On November 30, 2015, the Silver Springs Alliance announced that it will host a boat tour of the Rodman Reservoir drawdown on Monday December 7,2015 from 1pm to 4pm for local and regional press corps.
The Silver Springs Alliance is a private non-profit, 501c3 organization whose goal is the restoration and preservation of Silver Springs and the Silver River.
The Silver Springs ecosystem has been in continual decline during the five decades since the Rodman dam was installed. Although not the only cause, removal of the dam and the resulting restoration of the Ocklawaha River is a necessary first step in the recovery of the river’s fish population that have declined by more than 90 percent since the dam’s completion.
The Rodman Reservoir was created as a portion of the ill-fated Cross Florida Barge Canal. The reservoir (~9,500 acres) has become a weed choked nutrient sink that must be partially drained every 3 or 4 years for navigation. The current drawdown began in mid-October and will be at its lowest by mid-November. During this low period, the historic river channel and 26 springs will become visible. The reservoir is expected to be re-filled starting in March, 2016.
The Silver Springs Alliance is sponsoring this boat tour for the specific purpose of educating the public about the Rodman/Silver Springs issue. The Florida legislative session starts in early January 2016, and the public should be well informed about the need for Ocklawaha restoration before the session and fall 2016 elections.
The Silver Springs Alliance will have several experts knowledgeable about the Ocklawaha and Silver rivers on hand to answer questions from the invited members of the press. Reporters can bring their own cameras, but a cinematographer from Daytona has volunteered to make videos available (for TV newsreel) and a progression of drawdown photos (for newspapers). For this reason, additional cameramen are not necessary.
Two guided boats will launch from Kenwood Landing on Rodman at 1pm on Monday, December 7 (porta-potties available). Boat space is limited, so be sure to RSVP ASAP.
Visit the Silver Springs Alliance web site for more info and contact information.
From Hwy19 take CR 310 7 miles to CR 315, then south 2 miles to launch;
From Hwy20 at Interlachen go 7miles south on CR 315 to launch;
From Hwy40 in Ocala take CR 315 25 miles to Kenwood then south 1 mile to launch.