On January 14, there was a mass civil disobedience event at the Suwannee River State Park. For the first time in history, the park was closed because it was at capacity. At the same time this event was going on, the Suwannee Riverkeeper, John Quarterman, organized a paddle on the river. The Suwannee is one of my favorite rivers and iconic in Florida's history. This image was right by where the pipeline is going under the river. On land a short way from here is the construction site on this side of the river.
Below are two images of the river that really spoke to me that day about why I love paddling on the Suwannee River so much. I told John Quarterman that this is what I really love to appreciate on rivers and he said, "Don't we all." I'm so grateful to him and every water protector in Florida for trying to save this river and all rivers and waterways from harm.
Every time I paddle on waterways in Florida these days, I already feel nostalgic while I am appreciating the beauty all around me. I have to wonder what it will look like next time I'm there. The environmental devastation going on in Florida is so rampant and being pushed through so quickly that you really never know what you will find from one day to the next. When you destroy a place like this, you never get it back.
Below are some images of some of the folks who came out to paddle, as well as the law enforcement on the river. Everyone had a good time on the river and the sheriffs on duty were congenial. Most of the people who protested were on land, but it was wonderful to have protectors on the water too, as protecting this river and the drinking water in Florida was why they were all here.