Once again, the public has spoken! A new poll found overwhelming support for restoring a free-flowing Ocklawaha River. A highly regarded political consultant and public opinion researcher, Barcelo & Company, recently released a scientific poll of likely voters in Putnam and Marion counties regarding their support for restoring the flow of the Ocklawaha River by breaching the Rodman/Kirkpatrick Dam. The firm polled 604 respondents with a margin of error of +4.0 percent with a 95% confidence factor.
Nearly 80% of the likely voters in Putnam and Marion Counties who participated in the poll favor breaching the Rodman/Kirkpatrick Dam and restoring the natural flow of the Ocklawaha River. Only 6% were opposed to restoration.
Key Poll Findings
- Responders demonstrate a solid understanding of challenges facing the Ocklawaha and St. Johns rivers.
- When initially asked if the Florida Legislature should vote to seek restoration of the natural flow of the Ocklawaha River, 77% were in support of breaching the dam. Only 6% were opposed.
- After responding to a series of scientifically-supported statements about the potential benefits of breaching the dam, support for restoring the flow of the Ocklawaha rose from 77% to 81% and those against restoration declined from 6% to 4%.
The results come on the heels of a St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) survey that also indicated strong support – over 85% of the nearly 10,000 survey participants expressed a desire to restore the Ocklawaha River. Only 5.9% of responses to the survey were in favor of retaining the dam and reservoir.
“Barcelo & Company’s findings provide a scientific poll that demonstrates wide-spread, bi-partisan support for one of the most significant restoration projects in Florida today. Where else do you see 77% agreement on any issue facing Floridians?” Margaret Spontak, chair of the Free the Ocklawaha River Coalition for Everyone, pointed out.
The scientific poll is important because it validates the SJRWMD survey results and demonstrates that voters in two of the counties with the most at stake regarding the dam’s future strongly support a free-flowing Ocklawaha River.
The science and public opinion clearly support finally breeching the Rodman/Kirkpatrick Dam. Contact Governor DeSantis and your state legislators and ask them to free the Ocklawaha. Restoration can’t wait.