Fwd: Itchnetucknee River

—– Forwarded Message —– From: Victoria Imm <victoriaimm5026@gmail.com> \ Sent: Fri, 27 Jul 2018 12:38:36 -0400 (EDT) Subject: Itchnetucknee River
Good morning, I have spent 4 hours and made 9 phone calls to get answers regarding limiting boat activity on our river. Fresh Water Game Commission has two departments that would involve our river. One is River Safety and the other is Resource Protection. We have concerns for both. For both of these areas, there is no supporting data to advise that either Manatees, eel grass or people need protecting. There are no reported fatalities or injuries, so basically there is not much we can do, they have to put their resources elsewhere where there is supportingdata of problems and concerns. The organization “Save The Manatee” in Maitland, Florida will UPS 3 signs to me that we can put on our land, that makes boaters aware there are Manatees in the area. I’m sure there are boaters that come up our river that don’t realize Manatees are actually there. Maybe making them aware of Manatees in the area will cause them to be more cautious. It can only help. Signs should be here next week. These signs have to be on our land, not on a tree in the water, and not in the water…..I’m suggesting at Point Park, Suwannee Boat Ramp and somewhere else on Itchnetucknee either at Hodor or Midpoint. Any change in laws has to start with local government and can take up to 2 years. Per the FWC I have called and spoke to our county commissioner, Rusty Depratter.Rightly so, he is not willing to help us by writing an ordinance, because he is not running for reelection and he cannot see it through from start to finish. He suggested and I agree, to wait to see who is elected to take his place and start with them fresh. I hope whoever is elected will see the importance of preserving our rivers and the safety of our tubers and manatees. My understanding is the county commissioner would write an ordinance, that would go to zoning, and follow the process up the line to get approvals. Like I said it is a long process, but at this point, what is 2 years? It will go by quickly and I say lets do it!!! Sooner or later someone will get hurt or a manatee will die, and at least we will have the process started and we can add our “fatality” to their data. (I sure hope this does not happen). If you are campaigning and voting for a particular candidate, will you please check and advise him/her of this issue? We have over 700 members, we can make a difference in the election. Our other option is to ask for assistance from the director of Save The Manatee, Dr. Katie Tripp. I will send her an email and see if there is any suggestions she can make to help us with this issue. It might make a difference if we get petitions signed at our fall BBQ. Just a thought. We might run this past the NEW County commissioner and maybe even invite them to our meeting and BBQ! We can do this TOGETHER! We have alot of members! Let’s use it to our advantage!!! Vicki ImmTREPO President