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Campaign to Ask Governor DeSantis for Support

Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis has prioritized protecting and improving the state’s waterways, creating a historic opportunity to save the Great Florida Riverway. On Feb. 2, conservation organizations will urge Governor DeSantis to restore the Great Florida Riverway and send him thousands of action alerts collected from residents across the state and beyond.

The Ocklawaha River is the heart of The Great Florida Riverway, a vast 217-mile system comprised of three rivers and over 50 springs flowing north from the Green Swamp and Lake Apopka in Central Florida to the Atlantic Ocean via the Ocklawaha, Silver, and St. Johns Rivers. Fifty years ago, this Riverway was severed when the Rodman/Kirkpatrick Dam was built as part of the Cross Florida Barge Canal. Construction of the dam blocked the natural connection of the Ocklawaha River and Silver Springs to the Lower Ocklawaha, St. Johns River, and the Atlantic Ocean.

Your help is needed to reach 5,000 more signees by midnight, Feb.1. Timing is critical to get the Governor and legislature’s support right now!

Watch the Media Briefing on the Great Florida Riverway

50 Years Later: The History, Big Impact Science and Collaborative Solutions

Beginning at 5 p.m. on Feb. 2, you can watch the re-broadcast of the Great Florida Riverway Media Briefing at
  • History and Politics of the Cross Florida Barge Canal: Dr. Steve Noll, Author of Ditch of Dreams
  • Big Impact Science: Briefings by three national and state scientists
    • Ed Lowe: Chief Scientist – Retired, St. Johns River Water Management District, Palatka, Florida.
    • Quinton White: Executive Director, Marine Science Research Institute and Professor of Biology and Marine Science at Jacksonville University
    • Andrew Carter: Senior Conservation Policy Analyst, Defenders of Wildlife
  • Coalition, Collaboration, and Campaign Results – Margaret Spontak, Chair, Free the Ocklawaha Coalition & Elizabeth Neville, Defenders of Wildlife and FORCE Advocacy Co-Chair.

Don’t Miss the UF Landscape Design Student Concepts for a Restored Ocklawaha

If you have not seen the nine student projects on the Great Florida Riverway website, these are a must see. From continuous paddling trails, manatee refuges, a new angler and hunter outdoor center at the Buckman Lock, and an improved Kirkpatrick Recreation Area. They truly demonstrate that we can create an Ocklawaha River for everyone!
Free the Ocklawaha
Free The Ocklawaha Coalition. For a list of our members click here .
To show your support click here
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To schedule a virtual briefing, email