Feb 28, 2023
BHA Podcast & Blast, Ep. 150: Free the Ocklawaha River!
Almost 60 years ago, the U.S. government, blinded by hubris, began work on the Cross Florida Barge Canal. Never heard of it? That’s because President Richard Nixon, seeing it for the financial and ecological monstrosity that it was, halted the project in 1971 before it was halfway completed. All that remains of the bad idea is Rodman Dam, completed in 1968 to raise water levels enough to make the canal usable. The Rodman Dam blocked the free flow of the incredible Ocklawaha River, inundated 20 mighty freshwater springs, flooded miles of timber and bottomland wildlife habitat and, most importantly, cut the Ocklawaha and its tributaries off from the St. Johns River and the Atlantic Ocean, causing a cascade of losses to wildlife, water, fisheries and human beings. Now the time has come to remove Rodman Dam and restore these connections. Hal talks about the dam – its history and potential future – with Lisa Rinaman of the St. Johns’ Riverkeeper and retired game warden and author Bob Lee, who has spent his professional life protecting the game and fish of the Ocklawaha. Join us to consider one of the major restoration projects of our time.