Mulberry Mound, North of Lake Poinsett
On Day 3, the Tour Team paddled the St. Johns River north of Lake Poinsett. This section is more braided and difficult to navigate. Cattle hug the banks, altering the native landscape and causing erosion. Airboats are popular in this stretch of river and crowds wait patiently at Lone Cabbage Fish Camp to experience Wild Florida.
We paddled the St. Johns with guides from the Brevard County Parks and Recreation along the eastern border of the Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area (WMA). This 31,000 acre WMA protects critical wildlife habitat along 19 miles of the St. Johns in Orange County and features Mulberry Mound, a Native American midden providing us a glimpse into the past.
The biggest threat to this vital habitat is nearby urban sprawl and the water demands it creates. The delicate balance of water necessary for the wet ecosystems is key to species survival.
This evening, the Tour Team hosted a community Meet and Greet at the Imperial Wine Bar in Sanford and were joined by Seminole County Commissioner Lee Constantine and local partners from Seminole County Audubon Society, Central Florida Surfrider and Friends of the Wekiva River. The room was very concerned about impacts from fertilizers, water consumption, fracking and unsustainable development. “This is exactly what the tour is all about: meeting partners, sharing concerns and building stronger coalitions” said Lisa Rinaman, St. Johns Riverkeeper. “We are energized by so many who value the St. Johns and Florida waters.”