Riverkeeper getting big donation

Local business giving Riverkeeper organization donation, helping to keep St. Johns River healthy

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The St. Johns Riverkeeper is getting a big donation Thursday from a local business.

The Riverkeeper is a group that works hard educating people about the St. Johns River and advocating to keep it healthy.

Black Creek Outfitters has pledged to donate 1 percent of all of kayak and paddle accessory sales to the Riverkeeper.

This is not the first time that this company has made a donation to the organization. Over the last 6 years, the store has contributed $30,000 to help keep the river healthy.

The St. Johns River is the longest river in Florida and is most significant for both commercial and recreational use in Jacksonville.

"This river is such an economic driver for our community," St. Johns Riverkeeper Executive Director Jimmy Orth said. "It's so important for our local economy. So many businesses like the Black Creeks of the world have a direct benefit from a clean and healthy river. It also benefits out quality of life."

Protecting the river is not only a benefit economically, but also its ecologic resource is vital, and that's why this mission is so important to the St. Johns Riverkeeper.

"The one thing about our river is that it is sick. It's not dead, certainly, but it does have pollution problems that we need to resolve," Orth said. "One of those being nutrients. Nutrients are nitrogen and phosphorous and that's what causes the algae blooms, the green monster that explodes on the river during times throughout the summer."

There's already been algae bloom reported just this week South of Green Cove Springs.

The Riverkeeper is privately funded, so it relies on the support of our community and businesses to help give the river a voice.

That's why donations like the one Black Creek Outfitters will give Thursday is much appreciated.

"We are the advocates that are trying to make sure that our regulatory agencies, our elected officials, are doing what's necessary to clean up and protect the river," Orth said.

The Riverkeeper said everyone can do their part by being educated and informed about the issues affecting the river.

For information on how to be the most river friendly to help reduce impact on the river, go to stjohnsriverkeeper.org.

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