The St. Johns River has recently been plagued by numerous disconcerting problems — first, a rash of fish kills and algae blooms, then a spike in bird deaths, and, more recently, the appearance of copious amounts of foam. The Jacksonville City Council has been making strides in focusing more attention on problems surrounding the river: Newly inducted City Council President Jack Webb pledged to make the river a top priority and, just a week after taking office, held a River Roundtable meeting in City Hall chambers discussing the problems plaguing St. Johns. #
New efforts to combat river pollution have been ample — but are they effective? #
The city recently installed floating wetlands, or Beermats, in a stormwater pond periodically plagued by algal blooms. According to the St. Johns Riverkeeper’s blog, Beermats are used to offset nutrient saturation of the surrounding water: “As the plants mature and grow, they soak up nutrients and store in their tissues. By periodically replanting the Beermats, nutrients are removed from the water.” #
On Tuesday, design firm Haskell Company unveiled two informational signs along downtown Jacksonville’s Riverwalk, encouraging “river-friendly” landscaping techniques. And Haskell began practicing what it is now preaching earlier this year, removing 10,000 square feet of St. Augustine grass that sat along the river. The grass, which is notorious for being a water-hog, was replaced with more environmentally friendly ground cover. #
The creation of a statewide prescription pill-monitoring database is well underway, with a new name and new requirements. Though E-FORCSE (Electronic-Florida Online Reporting Controlled Substance Evaluation) wasn't without its initial opponents (Gov. Rick Scott among them), the database has successfully passed its hurdles and will soon go live.
Rick Scott's 2010 campaign strategy, which mirrored that of many conservative candidates around the country that year, was rooted in the media maneuvers of right-wing movements, and Scott's campaign in fact shared DNA with both the press management of the district attorney who prosecuted Kansas abortion provider George Tiller and the public relations company that promoted Swift Boat Veterans for Truth in the 2004 presidential campaign.