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Wakulla residents ask for more to be done with water protection ordinance

Wakulla County Officials expand water protection to entire county
Posted at 6:27 PM, May 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-19 11:33:10-04

CRAWFORDVILLE, Fl. (WTXL) — "We're dependent on the water, the springs in particular. Our family's livelihood is dependent on making sure we have clean water and springs are protected," said Adrianne Johnson.

Since 2016 Adrianne Johnson and her family owned Gulf Springs Sea Farm in Wakulla County--specializing in oyster farming. Johnson said they foster over 75,000 oysters a year and that aquaculture is a natural resource for the local economy. She believes more protection needs to be added to protect the water sources.

"If in strengthening the language it still allows for underground petroleum tanks to be stored above caves, sensitive locations like our cave system, that's not good enough. We can do better," said Johnson.

Wakulla County Commissioners currently have the Wakulla Springs Protection Ordinance concentrating on the protection from petroleum and hazardous waste. Adding that anything that is hazardous must go above ground. Some people feel this isn't enough.

To which the county said there are no site plan applications for any new gas stations.

"We all drink the same water. Our water is our natural resource here that's important to all of us. We want to make sure that people understand that this protection is going to take us beyond where we were before, beyond what the state requires and beyond any other county that I know of," said Ralph Thomas, board chairman.

Thomas said the county is working overtime to collaborate with the community to reach a final product they are all happy with.

"This is a step in the right direction to make sure that our drinking water is safe, the water that makes it into our rivers are safe, the water that makes it into our seafood is safe," said Thomas.