Anti-fracking advocates hold mock oil spill at Friendship Fountain

Group calls on state, federal leaders to ban Florida offshore drilling

By Allyson Henning - Reporter
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Anti-fracking activists gathered in Downtown Jacksonville Saturday

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A group of anti-fracking advocates came together Saturday morning for a mock oil spill at Friendship Fountain.

The group is calling on state and federal leaders to ban offshore drilling and fracking in Florida. 
Marching along the Southbank, a group of activists rallied against fracking and drilling off Florida’s coast.

Currently, 90 counties and cities across the state have passed resolutions against fracking -- excluding the city of Jacksonville. 

Jacksonville City Councilman Jim Love participated in Saturday’s rally. Love said he’s concerned that fracking could taint the city’s water."

“We don’t want to start (fracking) because when they start drilling past the aquifers, you never know what might happen,” Love said. “It’s just bad for Florida altogether.”

St. Johns River Keeper Lisa Rinaman is focused on restoration and prevention. She told News4Jax that offshore drilling and fracking could threaten the health of the St. Johns River and decimate the river economy in Northeast Florida. 

“It could undermine our fisheries as well as the property values along the St. John’s and undermine water quality and have health issues,” Rinaman said. “If you have toxic, dangerous chemicals resulting from fracking coming through our springs, it’ll make this river a toxic soup and we cannot allow that on our watch.”

There is anti-fracking legislation moving through the state legislature. A hearing is scheduled for Senate Bill 462 Monday.

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