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A Long Dam Fight

December 5th, 2016 by flanews

A Florida environmental fight that has been going on since President Richard Nixon was in office got new life Monday.  As Matt Galka tells us, a Florida dam is the target of environmentalists who are hoping legal action settles the dispute.

Environmentalists are hoping legal action settles a decades long fight over the Rodman Dam.  The northeast Florida dam has since been named the Kilpatrick Dam, and was originally supposed to be part of a canal connecting the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean – but the canal was stopped by President Richard Nixon in 1971 – and the battle has been on ever since to get the dam destroyed.

And former Governor Buddy MacKay is joining the fray, he’s been calling for the removal of the dam since he was a congressman in the ‘80’s.

“I think when you look at it, it’s an absolute outrage with everything that’s been done and we still have this dam. There’s no reason whatsoever to do this. In fact, it’s a bizarre situation,” said the former Governor Buddy MacKay.

Environmentalists say the dam is hurting the flow of the Ocklawaha River and St. Johns as well as damaging surrounding springs and forests.  But supporters say that removing the dam would damage the bass fishing economy created around it.

“Fundamentally the science that they are espousing is simply not backed up,” said attorney Jane West.

Going the legal route comes after decades of political frustration.

“We’ve been sissies. we really haven’t gone after them they way we should. we tried to take,what people thought were reasonable approaches,” said attorney Bruce Kaster.

The dam costs around $1 million dollars a year to maintain.

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