm, disabled adaptive rowers, shrimpers, artists, a Mayport Ferry deckhand, and more. Free and open to the public.

Explore the Estuary with Kayak Amelia’s Guided Tour
May 11, 9 am-noon, Alimacani Boat Ramp, 11080 Heckscher Dr
If you have yet to experience a guided trip through the Timucuan Preserve portion of the St. Johns River estuary, then treat yourself to a rewarding adventure! Ray Hetchka, owner of Kayak Amelia, stood up for clean water at a recent press event fighting “slime crime” on the St. Johns. Many businesses on the river are dependant on clean water, and outfitters like Ray are a great example of why we need to protect our river. Get on the water with Ray, and tell him thanks for helping to protect Florida waterways. Cost: $65 adults and $55 kids under 12 with kayak rental and guide. Reservations Required: www.kayakamelia.com or 251-0016.

Learn to Go Fishin’ at Ripples on the River
May 18, 11 am-2 pm, Marine Science Research Institute, 2800 University Blvd N
We all benefit from teaching our youth about how the river works. The Marine Science Research Institute will hold its annual “Ripples on the River” event on Jacksonville University’s riverfront to do just that. Activities include an animal touch-tank from the Florida Fish and Wildlife conservation commission, interactive displays including a microscopic look at plankton, fishing lessons for all ages and a chance to learn about the scientific research conducted by JU on the St. Johns River. The first 200 youth get a free rod and reel, with lessons! As you learn to fish, you can enjoy good food, sample SweetWater beer, and mingle with MSRI and St Johns Riverkeeper staff and supporters. $10 per adult. Children under 16 are admitted free, all payable at the door by cash and check. www.stjohnsriverkeeper.org/events/ripples-on-the-river/

About Shannon Blankinship

Shannon Blankinship is the Outreach Director for St. Johns Riverkeeper and contributes regularly via the “On The River” column building awareness for the many issues that impact the St. Johns River. Shannon received her B.S. from Purdue University in Natural Resources Economics and Policy and her J.D. from Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville. She is currently an elected official in Duval County serving on the Soil and Water Conservation District. She is a board member for the local nonprofit The Girls Gone Green and regularly contributes articles affecting animals and health. She is a Springfield resident and works to promote all things great in the urban core neighborhoods.