Please make every effort to attend the meeting on November 6 at 5:30 PM. We have to make some serious decisions and I want everyone involved. I have to limit the meeting to 1-hour so please get there on time!
We have reached a critical time in the history of FOLA involvement in the restoration of Lake Apopka. We organized in 1990, incorporated in 1991 and since that time we have been instrumental in moving the process along. We spent a lot of time with key legislators who eventually got the process started, appropriated money to buy the farms (more than 100 million dollars), got public involvement and spent many years advocating for a scientific approach to the process.
We still have issues that could compromise the restoration: projects like the proposed airports that could scuttle the bird migration, attempts by other organizations and agencies to grow hydrilla for fish habitat, remove the dikes that would flood the marshes, new projects that will prevent restoration of parts of the basin (chemical treatment project in the only plot we could restore as a Wet Prairie ecosystem), proposals on the north shore that would be counter-productive in the nutrient removal process, competition for opening the floodgates to provide more water downstream, etc., etc., It has been a long, hard struggle but we have had help from many sources and relied a great deal on the SJRWMD staff who have done their best on this massive project, unprecedented in magnitude of pollution and size.
We are now seeing some potential to boost the restoration process and even to start initiating projects that will provide eco-tourism that will expand as the restoration of the Apopka basin continues.
Now, FOLA must make major decisions about our continued involvement. I have been asked to have us play a major role in this process. We cannot agree until we know we are able to step up to it. We have our next board meeting on Thursday, November 6 at 5:30 P.M. at the Oakland Nature Preserve where we will determine whether we will take on a major role. This is particularly important to me but I cannot commit until I have the consensus of the board. Please make every effort to be there to hear the details.
A number of people who are “advisors” also receive these notices. I urge you to try to attend this board meeting to give us your input. This is a very important step which I hope we can do, but I am not willing to proceed until I know we can do it!