Explore the great florida riverway
Ocklawaha – Silver Springs – St. Johns
Relax Awhile. Retrace History. Reimagine the River.
The Coalition and our partners have not and will not condone using criminal or violent actions to remove or breach the Rodman/Kirkpatrick Dam. In fact, we have asked our river restoration supporters to refrain from using language that refers to blowing up the dam, even in jest. Such extreme actions would put hundreds of downstream homeowners and businesses at risk. Safety of the Welaka community has and continues to be a priority for us.
Discover the great florida riverway
For more than 14,000 years, Florida’s natives and newcomers set out on the St. Johns, Ocklawaha, and Silver Rivers in search of connection with nature, their fellow man, and a network of waterways that linked the state’s wild roots to its growing communities.
50 years ago, all of that changed.
Few can recall The Great Florida Riverway in its free-flowing glory. Before the Rodman/Kirkpatrick Dam was completed in 1968, the Ocklawaha River, the heart of The Great Florida Riverway, nurtured an expansive cypress forest, crystal-blue springs, vibrant fish migrations, and thriving wildlife. These wonders live on in photos and stories but remain just beyond the reach of our collective memory.
The Ocklawaha’s current state does not need to be its fate. Now is the time to breach the dam and reconnect the Ocklawaha to Silver Springs and the St. Johns River restoring a 217-mile network representing some of Florida’s most critical water resources and wildlife habitat.
Together, we can restore the ecological and economic health of the river and its communities from Lake Apopka to the Atlantic Ocean.
Photo credits: Doug Engle, Mark Emery, and Will Dickey