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River Dam

A Dangerous Dam Past Its Life Expectancy

The disaster at Piney Point and the collapse of the Surfside condos in South Florida should give us reason to review aging infrastructure throughout Florida such as the Rodman/Kirkpatrick Dam near Palatka, Florida. The dam completed in 1968 is now past its 50-year life expectancy. Is retaining a man-made bass fishing pool, an outcome of the Rodman/Kirkpatrick Dam, worth putting 539 homeowner’s properties valued at approximately $57 million and possible lives at risk? Does it make sense, especially when the reservoir recreation sites have been on a downward trend since 2010, declining by an average of 3,627 visitor parties per year?

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River Collage

Reunite the Rivers. Unite Our River Communities.

For over fifty years, the Rodman/Kirkpatrick Dam has impacted so many communities along the 217-mile Great Florida Riverway – the Ocklawaha, Silver and St. Johns Rivers and historic Silver Springs. We can unite all our communities for a better future.

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See Ocala Gazette Insert 

Invasive Aquatic Weeds Temporarily Shut Down Cross Florida Barge Canal and Clog Portions of the Rodman Reservoir

Multiple times throughout the year invasive aquatic weed blockages shut down boat ramps, block navigation in places on the reservoir, and impact the Buckman Lock. The invasive aquatic weeds are then sprayed with tens of thousands of dollars of diquat and other chemicals. It has created an unreliable recreation resource for guides, fishing tournament organizers and individual anglers driving sometimes for miles to find the boat ramps blocked.

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Imagine New Outdoor Recreation Along the Ocklawaha River

What is your favorite outdoor adventure? Maybe you like fishing along the edges of a wild and scenic river or long-distance paddling in Florida’s wilderness. Or perhaps you prefer a tamer option, such as hopping on a miniature steamboat reliving a historic travel route or booking a driving tour down the backwoods trails of the Ocklawaha. Want to master your hunting and fishing skills with best-in-class guides? If wildlife is your passion, you could opt for a birding or manatee viewing experience. Fourteen University of Florida students from the Department of Landscape Architecture envisioned how to create new and exciting opportunities along the Ocklawaha River.

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Learn how restoring the Ocklawaha will uncover 20 springs drowned by the dam and help restore Silver Springs.

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Show your Support for a
Free-flowing Ocklawaha.

Support the Coalition’s Work
Give to The Ocklawaha River Restoration Fund

In Memory of Vincent Spontak and John H. Hankinson Jr.

We need your support and voices to make Ocklawaha River restoration a reality. Be part of reuniting the Ocklawaha, Silver and St. Johns rivers and historic Silver Springs by breaching the Rodman/Kirkpatrick Dam. Create jobs, expand recreation, improve water quality, benefit fish and wildlife, and assure a healthier Silver Springs.

It is critical that we inform and inspire citizens throughout the state to support restoration. Your donation helps us to broaden public education and outreach about the importance of Ocklawaha River Restoration.

With gratitude,

Margaret Hankinson Spontak, Chair

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Legislative handout

Legislative Handout

Five Big 2021 Legislative Priorities