Check here for communications from our Board and members, including meeting Agendas, Minutes, and memorandums to FOLA members and community leaders.
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FOLA Board Meeting January 7, 2016 Notes
FOLA Board Meeting December 3, 2015 Notes
FOLA Meeting Minutes
November 5, 2015
5:30 P.M. Call to Order- Oakland Nature Preserve
2. Treasurer’s Report
Dues will be due in the third week in November; will e-mail the members that we have email for and US mail for the others- about 50% of people have e-mail addresses
3. Old Business:
· FOLA Archives Project- Continuing to go well to get all the information archived; will be housed at UCF and well as on the FOLA and ONP websites
· Acquisition of Hull Island- no change on this; still need to submit an application to the State; Jim to submit an application. Could be some archeological potential there. Would be up to the State to negotiate the price.
4. New Business:
· Begin Process, approval of Habitat Enhancement Project, North Shore
· Organization of 1 more meeting, Ecotourism Coalition
· Newsletter-Digital Only
· Organization of a Public Meeting- November
· Tour of North Shore
· Politics of proposed marsh restoration
· Design of new flyers
· Booths at Birdapalooza
Other comments/Discussion- Meeting on Nov 11th with Senator Hayes regarding potential ways to clean lake differently. Chris D’Felize (sp) working with other members of FOLA to pitch the idea to FOLA. This started with a project to clean the lake.
There has been debris that was thrown into the spring (random debris) that blocks the water that is flowing into the spring- the same amount of water is still flowing, but it is not flowing to the top due to the debris being in the way.
(name) from the Orange Audubon Society joined the meeting today- they will be the ones that run the Environmental Center on the North Shore
Concern around water levels in the lake- there is a group that was taking water out.
Notes taken by Rachel Comstock
Monthly Board Meeting
1. 5:30 P.M. Call to Order- Oakland Nature Preserve
2. Treasurer’s Report
3. Old Business:
4. New Business
As recorded by Secretary, Rachel Comstock.
To: FOLA Board & Advisory Group
From: Jim Thomas
I am sending these emails to a lot of people who have expressed interest in our projects on Lake Apopka. Our major project now is the Ecotourism Coalition and we will discuss our plans in our regular board meeting. Our next meeting is October 1, at 5:30 P.M. at ONP. Please attend if you can.
I’d like us to think about a restoration project that will interest the public and allow some opportunities to get public volunteers. I hope to get some restoration in fringe areas which introduce native plants that have habitat value which will attract bird species that are not aquatic or migratory species. We will discuss it on Thursday at the board meeting.
FOLA has been mentioned in several articles last week. In Joy Dickinson’s Sentinel column she mentioned FOLA as one of the groups that helped start the restoration.
Another article “Ill Farmworkers Push for Answers” described health problems believed to be caused by the toxic sprays applied to the farm fields. When FOLA began pushing for closing the farms, the Farmworkers Association berated us publicly for putting farmworkers out of jobs. Our response was that we were actually saving their lives. We were able to document many instances where the aerial sprays were applied while workers were in the fields!
The NURF system is operating again for the first time since April, 2012! The current operation is being monitored to make sure all equipment is operational. FOLA opposed the NURF project, not because of the process but because of the location. We felt it should have been a long way downstream and the project site was the only on in the entire north shore that could have been restored to a wet prairie system. Once we lost we stopped pushing but we are still concerned about the accumulation of flocculent materials on site.
Our bus tour of the north shore last week was very interesting and gave us a good look at sites for potential ecotourism projects. We will organize more tours to get more people out there.
The Harris Chain of Lakes Restoration Council will meet on Friday, October 2 at 9:00 AM in the Lake County Administration Building in Tavares (315 West Main Street, the round building). I probably will not be able to make it so I hope someone from our group will attend and take notes. FOLA continues to disagree with this group on flooding the north shore and several other issues.
The West Orange Airport Authority will meet today at 10:00 AM at Apopka City Hall. I was not able to attend. If anyone attended, please call me for an update. FOLA continues to disagree with any plan that puts flight patterns over the north shore.
The Birdapalooza planning committee will meet on September 30 at 8:30 AM at Magnolia Park. I can’t attend but we have some members who can update us. We need to make sure we really support this project!
Tonight, Wednesday September 23, Kevin Gidusko will give a presentation on The History of Lake Apopka at 7:00 PM at the Winter Garden History Center. Please try to attend—you will find it fascinating. Kevin has been a great supporter of ONP form the beginning.
On Wednesday, September 30 I will attend a luncheon where the Environmental Hero will be announced. If we win first place, ONP will receive $10,000. We will get $5,000 if we don’t get first place. Thank you to everyone that took the time to vote.
Thanks to all of you who continue to support our projects and goals to help ensure we do the best we can to restore the Apopka basin and create a great habitat!
As recorded by FOLA Secretary, Rachel Comstock
To: FOLA BOD and Advisors
Re: FOLA Business
Our next board meeting will be Thursday, July 2 at 5:30 P.M. in the ONP Museum. Please make every effort to be there- we have many decisions to make about what to do next. We have lost momentum on our eco-tourism coalition and need to do some planning.
We need to schedule a number of activities so let’s be thinking about how we do it:
· Schedule another meeting of the coalition and get back to ecotourism plans. Apopka has proceeded with great plans for the areas closest to them.
· Schedule the bus tours of the north shore for members of this coalition, to map areas where our proposed projects could be built.
· Try to schedule a meeting with Dr. Ann Shortelle, the new Executive Director of SJRWMD to update her on who we are and what we want to do.
· Schedule a public update meeting to get more people interested and involved. Combine this with a membership drive.
· Do a newsletter to update the community on our plans.
· Start a series of newspaper articles about our ideas and progress.
· Proceed with an application for Hull Island acquisition.
· Keep the community educated about what is happening with the Amendment 1 issue. (I sit on the Florida Wildlife Federation board of directors and we have filed a lawsuit against the legislature.)
· Continue to press for a convenient boat ramp on the west side of the lake.
· Continue to monitor action by the Harris Chain Advisory Council in their quest to take out the dikes and flood the north shore.
· Continue to collect, verify and put in order any of our past correspondence or studies to be archived for future reference. We are up to the 1980’s and it is very interesting. Once we have completed most of it we will provide links to FOLA, ONP and History Center websites.
· Provide any help we can to Jim Hawley as he puts together more information on Minimum Flows and Levels study, one of the most important studies as we continue to push for more research and restorations.
· Continue to review proposed research programs in Lake Apopka. While we are not regulators and we are not research scientists we are frequently asked to approve or promote the projects.
As you can see, we have a lot to do and my energy levels are beginning to wane so I need help. We will discuss all of this on Thursday at the board meeting. Hope to see you there!
Scott Laidlaw, SJRWMD
From: Jim Thomas, Friends of Lake Apopka
Re: Questions, Spring Flow
Mr. Laidlaw and Ms. Greenwood,
It is my understanding that the renewal for the CUP for the Niagara Bottled Water Company has been approved the renewal of the CUP for the Niagra Bottling Water Company which included an increase in the allocation from 0.484 mgd to 0.910 mgd.
As part of this renewal Niagara agreed to relocate withdrawals from the upper Floridian aquifer to the lower aquifer within 10 years. If they complete this shift to the lower aquifer the permit will expire in February, 2035 (20 years). The company must also perform an “aquifer test program” to prove the confinement between the upper and lower aquifers. By moving to the lower aquifer Niagara “mitigates impacts to the MFL lakes in Lake County”.
W have several questions about springs we hope you will be able to answer:
1. What do we know about the hydrology and interactions between upper and lower aquifer? If the lower is lowered, is it replaced from the upper?
2. What kinds of tests does Niagara have to perform to meet that part of the permit requirements?
3. Is there a major difference in water quality between upper and lower? What about salinity?
4. Do we know anything about distribution of the product by Niagara? Florida only, other areas, worldwide?
5. Does the product come from a single spring or multiple sources?
6. We have been disturbed by decreased flows in Gourd Neck Spring since it flows into Lake Apopka. Does any of Niagara’s product come from Gourd Neck?
7. What was the total cost of the permit renewal to Niagara?
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