Urgent Action Alert for the Ocklawaha!

The Future of Ocklawaha River Restoration

This is a make it or break it action you can take to unite the rivers. Your online response must be completed by Oct. 22., 5 p.m.

We are at a critical juncture for the Ocklawaha River. St. Johns River Water Management District wants to hear your thoughts about breaching the Rodman/Kirkpatrick Dam to reunite the Ocklawaha, St. Johns and Silver Rivers and Silver Springs – The Great Florida Riverway. I am urging you to speak out. This may be our last great opportunity to restore this riverway for people and wildlife.

When you click the link below, it will take you to four questions and an open-ended space for other comments.

We have provided the sample questions and some possible answers and background information below the link. Be sure to review them and make notes to assist you with the survey.

Coalition Survey Submission Policy:

Free the Ocklawaha River Coalition for Everyone does not condone or encourage survey respondents creating duplicate email responses by creating new emails or using multiple emails from the same user.

Intro Question:

 Have you ever visited the Rodman/Reservoir/Kirkpatrick Dam?

The question asks yes or no. If you have been on portions of the middle or lower Ocklawaha River or driven down SR19 between Salt Springs and Palatka, you have most likely have visited or stopped at the Rodman Reservoir/Kirkpatrick Dam. The Rodman Reservoir is the impounded Ocklawaha River and extends from the dam south to Eureka. If you have been on this stretch of the Ocklawaha, you have effectively been on the reservoir because the dam backs water up in this area. The dam is off SR19 just southwest of Palatka.

Sample questions and answers to help you prepare:

1. What would you like to see happen with the Rodman Reservoir and Kirkpatrick Dam moving forward?

Please use this one or make one of your own.

  • Restoration of the Ocklawaha River by breaching the Rodman/Kirkpatrick Dam. Every day that the dam is in place, harm to the economy, water quality, and wildlife is inflicted throughout the Great Florida Riverway.

2. What is the most important piece of information that supports your position?

3. What would be your biggest concern if your desired outcome is not achieved?

4. Is there any scenario short of fully achieving your desired outcome you could support?

Potential answers of make one of your own.

  • No. Breaching the dam is 50 years overdue. Dam safety, improved water quality and wildlife can’t wait.


  • Temporarily drawing the reservoir down to 11 or 12 ft. mean sea level until restoration occurs will avoid downstream property damages from a potential dam failure and still provide continued recreational benefits. A drawdown alone does not provide significant environmental benefits for fish, manatees, water quality, water flow and an unobstructed blueway.

5. Open-ended section to add additional comments.

Think ahead and add your most compelling reasons this needs to happen now.

Thank you for going to the SJRWMD site to answer this crucial survey. Stay in touch at https://FreetheOcklawaha.com to keep abreast of important action alerts and news as we move into the vitally important 2022 legislative session.

For the Great Florida Riverway,

Margaret Hankinson Spontak, Chair, Free the Ocklawaha River Coalition for Everyone mspontak@FreetheOcklawaha.com

6. Demographics information