On the River

TO THE SEA: Open-Water Swimmers Gather in the Ocean and the St. Johns River

Duval Ocean Swimmers, Photo by Curtis Siver, Events, Concerts, Theatre, Art, Happenings, Restaurants & All Things Jacksonville, Florida. EU Jacksonville Newspaper serves more than a million readers across Jacksonville and Northeast Florida, including St. Augustine, Orange Park, The Beaches, and Fernandina. Founded in 1978, our printed newsprint magazine and editorial news platform grants readers 24/7 online access to current events and happenings in their beloved River City on the First Coast of Florida. #eujax

  Three simple words define how Jim Alabiso greets a new day. “To the Sea” is a spiritual roadmap that leads him to the sandy shores at sunrise and a metaphor for his relationship to the water. A distance swimmer, author, water conservationist and professional strategist, Alabiso rises before dawn several times a week for a mile swim up the coast just as the day breaks on the horizon. It’s a transformative experience that he shares with his tribe of co-swimmers in the Duval Ocean Swimmers. Any number of swimmers may appear at daybreak; as little as two or three …

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On The River – April is Earth Month

BY KELLY PATTON, Outreach Director, St. Johns Riverkeeper CELEBRATE AND PROTECT CLEAN WATER Last month, the world celebrated World Water Day to highlight the importance of freshwater and advocate for sustainable management of this natural resource. In the Jacksonville area, we are fortunate to have water all around us. On average, 5.4 billion gallons of water are discharged from the mouth of the St. Johns River into the Atlantic Ocean every day. This vast network of water forming 310 miles upstream is a significant part of our identity as a River City. Let’s raise our voices for clean water. This …

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On the River: Outstanding River Friendly Yard Award

BY SHANNON BLANKINSHIP, Outreach Director, St. Johns Riverkeeper Annually, St. Johns RIVERKEEPER and Florida Native Plant Society’s Ixia Chapter recognize individuals or businesses that have implemented River Friendly landscaping and maintenance practices to reduce their impact upon the health of the St. Johns River and our environment. Eligible candidates for the Outstanding River Friendly Yard Award help to protect our waterways by using low-maintenance native plants, preventing stormwater runoff, and minimizing the use of irrigation, fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. You may nominate yourself, a neighbor, family member, or business via #riverfriendlyyardaward on social media (Facebook or Instagram). Submit a photo …

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On The River: Getting Litter Out Of Our River

BY SHANNON BLANKINSHIP – Outreach Director, St. Johns Riverkeeper Few waterways are spared from the seemingly endless supply of plastics and litter that dumps directly from storm drain outfalls. In northeast Florida, it is hard to find a creek or park free of these foreign invaders. Getting litter out of our river is a tough job, and few barriers exist to keep it out in the first place. However, growing accustomed to seeing plastics in our backyard creeks and streams hurts all of us, and putting an end to our litter problem should be something we all strive to do. …

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On the River: Lost Springs of the Ocklawaha

BY SHANNON BLANKINSHIP, Outreach Director, St. Johns Riverkeeper There are major environmental catastrophes, protests and movements getting a lot of media attention in the U.S. these days. In northeast Florida, most people know about the proposed dredging or Central Florida’s water grab from the fueled by the expansion of suburbs and green lawns. Many people may also know about the , officially called the , which was built in the 1970’s as a part of the . The canal would have connected the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean across Florida for barge traffic. The project was eventually abandoned, …

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Cruises, Tours, & Taxis: Sailing the St. Johns River

ST. JOHNS RIVER TAXI The St. Johns River Taxi provides transportation to various downtown destinations including the , , , , , , , , and . The taxi runs continuously and loops every 30-35 minutes. Daily rates are $10 for a daily adult pass and $8 for children ages 3-12 and seniors 65 and over. Credit cards are accepted and tickets are sold on the boat.  Hours of Operation: Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday 11 am – 9 pm; Friday & Saturday 11 am – 11 pm; Sunday 11 am – 9 pm. The service is closed on Mondays for maintenance and private …

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5 Steps: How To Be A “River Friendly” Boater

We use the term “River Friendly” often. Usually, it’s a reference to actions homeowners take to conserve water and reduce the use of fertilizers and pesticides that can run off into nearby storm drains and waterways. Sometimes we are referring to businesses that take steps to reduce their impact on the river or support the work of . The term also applies to boaters who take steps to be good stewards of the river while out on the water. Always Be Prepared To Pick Up Litter While it may seem simple, picking up floating debris from the water can be …

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3 Summertime Happy Hour Paddles You Can’t Miss

BY SHANNON BLANKINSHIP, Outreach Director, St. Johns Riverkeeper There has been a lot of talk about activating our river lately. Lots of initiatives are spinning around to revitalize and energize the tremendous waterfront Jacksonville offers. The best way to understand, explore and experience the river, is to get on the water. Here are some ways you can escape into your own backyard this summer and enjoy what we have to offer. June 21: Pottsburg Creek Happy Hour Paddle 6pm, Beach Blvd. Boat Ramp – Pottsburg Creek flows underneath Beach Blvd in between All Wet Sports and the . The exposed Cypress knees …

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Eating By Boat: 9 Places To Feast On The St. Johns

Since our boat motor gave out last year, St. Johns Riverkeeper has been relying heavily on volunteers like our River Patrol to help us investigate and communicate pollution spills and algae blooms. This summer, we are launching a fundraising campaign to purchase a new Kencraft from Sadler Point Marina, and are hoping to get back on the water soon. Having a boat is critical to the work that we do. Thinking about the prospects of a new patrol boat for got me thinking about all the great places to visit on the water for food and drinks. Rent a boat, …

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On the River: Activate the St. Johns River

BY SHANNON BLANKINSHIP, Outreach Director, St. Johns Riverkeeper The St. Johns River is huge. The biggest river in Florida, it drains nearly a sixth of the state. Most of us only know a small part of the river: the section right in front of us. This month, is working with partners from the headwaters to the mouth to create opportunities for you to explore this incredible river and get your feet wet somewhere new. The 2017 Save the St. Johns: Activate the River project highlights the local businesses and partners who are doing great work along the entire river. We …

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