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We’re Hiring!

We’re Hiring!

Join our team of environmental professionals! We're looking for a part-time Office Manager and CRM Adminstrator  based at our headquarters in Jacksonville, FL. 

Send cover letter, resume and references to Jimmy Orth, Executive Director, at Jimmy@stjohnsriverkeeper.org.

Read Job Description here.

Waterkeepers Florida Launch Moms for Clean Water Campaign Inspired by Florida’s First Lady

Waterkeepers Florida Launch Moms for Clean Water Campaign Inspired by Florida’s First Lady Moms for Clean Water campaign: FloridaMomsForCleanWater.org.

Earlier this year, First Lady Casey DeSantis made a powerful statement: “We feel an obligation as parents and we feel we should work on behalf of all the parents of this great state to make sure their children have a clean environment and clean water to grow up on." Waterkeepers Florida applaud the First Lady’s commitment to restoring and protecting our state’s waters, although it is clear our legislature does not share that same sense of urgency. Unfortunately, this legislative session failed to yield any meaningful protective policies for Florida’s waterways. Florida Moms demand better for our children and their children.

Inspired by First Lady DeSantis’ words, Moms for Clean Water represents moms around the state of Florida calling for greater protection for ALL of our water resources. We believe that our water should be clean for our children to safely fish, swim, and drink.

”Exploring our rivers and our springs with my boys is one of the simplest joys of being a mom. It is our collective responsibility to ensure clean, healthy waterways for our children today and for future generations,” said Lisa Rinaman, St. Johns Riverkeeper.

CALL TO ACTION:

Protect ALL Florida Waters
Too often, we see priority given to water resources in specific geographic or socioeconomic regions of the state while others are neglected. All of Florida’s waterways are connected - to pollute one is to pollute them all. Moms for Clean Water urge to do away with the piece-meal approach and support comprehensive, holistic protections for all of our state’s waters.

Stop Pollution at the Source
The old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is especially true when it comes to protecting our waterways. Pollution sources in our waterways are many and complex with no catchall single approach to fixing them. Moms for Clean Water support holistic policies that keep toxic pollution out of our waterways rather than using time, energy, and money to clean it up after the damage is already done.

Protect Our Land, Protect Our Water
One of the best ways to protect our waterways is to protect the land around it. Conservation land provides a variety of ecosystem services including, water purification, resiliency, and habitat protection. Land that is conserved in its natural state supports vegetation that is effective at removing nutrients and other pollutants from stormwater and keeping them out of our waterways. Moms for Clean Water are calling for increased funding to acquire conservation lands to protect our water resources.

To submit your story and for more information on the Moms for Clean Water campaign, visit FloridaMomsForCleanWater.org.

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Waterkeepers Florida is a regional entity composed of all 13 Waterkeeper organizations working in the State of Florida throughout 45,000 square miles of watershed and home to over 15 million Floridians. Our collective mission is to protect and restore Florida’s water resources holistically through education, advocacy, and community engagement. 

(Apalachicola Riverkeeper, Calusa Waterkeeper, Collier County Waterkeeper, Emerald Coastkeeper, Indian Riverkeeper, Lake Worth Waterkeeper, Matanzas Riverkeeper, Miami Waterkeeper, St. Johns Riverkeeper, St. Marys Riverkeeper, Suncoast Waterkeeper, Suwannee Riverkeeper, and Tampa Bay Waterkeeper).
 

Don’t Feed the Algae!

Don’t Feed the Algae! Algae bloom in Palatka, FL 4/2019 | Photo by Sam Carr

Attend one of our Know Your Green | Evening Talks:
DeLand | June 26

Invite us to come speak to your neighborhood or civic group on algae. Email kelly@stjohnsriverkeeper.org to set up a Know Your Green talk.


Algae bloom season is already upon our St. Johns River. Since mid-April, St. Johns Riverkeeper has received dozens of reports from Lake George and Palatka and all the way to Jacksonville. Our team is saddened by the images flooding our communication channels of the green muck coating our River. This early start could potentially be a sign of worse blooms to come as sunny days, higher temperatures, and rain events occur more frequently.

Nutrients? Aren’t those good for the River?
Algae blooms are visible symptoms of sickness and too much nutrient pollution in our waterways. Nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus are naturally occurring in our environment; however, in excess, they can undermine the ecological integrity of our waterways by depleting oxygen from the water, which negatively impacts plankton and causes fish die-offs, and hurting submerged grasses by blocking adequate sunlight. The River’s entire food web becomes severely harmed.

Impact to Us
Algal blooms can be highly toxic and can make us and our pets sick. Exposure to toxic algae can cause short term respiratory and skin issues as well as long term damage to the nerves and liver. If citizens spot what looks like bright green paint-like, scum on the surface of the water, they should steer clear. Do not recreate, boat, swim, or fish near an algae bloom.

So, where are all the excess nutrients coming from?
Some of the major sources of nutrient pollution (phosphrous and nitrogen) in the St. Johns River:

  • The application of sewage sludge (also known as biosolids) on agricultural lands surrounding our River’s Headwaters at Blue Cypress Lake.
  • Fertilizer run-off from agricultural, urban, and residential lands.
  • Malfunctioning septic tanks can leak sewage into our River and not all nutrients are absorbed or filtered in properly functioning septic tanks.
  • Industrial wastewater discharge and sewage spills.
  • Aquatic spraying. 
  • Reclaimed water
  • Atmospheric Deposition

Where can I find the locations of recent algae blooms?

Before you get out on the water, visit the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's website to see an ineractive map of algae bloom samples and results in our waterways at floridadep.gov/AlgalBloom.

Health Impacts

Toxins produced by algae blooms can cause rashes, stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea, and respiratory irritation. High exposures of toxin can affect the liver and nervous system. If skin contact occurs, wash off immediately and thoroughly with clean water and soap.

FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH (FDOH) SAFETY TIPS

  • Avoid scummy, foamy water where algae blooms are present (Heavy blooms are often bright or pea green, occasionally with a scum that looks almost like paint)
  • Don't cook with, eat fish from, or ingest scummy water
  • Do not let your pets drink from affected waters
  • Don't eat fish that look unhealthy
  • Do not swim in, jet ski over, or play near scummy water or blooms

TAKE ACTION

REPORT ALGAE BLOOMS
There is no standard duration for a bloom and no way to determine visually whether a bloom is toxic.
• Report blooms to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection at floridadep.gov/AlgalBloom or call toll free at 1-855-305-3903.
• Email shannon@stjohnsriverkeeper.org with photos, time, date and location.
• To report fish that are either dead or sick, contact the Fish Kill Hotline 1-800-636-0511.

CONTACT GOVERNOR DESANTIS
The Governor recently created a Blue-green Algae Task Force. However, it appears that the focus will primarily be on “Lake Okeechobee and the downstream estuaries.”
Urge the Governor to ...
(1) ensure the Task Force addresses the needs of ALL of Florida’s waters, including the St. Johns, and
(2) focuses on stopping pollution at its source.
Call (850) 717-9337 or go to flgov.com/contact-governor

CONTACT YOUR STATE LEGISLATORS
Let them know that you are disappointed that the Florida Legislature failed to pass legislation to prevent sewage sludge and other nutrient sources from polluting our waterways. Tell them to get the job done next session by stopping pollution at its source. Find your Legislators flsenate.gov/senators/find

CONTACT YOUR LOCAL LEADERS
Tell your Mayor, City Council, or County Commissioners that we need to enact stronger fertilizer ordinances and enforce the ones we have! Let’s lead by example in our parks and homes to stop pollutants from reaching our creeks, lakes, canals, and waterways.

DON’T FEED THE ALGAE. Eliminate or reduce your use of fertilizer and reduce your impact on the health of our river. Learn how to live a more River Friendly lifestyle.

EDUCATE yourself and others by attending one of St. Johns Riverkeeper’s educational programs and events

SPREAD the word! Share what you know with your friends and family and encourage them to be more River Friendly. Follow us on Facebook

Your St. Johns Riverkeeper Wins 2019 Eve Award for Local Resiliency Efforts!

2019 Florida Times-Union Eve Award Winner!
Congratulations to Lisa Rinaman, your St. Johns Riverkeeper, for her work to ... 

  • Organize and host town hall meetings that attracted 1,000 people to learn about rising water levels in the Atlantic Ocean and the St. Johns River and decades of dredging that made Jacksonville even more vulnerable to storms and flooding.
  • Develop our River Rising campaign with her Riverkeeper team in 2018 to engage community leaders and elected officials in a serious dialogue about what should be done.
  • Develop our River UPRising Action Plan that enlisted the support of community groups, organizations and government leaders.

Thanks to you, the River UpRising is making a difference. First steps are underway to address rising waters in Northeast Florida.

Update: Resiliency Now!

Jacksonville’s Storm Resiliency and Infrastructure Development Review Committee has submitted legislation that will better protect wetlands and increase elevation requirements for new construction. The Adaptation Action Area Working Group (AAA) is discussing strategies to make Jacksonville more prepared for rising waters in the future. It is critical that both committees fully address Northeast Florida’s vulnerabilities and solutions to make our community and our river more resilient.

Final recommendations by the AAA will be made before the end of the year and ordinances are in front of City Council right now. It is important that we tell Jacksonville's Mayor and City Council that resiliency is a priority that must be addressed. We need their commitment to protect our homes, our businesses, and our river from rising waters. Don’t let them forget what was lost with the floods of Hurricane Irma and how important it is to prepare for the next storm.

Unfortunately, only seven of the incoming 19 City Council Members signed our Resiliency Pledge.

It has been nearly two years since Hurricane Irma hit Florida. It is not a matter of “if” another storm will hit, it is a matter of “when.” We have no time to relax and forget what is at stake. Together, we will make a difference. 

Support McCoys Creek Restoration!

Support McCoys Creek Restoration! Emerald Trail under the Matthews Bridge

McCoys Creek is an impaired urban tributary of the St. Johns River in downtown Jacksonville. The creek flows through neighborhoods like Murray Hill, North Riverside, and Brooklyn. It meets the St. Johns underneath the current Times-Union building on Riverside Avenue in between the Acosta Bridge and the Haskell Building.

Groundwork Jacksonville has been working with Wood Inc. to develop a restoration plan for McCoys Creek to restore natural flow, reduce flooding, increase recreation, improve fish habitat and repair water quality. The plan repairs ecological function by restoring a meandering shoreline and expanding the floodplain with lakes and marsh. Restoration of McCoys Creek includes daylighting the mouth of the creek which is currently buried in a culvert that flows underneath Riverside Avenue and the Times-Union building along the Northbank Riverwalk in downtown Jacksonville. We are fully supportive of this plan and its connection to the entire Emerald Trail.

The Times-Union headquarters has been relocated and the owners, the Morris Company, are working on a mixed use commercial/residential development for the current site.

*It is critical that their plan allow space for daylighting this waterway by creating a multi-stage channel with a living shoreline.* The alternative is constructing a narrow channel contained by vertical seawalls similar to a deepwater canal. The deepwater canal provides minimal stream and wetland benefits, while the living shoreline system provides 0.77 acres of wetlands and 560 linear feet of stream restoration along the Morris Property. Residents along McCoys Creek want fishery improvement – which could be compromised by the deepwater canal at the mouth. Kayak recreation and safety are also compromised because of the velocity increases in this vertical system. 

We need your help! Before the renderings are made and the plans are pending approval, we need the DIA, City Council and Mayor Lenny Curry to understand the importance of this project in its entirety. Ask them to support the natural flow of McCoys Creek and a living shoreline at its mouth by having the Morris Company incorporate the Wood Inc. living shoreline proposal. Letters and emails will help increase awareness of this issue.

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We’re Hiring!
We’re Hiring!
Waterkeepers Florida Launch Moms for Clean Water Campaign Inspired by Florida’s First Lady
Waterkeepers Florida Launch Moms for Clean Water Campaign Inspired by Florida’s First Lady
Don’t Feed the Algae!
Don’t Feed the Algae!
Your St. Johns Riverkeeper Wins 2019 Eve Award for Local Resiliency Efforts!

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