TALLAHASSEE – Governor Charlie Crist recently signed a proclamation honoring July as Florida Rivers Month, recognizing the importance of protecting the more than 50,000 miles of rivers and streams flowing throughout the state. Florida’s famed waterways include the historic Suwannee River made famous by folk musician Stephen Foster, the 310-mile St. Johns River, one of only a few rivers in North America that flows north, and Northwest Florida’s Apalachicola River, which helps supply 90 percent of Florida’s oysters by feeding Apalachicola Bay.

“Governor Crist’s designation of July as Florida Rivers Month comes at a perfect time,” said Jack Long, Director of the Department of Environmental Protection Southeast District. “This summer, Floridians and visitors to our state can explore all that our beautiful rivers in South Florida have to offer, and they can see why it is important to protect our waterways.”

Floridians can help protect Florida’s treasured rivers and streams by practicing water conservation habits in their homes and yards, which can be as simple as turning off the faucet while brushing or not running sprinklers on rainy days. By practicing “green” gardening techniques, such as reducing fertilizer use or spreading mulch to prevent erosion, residents can improve the quality of the waters near their homes. Residents can also help protect water quality supply, and stop polluters by reporting environmental crimes and suspicious activities at drinking water treatment plants and water towers to your local police department and the State Warning Point (1-800-320-0519).

“Rivers are part of the unique South Florida lifestyle that attracts so many residents and visitors to the Sunshine State,” said South Florida Water Management District Executive Director Carol Ann Wehle. “Florida Rivers Month is a perfect time to be reminded that we are stewards of South Florida’s waterways, from the Kissimmee and the Loxahatchee rivers to the fabled River of Grass.”

To learn more Florida’s waters visit www.dep.state.fl.us or www.protectingourwaters.org for watershed specific information.

To view Governor Crist’s Florida Rivers Month proclamation, visitwww.dep.state.fl.us/secretary/news/2010/07/files/florida_rivers.pdf

Printed from “The Post” News – Florida Department of Environmental Protection