Sabal Trail Pipeline Construction Blockaded on MLK Day

[UPDATE: There were 8 arrests today, two were charged with felonies and will see a judge in Suwannee County at 8 a.m. tomorrow morning. Supporters are invited to attend the hearing at the courthouse, located at 200 S Ohio Ave, Live Oak, FL 32064.]

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…They say that violations of state and federal laws occurring during the pipeline’s construction warrant the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) revocation of the permit granted to Sabal Trail. This can be done at any time the DEP or the Governor’s cabinet decides to act on its obligation to protect the public from harm occurring by the pipeline’s construction and operation.

“This pipeline is a threat to all of our drinking water. Lives are at stake,” says Makeda Meeks an activist from Live Oak, Florida.

In particular, this pipeline threatens “environmental justice” (EJ) communities along its route, from Alabama across Florida, where 83% of the population impacted are reported to be low-income and/or communities of color. The environmental review process failed to assess these impacts…

To learn more:  http://earthfirstjournal.org/newswire/2017/01/16/breaking-news-sabal-trail-pipeline-construction-blockaded-on-mlk-day/

Wyoming Town Struggles With Selenium

By Peak Johnson

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Work on lowering levels of selenium in water for Casper, WY, will be put to the test in 2018 when the city’s wastewater treatment plant will have to apply for a new permit from the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

According to the Casper Star-Tribune, if the agency finds that selenium levels are higher than normal, then Casper will have to construct a new facility in order to remove the chemical, which could cost the city nearly $50 million.

“We have been very concerned about pending potential EPA regulations that might require us to make some major upgrades,” Councilman Charlie Powell told the Tribune at a council meeting last month.

Though DEQ gives permits to wastewater plants, the agency relies on U.S. EPA guidelines. Small levels of selenium can be healthy, however, while high levels of the metal can be toxic, not only to humans but aquatic life as well.

To learn more:  http://www.wateronline.com/doc/wyoming-town-struggles-with-selenium-0001

OXBRIDGE STUDENTS ROCKED IT!!! The SWFL Water Research Conference at Florida Gulf Coast University 2017

The Oxbridge Research Team performed very well today at FGCU!

For the undergraduate research poster competition:

  •   1st  Place                        $400

Quantifying Heavy Metals in Public and Private Drinking Water Systems:  Testing South Florida’s Public and Private Water Systems Using a Community-Based Environmental Monitoring Program

  • 2nd Place                       $300

 Necrosis in the Caloosahatchee Watershed and Lower Can Carlos Bay:  Using Computer Models to  Compare Precipitation Runoff to Lake Okeechobee Releases

  • 3rd  Place (tie)            $200

Evaluating the Knowledge of Self-Reported Environmentalists’ Regarding Incentives and Enforcements of the Everglades Federal Mandates

  • 3rd  Place (tie)            $200

Using the RamTest-APP™ Handheld Raman Identifier Gun (BioTools, Inc) to Detect Contaminants in Public and Private Water Systems

Once again we were the ONLY high school there and for the third year in a row beat all the undergraduates to take home all the awards!

Well done!

Also very well received were:

  • (Quantification of the Herbicide Atrazine in the Canals of the Eastern Everglades and in the Caloosahatchee Watershed),
  • (Surface Water Quantification of a Carcinogenic Herbicide (2,4D) in Water Hazards on Public Golf Courses and the Subsequent Exposure Awareness of the South Florida Junior PGA),
  •  (Quantifying Fish Populations of the Grassy Waters Preserve to Determine Overall Health of the Drinking Water Source for West Palm Beach, FL),
  •  (The Potential for Carbon Sequestration in Grassy Waters Preserve: Quantifying the Carbon Sequestration Ability of the Hydric, Incepticols, and Calcitic Mud Soils in the Drinking Water Source of West Palm Beach, FL)

SAVING WATER THROUGH PASSION AND EDUCATION!

State poised to allow aquifer pumping near Silver Springs

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In the most divisive controversy in years over aquifer waters, Florida authorities have reversed their previous opposition to an irrigation permit sought for a cattle operation near the ailing Silver Springs.

The irrigation permit was scheduled for a final vote of approval Tuesday, but a coalition of environmental groups filed legal action Monday, meaning the matter will go to a state hearing judge for further action.

“They are allowing politics to drive the science,” said Lisa Rinaman, who heads St. Johns Riverkeeper, one of the groups staunchly opposed to increased pumping from the Floridan Aquifer by Sleepy Creek Lands ranch in Marion County.

In 2014, the St. Johns River Water Management District said an irrigation permit sought by Sleepy Creek to pump 1.1 million gallons a day from the aquifer would harm “the ecology of Silver Springs and the Silver River.”

Near Ocala, the springs is one Florida’s original tourist attractions and is now a state park.

But recently revamped analysis, according to the district, shows that Sleepy Creek can temporarily boost pumping by 1.2 million gallons a day, which would be in addition to other water rights the ranch holds.

To read the entire story:  http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/politics/os-controversial-ranch-water-approval-20170109-story.html

GET WET! Has a new Interim Executive Director!

20170106_0846113-copyKaitlyn Rivers  is a Biology/Environmental Studies Major at Oberlin College.  She will be working on the transition from GETWETH2OED.ORG to GETWETPROJECT.ORG 

Kaitlyn is also directing and guiding research developing in Martin County relating to the Okeechobee River dump and algae growth. Although studies have been done, only three groundwater wells have been used to indicate plume movements. Using the GET WET! program, Kaitlyn will assist student researchers in increasing sampling sites and modeling plume movement to determine a watershed response to precipitation events and nitrate plume movement.

Welcome Kaitlyn!  We need your energy on this very important work!