Media interviewing Lisa Rinaman at Julington Creek Fish Camp

The tour team left Green Cove Springs on a full stomach after our innkeeper, Pat, served up a delicious breakfast at the River Park Inn, a historic B&B. The spring in Green Cove is the heart of this Clay County community. As the spring runs from its source to the St. Johns, a picturesque park and view of the river connect generations of people to this place.

Our first stop on the tour today brought us to Doctors Lake Marina, a marina that has had difficult times over the years as algae blooms and other water quality problems have impacted their business. Rusty Gardener of Boat Florida Rentals spoke with Lisa today about the impact of pollution on his business and about the blooms that have shut down marina activity. 

Next, the tour team headed to Julington Creek for lunch and a community Meet-and-Greet at Julington Creek Fish Camp. When we arrived at the dock, several news stations were there to interview Lisa Rinaman about the recent announcement that St. Johns RIVERKEEPER filed a legal challenge to the state permit for the proposed dredging project in Jacksonville. Lisa explained to the media that the permit does not protect the St. Johns from the damage that would be caused by dredging and tributaries like Julington Creek stand to be impacted the most. 

After the interviews, we walked over to the Julington Creek Fish Camp, where the management and staff all greeted the team as we arrived, welcoming us into Duval County. The fresh seafood is served by staff that know and understand what it takes to get the fish from our waterways to your plate. We had a great turnout of local residents who came to hear more about the tour, share their concerns for the river, learn about how they can help save the St. Johns. 

We left Julington Creek and headed to Walter Jones Historical Park and the Mandarin Museum for an “Underwater Discoveries” talk with Dr. Keith Holland. Dr. Holland focused his talk on the sinking of the Maple Leaf in the St. Johns off of Mandarin Point during the Civil War and his efforts to recover some of the artifacts from the steamship. Lisa spoke about how historic preservation, conservation lands, and our parks are vitally important to protecting artifacts and other elements of our heritage. 

The day ended at Sadler Point Marina with a Low Country Boil. Sadler was the perfect location for the Boil, reminding us all of the importance of the river to the local economy and local businesses. We enjoyed great food donated by Fisherman's Dock Seafood and Black Hog Farm, craft beer from Bold City Brewery and Sweetwater, music from Firewater Tent Revival and wonderful fellowship with a great crowd of folks who came out to support the tour and our efforts to protect the mighty St. Johns River. Our volunteers put on one heck of a party, as we celebrated the success of the Save the St. Johns Tour and reflected on the importance of our river.