“Save the St. Johns” Riverkeeper Tour
In March 2016, St. Johns RIVERKEEPER staff, scientists, and supporters will embark on a 13-day boat trip of the entire length of the St. Johns River. The Tour will include scheduled stops and organized events along the way to connect with local residents and activists, raise awareness about the importance of the St. Johns, assess the major issues impacting its health, and advocate for the solutions to a clean and healthy river. You can come for the day or for the entire trip. Check the website for itinerary details and register for specific events at www.savethestjohns.org.
On March 22-April 3, Lisa Rinaman , the St. Johns Riverkeeper, and a small team of river advocates embark on a journey of the entire 310-mile length of the St. Johns River from the headwaters at Fort Drum to the mouth at the Atlantic Ocean.
There are seven public paddles during the tour and one or two meals each day. Why not pick an area that’s new so you can get to know a different part of the beautiful St. Johns River? Check the website for itinerary details and register for specific events at <a>www.savethestjohns.org.</a>
2016 RIVER TOUR SCHEDULE Check the website for more details about specific events. Paddle with the Save the St. Johns Tour Team. Kayak rentals available. Lunch Dinner Meet the team and share your concerns with us. Meals are optional and at your own expense. Camping is available. Join us for this ticketed event. St. Johns riverkeeper is launching a 13-day journey of the st. johns river to raise awareness and engage you in an urgent call-to-action. DAY 1 – TUESDAY, MARCH 22: BLUE CYPRESS LAKE TO FELLSMERE Issue Highlight: Upper Basin Marsh Restoration / Water Quality Protection The Tour kicks off at Middleton’s Fish Camp with a blessing of the tour followed by a kayaking trip around Blue Cypress Lake with outfitter Karen’s Kayaks. In the afternoon, the team tours Fort Drum Conservation Area. The day concludes with dinner at Marsh Landing in Fellsmere.
DAY 2 – WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23: FELLSMERE TO LAKE POINTSETT Issue Highlight: Upper Basin Flow Restoration / Agricultural Impacts The day begins at Camp Holly with kayaking with Karen’s Kayaks and airboat tours of Lake Washington. In the afternoon, the team visits River Lakes Conservation Area followed by ticketed dinner, “Journeys on the St. Johns: The Quest to Explore and Save an Imperiled River” at Pizza Gallery and Grill in Viera.
DAY 3 – THURSDAY, MARCH 24: LAKE POINTSETT TO LAKE HARNEY Issue Highlight: Deseret Ranch / Urban Sprawl Impacts The team begins with a paddle of the Leroy Wright Recreation Area to see the creeks that will be impacted by the Deseret Ranch development. After lunch at Lone Cabbage Fish Camp, the team will tour Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area, followed by an evening in Sanford at the Imperial Wine Bar.
DAY 4 – FRIDAY, MARCH 25: LAKE HARNEY TO ENTERPRISE Issue Highlight: Water Withdrawal Threats to Water Quality and Wildlife Habitat Today, we paddle Econlockhatchee River in Geneva with outfitter Adventures in Florida, followed by lunch at Jolly Gator Fish Camp. The team then heads to Enterprise for a presentation at the Enterprise Heritage Center and Museum on Lake Monroe.
DAY 5 – SATURDAY, MARCH 26: ENTERPRISE TO DELAND Issue Highlight: Eco-Tourism – The Economic Opportunity of Protective Water Policy We begin with a paddle on the Wekiva River with Adventures in Florida, followed by lunch at the Swamp House Riverfront Grill. Afterwards, the tour continues to Blue Spring State Park for a private tour. The day concludes in DeLand.
DAY 6 – SUNDAY, MARCH 27: DELAND TO DRAYTON ISLAND Issue Highlight: Family Fun and Eco-Tourism On Easter Day, our families join us to enjoy the St. Johns River and its springs. We leave DeLand and head to Astor for Easter brunch at the Blackwater Inn, followed by a visit and quick dip at Silver Glen Springs. We finish the day at a private B&B on Drayton Island.
DAY 7 – MONDAY, MARCH 28: DRAYTON ISLAND TO WELAKA Issue Highlight: Healthy Springs = Healthy St. Johns / History of the St. Johns We stop for a tour of historic Mount Royal followed by a waterfront lunch in Welaka. In the afternoon, we pass Ft. Gates Ferry, the Ocklawaha River, Seven Sisters Islands, and Murphy Creek Conservation Area before arriving in Palatka. The day ends with camping at Ocklawaha Canoe Outpost & Resort.
DAY 8 – TUESDAY, MARCH 29: OCKLAWAHA Issue Highlight: Springs Protection / Silver Springs Restoration / Agricultural Impacts / Septic Tanks This day involves paddling the Ocklawaha River with outfitter Adventure Outpost, on the largest tributary of the St. Johns. We will launch from Gore’s Landing Park and take out at the Eureka West Boat Ramp.
DAY 9 – WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30: OCKLAWAHA Issue Highlight: Ocklawaha River Restoration / Conservation Lands The team will launch just below the Rodman Dam and paddle towards the river’s mouth at the St. Johns. We then head to Palatka for dinner.
DAY 10 – THURSDAY, MARCH 31: PALATKA TO GREEN COVE SPRINGS Issue Highlight: Georgia-Pacific Pipeline / Agricultural Impacts / Salinity This day, we focus on the tidal mixing zone of the St. Johns River in Palatka. Scientists join the team to discuss the impacts of the Georgia-Pacific pipeline and salinity balance impacts on commercial fishing. The Team then heads to Outback Crab Shack on Six Mile Creek in St. Johns County for dinner and spends the night in Green Cove Springs.
DAY 11 – FRIDAY, APRIL 1: GREEN COVE SPRINGS TO JACKSONVILLE Issue Highlight: Nutrient Pollution / Algae Blooms Join us with your boat for a flotilla, as we head to Doctors Lake to talk to marina owners about the impacts of algae blooms on their businesses. The team will stop at Julington Creek Fish Camp for lunch and then visit Walter Jones Historical Park for the presentation, “Underwater River Discovery: Exploring the Maple Leaf.” The day ends at Sadler Point Marina on the Ortega River for our annual Low Country Boil event.
DAY 12 – SATURDAY, APRIL 2: JACKSONVILLE TO HUGUENOT MEMORIAL PARK Issue Highlight: Proposed Dredging / Threat to Water Quality and Wildlife Habitat We depart from Sadler Point Marina. Boaters are invited to join the flortilla, as we pass through Downtown and head to Jacksonville University. After lunch and a panel discussion with JU scientists, the Team will visit Mayport and board a shrimp boat to hear from area shrimpers. The day ends with camping at Huguenot Memorial Park.
DAY 13, SUNDAY, APRIL 3: HUGUENOT MEMORIAL PARK TO ATLANTIC OCEAN On our final day, we invite the public to join us for a morning paddle of the salt marshes of Fort George Island with outfitter Kayak Amelia. We conclude the tour with a celebratory lunch at the Sandollar Restaurant