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Ranch’s Request For More Water Near Silver Springs Draws Legal Challenge

The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Environmentalists are taking legal action against a ranch’s request for more water near Silver Springs State Park, some 90 miles northwest of Orlando.

They plan on protesting as water managers meet Tuesday.

The environmentalists including the St. Johns Riverkeeper and Florida Defenders of the Environment filed the petition challenging the Sleepy Creek Lands’ permit request.

The ranch wants an increase in its water allocation of more than a million gallons a day.

The petition sends the issue before an administrative judge. The St. Johns River Water Management District board postponed its vote.

But the environmentalists plan on going ahead with their protest. They say the increase would strain Silver Springs and exacerbate nutrient pollution.

The protest starts at 10 a.m. at the district’s office in Palatka.