On the River

On the River: Making use of river waste

BY SHANNON BLANKINSHIP, Outreach Director, St. Johns Riverkeeper There’s nothing like a hurricane to demonstrate that our creeks, rivers and ocean suffer significantly from our waste. Whether it is litter, debris or just items from our back yard, if it wasn’t tied down or tightly secured, it may have ended up in the river. While Hurricane Matthew was an extreme example of this regular phenomenon, it happens during even normal rainfall events. Our creeks, especially in our urban neighborhoods, continue to be depositories for everything that can be carried by wind or water from yards, driveways, and roads. The young …

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On The River: State of the St. Johns 2016

BY SHANNON BLANKINSHIP, Outreach Director, St. Johns Riverkeeper For the ninth year in a row, researchers from , , and have compiled data and analyzed trends regarding the health of the Lower . This area, from to , runs over 100 miles and is a unique ecological system. The Report addresses four areas of river health: water quality, fisheries, aquatic life, and contaminants. This year, the report also included a poll about community access to the river. The idea is that the more people on the river, the more we will respect and care for it. Here is how we …

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Finding Pollution Solutions In Jacksonville

Jacksonville isn’t a city that usually comes to mind first when you hear the phrase “pollution solutions.” But, we can look to nearby cities and the remarkable green solutions they have already implemented for inspiration and to learn how to follow in their green footsteps. In Athens, Georgia, every bit of rainwater that falls on city streets flows into curb cuts that irrigate the native plants lining city sidewalks. In Atlanta, tourism is now solidly connected to the BeltLine, a sustainable redevelopment project that provides a network of parks, multi-use trails and transit along a historic 22-mile railroad corridor circling …

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It’s a River Ruckus

BY SHANNON BLANKINSHIP, Outreach Director, St. Johns Riverkeeper A Free Family Festival celebrating the St. Johns River August 27, 10am to 4pm at the Riverside Arts Market, 715 Riverside Ave. The St. Johns River has been dealt some major blows over the past year. Algae blooms continue to anger residents that have been voicing concerns and seeking solutions for decades. The decision to allow higher concentrations of carcinogens in our water by the state has also been met with outrage. The dismal amount of Amendment 1 funding that has gone into conservation land acquisition has left citizens feeling like no …

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On The River: Swimming, Snorkeling and Florida Springs

Blue Springs State Park, Photo by @narcosis27 via #eujaxswimmingholes

BY SHANNON BLANKINSHIP, St. Johns Riverkeeper Outreach Director Swimming Holes It feels like divine intervention that Florida, with our year-round temperatures for swimming, also has the highest concentration of natural springs in the world. At a constant 72 degrees, Florida springs are best enjoyed in the summer months when the cool refreshing water is the perfect remedy for hot weather and the blazing sun. Our springs are natural formations where groundwater flows out of the ground. No two springs are the same, and not all are ideal for swimming. If you are looking to jump in and have some fun, …

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Paws On The River

BY SHANNON BLANKINSHIP, Outreach Director, St. Johns Riverkeeper Take me to the river There are few things better for most pups than a get-a-way with their humans to a dog-friendly water park! Not all dogs love swimming. For those that do, finding a great doggie swim spot can become your pup’s favorite place to go. Even if your dog (or you) don’t want to get completely wet, finding a great place to hike along the water means cooler temperatures and scenic vistas for each of you. Here are some great places along the St. Johns River that you and your …

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Returning from the River

By Shannon Blankinship, Outreach Director for People that know the St. Johns River usually only know “their” part of it. Few people know the entire river – because the entire river is really big. is the longest river in Florida, drains nearly 16% of our state, and changes dramatically as it slowly flows from marshes in Indian River County to the Atlantic Ocean in Duval, a distance of over 300 miles. Recently, St. Johns Riverkeeper returned from a 13-day expedition along the entire length of the river in order to raise awareness about the issues impacting the St. Johns and …

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Save the St. Johns Tour

Amendement 1, St. Johns Riverkeeper, On the River

BY SHANNON BLANKINSHIP, Outreach Director, St. Johns Riverkeeper On March 22, a small team of river advocates lead by St. Johns Riverkeeper embark on a 13-day journey of the entire 310-mile length of the St. Johns River from the headwaters at Fort Drum to the mouth at the Atlantic Ocean. The overall goal of the Save the St. Johns River Tour is to unite people and organizations devoted to the river’s health and develop a unified approach to halting its continued degradation. Unfortunately, the problems along the St. Johns have been mounting and the St. Johns is suffering. Our river …

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On the River: Coal Ash Stories

Event: Coal Ash Stories Documentary Screening and panel with the filmmaker Date/Time: Monday,  February 1st, 6:30pm Venue: Sun-Ray Cinema, 1028 Park St, Jacksonville, FL 32204 Tickets: Free, RSVP required Contact: www.stjohnsriverkeeper.org Coal ash, the toxic remains of coal burning in power plants, is a hazardous waste. The concentrated substance is a chemical mixture that can cause cancer, developmental disorders, and reproductive problems in humans. It poisons our water and kills fish and wildlife. Finding beneficial uses or proper methods for disposal has become increasingly difficult for coal fired power plants, raising concerns about how this toxic ash could contaminate nearby …

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All I want for Christmas is a healthy St. Johns River

BY SHANNON BLANKINSHIP, Outreach Director, St. Johns Riverkeeper This is the time of year when our river can get lost in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. With all of the distractions that fill our thoughts and our days, we tend to lose focus of the pollution problems plaguing the St. Johns and how important the river is to our quality of life. What if, instead, protecting the river made it to the top of our holiday wish lists? What if all of the 4th graders in northeast Florida asked for a clean river to play in instead …

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