Day 5, Saturday, March 26

By Shannon Blankinship, St. Johns Riverkeeper Outreach Director

What an adventure! Day five of the Save the St. Johns tour began on a spring fed, 16-mile tributary to the St. Johns, the Wekiva River. Nearly 50 paddlers joined us on the water with outfitter Adventures in Florida to experience this amazing river, including representatives from Friends of Wekiva River, Seminole Audubon Society, Central Florida Surfrider and League of Women Voters.

Alive Credit Union Start banking healthier today!

We were also honored to launch from Katie’s Landing with Katie Moncrief. Katie and her husband Russ worked hard to save this waterfront property from encroaching development, resulting in its purchase by the State of Florida. It now serves as a tremendous river resource that provides public access to a state-designated Outstanding Florida Water and Aquatic Preserve.

Once our group reached the main stem of the St. Johns, the popularity and recreational benefits of the river were evident by the number of boaters out on the water.

We soon arrived at Swamp House Bar and Grill in DeBary for lunch and a Meet-and-Greet. A packed room of concerned local residents enjoyed hearing from Lisa Rinaman and Clay Henderson, the executive director of the Stetson University Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience, about the work that remains to be done to protect our springs and the work Stetson is undertaking right now.

The Tour Team then met with park rangers from Blue Spring State Park to hear about issues they face. Blue Spring is a first magnitude spring of the St. Johns that actually appears more green than blue. The spring is being impacted from over pumping from the aquifer, failing septic tanks, fertilizer runoff and a failure to protect the springshed, the area surrounding the spring that drains directly into this waterway. Unfortunately, most of Florida’s springs are facing these same problems.

Blue Spring provides critical habitat during the cold days of winter for the warm-blooded manatee when the river drops below that of the spring’s constant 72 degree temperature.  Up to 460 manatees have crowded into the spring run for shelter during the cold months.

After cruising past Hontoon Island State Park, another incredible park, and Blue Heron River Tours, one of our favorite eco-tour guides in the state, we reached DeLand.

In downtown DeLand, the tour team enjoyed all of the great new amenities this quaint town has to offer. We look forward to another great day on the water tomorrow.

This is the fifth part of an ongoing series. Florida NewsLine is pleased to bring you a daily travelogue, along with photos and videos, submitted to us by Shannon Blankinship, St. Johns Riverkeeper outreach director.

Beginning March 22 and continuing for 13 days, St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman and a team of river advocates will journey the 310-mile length of the St. Johns River, from the headwaters at Fort Drum to the river’s mouth at the fishing village of Mayport on 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 degradation.

Photos courtesy St. Johns Riverkeeper
image1

  • Ackerman Urology We specialize in Prostate health, sexual health, bladder health, and Kidney health
  • Smiles by Glenos & Hadfic Orthodontists
  • I.T. Promise Inc. Computer Services Professional Computer Services business and residential
  • Pavers concrete and more Free estimates
  • Snip's Tree and stump service over 25 years experience
  • The right cleaners, LLC House cleaning services
  • Premier Homes Realty Inc. Michael Taylor and Tari Taylor
  • Quality Eye care 25+ years of experience
  • Vote Rod Hardwick for st johns county sheriff Working together for the strength of our community during challenging times
  • Preddy law firm estate planning, wills, trusts, probate, guardianship
  • Starling Nocatee, 360 degree virtual tour
  • Advertise in our May Issue The Creek Line
  • Staverman Hearing Centers Hear loud and clear
  • Support Community Journalism The Creek Line
  • Tutoring club of st johns. Text tutoring to 484848 for a chance to win one month of free tutoring
  • Being Well Florida News line is excited to introduce Being Well magazine
  • Westminster Woods on Julington creek. Live well. Be Happy
  • Ackerman cancer center. We're here for your cancer treatment
  • Anytime Fitness! Summer is Here! We Are Open!
  • Have questions about your medicare benefits? Call a SHINE volunteer.
  • Forever Vets Animal Hospital coupon for free exam and discount on preventative care for dogs and cats!
  • Ellegant earth solutions complete lawn maintenance with 28 years experience, complete lawn maintenance
  • Prudential Financial Planning Services with Andrew Laino
  • Support Community Journalism in Ponta Vedra NewsLine
  • Vote for Dr. Erick Aguilar Republican candidate U.S. House Fl 4th district
  • Academy of Dance Open House & Registration August 19th and 20th 3pm to 6pm Classes start August 24th! Ballet, Pointem Jazz, Hip Hop Contemporary, Modern, Lyrical, Music Theatre, Vocal
  • Affordable Water
  • All About Ballroom
  • Do you only want cremation?
  • Craig Funeral services, Funeral, Crematory, Memorial Park
  • Cronin Ace Hardware
  • Vote for Christian Whitehurst! for St. Johns county commissioner, District 1
  • Doug Nunnery, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices,
  • Finding the right doctor just got easier, Dr. Levine Baptist primary care
  • DIscount up to 30% Jim Register state farm agent
  • Nemetz Dental Associates! Your new smile awaits!
  • Deerwood Academy register now for 2020-2021 VPK
  • Eye center of st augustine, The eye surgery Center of St Augustine
  • Famous Automotive and tire center
  • Fruit Cove Baptist Church
  • The Goddard School summer camp
  • Havana Printing and office supply Call us today for all your cutome printing needs
  • Ian MacDonald Mortgage loan originator with Regions Mortgage
  • Julington Creek Chiropractic & Wellness Center P.A. serving st. johns county for nearly 21 years
  • Future home loans. North Florida's Premier Mortgage Expert Ryan Proffitt
  • Let them know you are open for business! Advertise in our May Issue! Ponta Vedra NewsLine
  • Wild Birds Unlimited Nature shop. Have you watered your birds lately?
  • Legends of Real Estate call Kim Kessler
  • Creeks Air Conditioning & Heating. We service all makes and models for residential and commerical!
  • Crosswinds Veterinary Hospital. Preventative Medicine and wellness, Surgery, Dentistry, Labs and Imaging, Farm Animal Medicine, In-Patient and Emergency Care
  • Deborah Lennon, AAMS. Edward Jones Making sense of investing
  • Florida Waterways Inc. Your trusted Waterway Advisers
  • Harbor Chase Independent & Assisted living Memory Care Mandarin. Immerse yourself in a rewarding community that enriches your body, mind, and soul.
  • JJs Bistro $10 off lunch or dinner
  • Dont Forget to vote for John Turner School Board member
  • Julington Creek Family Dentistry. Implant Cosmetic and Restoration Dentistry. We are following Advanced Safety protocols set forth by CDC, OSHA and ADA guidelines for dental practices
  • Lori Hershey for School Board, District 7. A school system we can all believe in.
  • Alicia Washington for Circuit Judge
  • Matt Schellenberg. Dependable Leadership for these challenging Times. School Board District 7
  • Re-elect Mike Orfinger for circuit judge
  • Concrete Works! Free Estimates, driveways, Patios, Walkways, Concrete removal, Driveway extension, Pavers
  • Family Remodeling Contractors! Bath, Kitchen &ADA Remodeling
  • Mobile Notary Service. 15 years experience, 24 hour services
  • River Garden Senior Services, However and whenever you need us we're here
  • Starlight Gymnastics! Our #1 priority is your children!
  • Chris Strickland for ST Johns county sheriff!
  • Sugar Bear Antique Mall Summer spectacular sale July 10th-12th
  • Baptist Health, Great tools for motherhood
  • A Green Cleaner, Free pickup and delivery to your home!
  • Let them know you are open for business! Advertise in our May Issue!
  • Luxury living and compassionate care come together at starling. Welcome Home.
  • Tailored living Premier Garage solutions
  • Westminster St. Augustine. were here when you need us
  • Alive Credit Union Start banking healthier today!
  • Clara's Tidbits Now in Mandarin!
  • Brian E. Floro DMD, PA Dental services
  • JR Dental General, Specialty and Dental lab
  • Support community journalism! Subscribe to the Mandarin Newsline today!
  • Railing Chiropractic & Acupuncture
  • Let them know you are open for business! Advertise in our may issue!
  • Dottie Lay. When selling or buying choose the top sales agent that works for you!
  • HarborChase independent & assisted living Memory Care Mandarin. Your safety and peace of mind is always our Top Priority
  • Fieldd Cadillac of St. Augustine
  • Advertise your business in The CreekLine!
  • Bring your print projects to us! The UPS Store
  • Westminster St. Augustine Gracious living a world apart
  • Willie Jewell's BBQ! Every meal comes with a side of southern hospitality
  • Advertise your business in The CreekLine!
  • Advertise your business in The CreekLine!
  • Advertise your business in The CreekLine!
  • Smart Choice Medical healthcare membership! No VoPay, No Deductibles, No Hassles
  • Havana Printing 904-447-5021