Issue 178, May 14, 2023

This week we heard from Lisa Rinaman, the St. John’s Riverkeeper. She caught us up with an overview of her responsibility, and some of the major items affecting pollution and issues for our precious waterway.

There are 15 riverkeepers like Lisa in the state. Her area runs from Mayport to Welaka (West of Palatka). Her current focus is on the Watershed which is 8840 square miles and runs from Oklawaha to Mayport.

The most pressing issue right now is in the Lower St. John’s River. We have too much pollution in the tributaries. With all the rain and hurricanes over the last four years, there is little control of what is siphoned into the tributaries. Septic tanks add to the flooding which in turn adds to the pollution.

Sewage sludge is loaded with many dangerous particles to the environment. It is disposed of in the Upper Basin of the SJR and dumps into all the tributaries. Also, overuse (for recreational purposes) and general pollutants from companies and fertilizer overuse causes major pollution.

Renew Jacksonville and other interested parties are working on trying to lessen our pollutants and have a goal of going down 30% by 2030. If we ALL don’t do our part to make changes, we will lose our wonderful sea life, as well as increase the dangers for our water recreation.

This week we will hear from Bradlee Robbert, Director of Patient Services with UF Proton Therapy. I have had the opportunity to tour this facility and find it fascinating how far cancer-eliminating services have come. Their machinery is state of the art, and necessary to help treat tumors with an optimal dose of radiation that provides the best chance for cure with reduced risk of treatment side effects.

They began focusing on Prostate Cancer only but have added cancers of the eye, head and neck, pancreas, pituitary, breast, lung, central nervous system, base of skull as well as sarcoma, Hodgkin lymphoma and cancer in children.

Join us for a very interesting tour of this rare facility we have here in Jacksonville.

Also, we have our wine raffle drawing this week so don’t forget to buy your tickets! It’s not too late to participate. Everyone is asked to donate at least one bottle of wine to fulfill the goal of 50 bottles. Please help the club and be recognized. See you Wednesday!

Jeanne Maron
2023 President

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