Unconventional water summit scheduled for this Friday night in St. Pete

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Hosted by the Florida Studies Program, organizers say the forum is an unusual effort to explore the intersection of environmental humanities and public policy.

In addition to Governor Martinez (who will be delivering the keynote address), there will be a mediation on water by CL contributor Peter Meinke and a display of photos by John Moran. A panel discussion featuring writers Cynthia Barnett, Christopher F. Meindl, Bill Belleville, Jack Davis, Steven Noll and Margaret Ross Tolbert will also take place. The forum is free and open to the public. It will be March 30 at 6:30 p.m. at Harbor Hall (formerly the Dali Museum), 1000 3rd St. S, St. Petersburg.

For more information or to RSVP go to usfsp.edu/floridawater.

CL will have more on the forum in this week's issue out March 29.

  • Work by Margaret Ross Tolbert

The Florida Current reported on Friday that Northwest Florida Water Management District Executive Director Douglas Barr told his district board that after 20 years as executive director, he is leaving the agency, becoming the last head of the five water management districts in Florida to quit, retire or be forced out in the past year.

Informed speculation has it that changes made by Governor Rick Scott and the Legislature have had a strong influence as to why those directors are now history. That's after they cut more than $700 million from those five water boards - but a bill passed in this year's session (SB 1986) makes up for some of those cuts by repealing the spending caps.

The future of Florida's water will be the topic of discussion this Friday night in St. Petersburg in an event sponsored by USFSP called "Water in Florida," and among the panelists will include former Governor Bob Martinez and journalist Cynthia Barnett (Blue Revolution: Unmaking America's Water Crises).

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