Jacksonville finalist on ‘The Voice’ to perform on Ortega River for tiny dock series
Fans of singing competition shows might remember local fan-favorite Paris Winningham's recent all-star performance on NBC's The Voice. Winningham, a Jacksonville resident and Navy veteran, finished third on the show in Season 21.
St. Johns Riverkeeper suggests different approach to septic tank problem
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The septic tank phaseout program hit a huge snag recently because the costs are higher than the city of Jacksonville planned for. The St. Johns Riverkeeper is suggesting another approach to solving what she calls a multibillion-dollar problem. The St. Johns River has a long history of containing pollutants that could be harmful -- the algae blooms of years past and fish kills blamed on the increased runoff of fertilizers, illegal dumping and thousands of the city’s failing septic tanks. “There are about 15 to 16,000 septic tanks that are too close to waterways within Jacksonville that need to be removed," said St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman. Residents learned this week that there’s not enough money left to phase out hundreds of septic tanks and replace them with city sewer.
State addressing silt plume from Roosevelt Marketplace construction site
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. A silt plume has been spotted flowing from the Roosevelt Marketplace construction site into the Ortega River. Last week, News4Jax learned that heavy rains had been pushing silt from the site into a nearby canal, which flows into the river. Shannon Blankenship, advocacy director for the St. Johns Riverkeeper, said the recent plume sighting wasnt the first. The first time that we saw an active violation of construction at the Roosevelt mall was in January of 2020, Blankenship said a week ago. The FDEP issued a statement that reads in part:Immediately upon being notified of the concerns related to the construction site, the department conducted an inspection.
Construction site spills silt into Ortega River on rainy days
These heavy rains are what push silt from the Roosevelt Marketplace construction site into a nearby canal that flows into the Ortega River. The St. Johns Riverkeeper continues to monitor the situation and fears that the silt plumes flowing into the river will continue to happen unless adequate silt barriers are used through the rainy summer season. Once again, the Roosevelt Marketplace redevelopment in Jacksonville pollutes and silts in the Ortega River, which flows into the St. Johns. When the sediment from the construction site reaches the river, it can change the rivers elevation and cause mud flaps along the riverbed. The first time that we saw an active violation of construction at the Roosevelt mall was in January of 2020, Blankenship said.
Coast Guard working to control potential environmental impact of burning ship
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Coast Guard crews at Blount Island were working throughout the day Friday to keep a burning cargo ship intact, attempting to minimize any threat there might be to the environment. “We need to all monitor to make sure there are no long-term impacts of potential spills that escaped outside that boomed area,” said Lisa Rinaman, the St. Johns Riverkeeper. It’s easier to keep it contained if it’s above water, and so every step that they make to protect that cargo ship helps to protect the river,” Rinaman said. The Coast Guard has placed protective booms around the ship to catch any contaminants that might be leaking not only from the ship, but also the automobiles that were being carried by the vessel. You can report sheen sightings to the St. Johns Riverkeeper.
Federal judge rules dredging of St. Johns River can continue
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A federal judge has ruled the dredging of the St. Johns River by the Army Corps of Engineers can continue and rejected claims made in a lawsuit filed by the St. Johns Riverkeeper. The Riverkeeper asked the judge to order the Army Corps to do a supplemental environmental impact study. The judge said high water levels even more severe than Irma were included in the Army Corps’ modeling. "Decades of dredging the St. Johns has already resulted in higher water levels and storm surge in our river, accelerating and intensifying the impacts of sea level rise and climate change. The burden of proof weighs heavy and law provides wide latitude to the Army Corps in these type of legal matters.
Riverkeeper: Development, pollution a 'double whammy' for St. Johns River
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The St. Johns Riverkeeper is calling on the community to protect the St. Johns River after a recent report found the water quality is getting worse. The annual River Report is more than 300 pages and takes a comprehensive and detailed look at the condition of the Lower St. Johns River Basin. St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman said that after looking at the report, her biggest concern is the increase in pollution. READ: 2019 River Report on Lower St. Johns River BasinWere seeing not only the real impact of climate change and sea-level rise but also an increase in pollution, which is a recipe for disaster," Rinaman warned. The annual River Report found not only an increase in pollution but also in non-native animals and plants.