A wake-up call to local leaders: Lee property should be protected, not developed

By Robert Knight. The Gainesville Sun, May 10, 2022 Our local springs are both polluted with excess nitrogen and depleted due to excessive groundwater withdrawals. So why would city and county commissioners, elected to ensure a healthy future in Alachua County, support more development that will make a bad springs problem worse? The ongoing discussion of the development of the Lee property on Parker Road is the spark that has ignited this criticism of the county/city leadership status quo.…

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Removing Rodman dam would be manna from heaven for manatees

By: Robert Knight. Published in the Gainesville Sun on February 1, 2022. The Sun recently published an opinion piece by Kip Frohlich and David Hankla, two of Florida’s top manatee experts, on the science and protection of this iconic Florida marine mammal. They rightly decry the state government’s failure to protect water quality in the Indian River Lagoon and the state’s equally poor response to the growing crisis facing the future of these precious wild animals. Manatees are starving…

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Kings Bay restoration will only be achieved by significantly reducing groundwater pumping
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Kings Bay restoration will only be achieved by significantly reducing groundwater pumping

By: Robert Knight, The Gainesville Sun, January 13th, 2022. Last month I led a family outing to Kings Bay/Crystal River by pontoon boat. I was delightfully surprised by what I saw below the water surface. From the Port Hotel to Three Sisters to Hunter Springs and around Banana Island to Tarpon Hole, healthy eelgrass and clear water have returned to this coastal manatee sanctuary. From 2012 through 2015 I directed the Florida Springs Institute’s Kings Bay Adaptive…

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Stop subsidizing those who harm springs through pumping, pollution

By Robert Knight. The Gainesville Sun, October 29th, 2021 Kudos to the owners, editors and reporters of the Gainesville Sun and the Ocala Star Banner for renewing their in-depth investigative reporting about the declining conditions at Florida’s springs. The original Fragile Springs series was published in November 2013 and subsequently was awarded the 2014 Editor & Publisher Eppy Award for Best Community Service reporting. Those articles covered the good, the bad and the ugly of Florida’s 1,000-plus artesian springs and contributed to a better-informed public…

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Making Sense of Conflicting Environmental Messages

Bob Knight, Gainesville Sun, April 27, 2021 Last Sunday’s opinion pages celebrating the 51st Earth Day were appropriately filled with messages about the importance of protecting our environment. But what was interesting to me was the juxtaposition of conflicting claims by environmentalists, agricultural representatives and state officials. Interested readers of The Sun may be trying to make sense out of their divergent views. Here is my take. The first piece I read was written by Dr. Ann Shortelle, executive director of the St.…

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