One of the most environmentally offensive legacies of the long deauthorized Cross Florida Barge Canal is the Rodman Dam that prevents the Ocklawaha River from flowing freely as it did for millenia before this misguided engineering project occurred.
The efforts to halt the canal project, which was first proposed sometime before Florida became a state, involved people in Polk County such as the late Ken and Helen Morrison, who were involved in the formation of the Florida Defenders of the Environment. Also, part of the river’s headwaters begin in the Green Swamp Area of Critical State Concern. That means in the big picture, we have skin the game.
The decision has been debated for years, but recently public pressure has increased to free the river to restore the historic flow to the St. Johns River.
The latest opportunity for the public to comment involves a series of questions posted by the St. Johns River Water Management District.
To share your views, go to Rodman – Formstack . If that link doesn’t work, go to the district’s home page and click on the newsroom site at Newsroom of the St. Johns River Water Management District (sjrwmd.com)
The deadline to comment is at 5 p.m. on Oct. 22.
But whatever the SJRWMD and ultimately the Florida Department of Environmental Protection decides will not be the final word.
The Florida Legislature and the Florida Cabinet have a role, too, according to an advisory legal opinion issued by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, which lays out the project’s complicated history