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Here are some details about one person's adventure in becoming civically engaged and the circuitous route one takes to find out information.

 

In a message dated 4/4/2008 4:25:22 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, ndemers@fgcu.edu writes:

Norma,

This looks like a very worthwhile way to spend a day, regrettable I am unable to attend.

Would you like me to post your remarks to the networking portal as an FYI about importance of educating ourselves?

http://itech.fgcu.edu/faculty/ndemers/Miningconference/networkingportal.htm

 Norma replied:

Yes, I have been working on understanding relationships between the mining in my area and its effects on our hydrology.  To that end, I have been researching.  I have a distrust now of those who regulate supposedly on behalf of citizens.  I feel that those agencies have far too cozy a relationship with big business.  I found out about the trip by reading the legal advertisements in our local newspaper.  It was posted by SWFMWD and the only contact information was their  line for disabilities.  Through SWFMWD I was put in touch with Chris who is with the Environmental Center in Charlotte.  He was surprised that the notice was published in the Tampa Tribune.  Talk about a convoluted route to get information.  Thanks, Norma

 

For your information:  There is a guided tour of the Peace River Basin sponsored by the Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center through a grant from SWFMWD.  It is a tour on buses with snacks and lunch.  There is no cost involved.  I spoke with Chris at 941-575-5435 in Punta Gorda regarding the trip.  I found it reading the legal ads in the Tribune (very important if you own property to read these).  I called and signed my husband and myself up for the tour.  Chris said there are about 3 or so spots left on the tour.  The purpose of the tour is to understand the Peace River Basin and its interactions with environmental influences such as phosphate and agriculture.  He said that there will be knowledgeable people who can answer questions. 

 

 I am sure some of you are wondering why we are interested in the Peace River Basin.  Well, it is important to understand the function and influence that basins have on the aquifer.  I found that there was much more research available on the Peace River than the Alafia basin.  Both have a lot of the same problems: mining and agriculture....except the Alafia has more housing development.  The other big difference between the two rivers is that the southern counties involved with the Peace River seem more concerned with drinking water and preservation....Hillsborough County does not seem to have that concern....I say that because Charlotte has spent upwards to 12 million to preserve the river and Manatee has spent about 3 million.  Hillsborough, on the other hand, has not expressed any concern in terms of spending any money to preserve the integrity of the Alafia basin.  I am using figures from various newspapers for that statement.  The tour leaves early in the morning...7:30 a.m. in Punta Gorda...and that means VERY EARLY to drive there from Hillsborough County and be ready.  This trip will take up the whole day.  Chris indicated that a number of officials are also taking the tour and that it should be interesting.  I have attached an agenda to this email.  I anticipate an opportunity for a great learning experience.  I have sent this email to a few people located in the tour area for their information...and use.

 

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This resource focuses on adverse impacts from mining currently not addressed or evaluated by regulatory agencies and municipalities, as well as alternatives to mining and approaches for improved monitoring and evaluation of existing and proposed mine sites and mine-related impacts.  This portal is made possible thanks to the volunteer efforts of scientists, other professionals and citizens.

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Last updated May 17, 2008