One of the newest Riverkeepers in America's oldest city! Building on decades of community effort, Matanzas Riverkeeper fights to protect and defend the remarkable Matanzas River Watershed. We're a proud member of the Waterkeeper Alliance.
Matanzas River is an environmental jewel worth protecting
"Armingeon calls the Matanzas “the last, best river in Florida.” That’s a statement he can back up when challenged.
The river’s water is clean enough that harvesting oysters and clams is allowed. The reason for the good water quality is that much of the river’s 186-square-mile watershed is undeveloped, and one-third of that is in public ownership, which will provide additional protection in the years to come.
Add to the river’s water quality the fact that the tributaries flowing into it — Pellicer, Moses and Stiles creeks — are a paddler’s paradise." Source: FL Times Union, November 10, 2014 Read a reprint of the full article here
Read News about Miami port dredging legal settlement and Saving our Forests alert.
Seismic Airgun BLASTING
In a CLOSED meeting, i.e., no public allowed, the Governor of North Carolina stated the first step toward offshore drilling would be the use of seismic testing to determine what's contained in the Mid-Atlantic's Outer Continental Shelf. That could begin as early as mid-2015, although it's not likely to begin until later. Both Virginia and South Carolina's Governor's have stated they support offshore drilling. Listen to a report from WRAL.com
The National Marine Sanctuary concept is more critical than ever.
Anna Hamilton of Watershed Radio interviews Neil and Erin Handy on proposed seismic airgun testing off of our coast.
Listen here to learn more about the coalition of citizens and organizations standing in opposition.
Five permit applications for seismic airgun testing off St. Augustine, and Florida’s east coast, have been submitted to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). The Matanzas Riverkeeper held a news event on Wednesday, October 22 at the foot of the Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine to discuss the applications. The event was covered in the Bahamas and by Jacksonville's News4Jax.com. You can view photos of the protest by photographer Walter Coker at Folio Weekly online.
In addition, candidates for governor and attorney general have been sent questions about their positions on oil and gas drilling off Florida's east coast, and that effort were discussed at the gathering. Candidate responses to our letter and all continuing news on these permits will be posted here so check back for updates.
Hunter Miller, President of St. Augustine’s Environmental Youth Council, notes, “This is a call to action to oppose seismic testing; it is the most significant issue facing our community and the state of Florida. We need to know candidates’ positions on offshore drilling before we vote!”
Opponents to seismic testing cite impact on tourism, commercial and recreational fishing, and marine ecosystems, including injury or death to potentially thousands of dolphins and whales, including the endangered Right Whale. Seismic testing is a precursor to oil and gas exploration which some regard as a dirty and dangerous practice that threatens the health of the oceans, rivers, and the economies of coastal communities.
Despite 15 public forums, several comment periods, and tens of thousands of citizens urging cancellation of the plans, last July, BOEM, with the Obama administration’s acceptance, approved seismic testing in the Atlantic Ocean.
“Seismic testing is no longer a hypothetical threat, it is here and real. These applications mean we are one step closer to testing. Our community must work to stop seismic testing and subsequent offshore drilling from destroying our tourism, offshore fisheries, coastal economies, and the marine creatures with whom we share the Atlantic Ocean and Matanzas River.” Neil Armingeon, Matanzas Riverkeeper
Matanzas Riverkeeper, along with Friends of Matanzas, Florida Wildlife Federation, South Anastasia Community Association, Environmental Youth Council of St. Augustine, Oceana, Surfrider Foundation, and others have opposed seismic testing citing its destructive impact on coastal communities and marine mammals, including endangered Right Whales. Local governments who have joined the opposition include: St. Johns County, the City of St. Augustine, St. Augustine Beach and Atlantic Beach in Duval County.