ree the waters of Rodman Pool
When Charlie Crist ran for the state Senate, million in repairs over the next decade.
Like many candidates, emphasized the need Rodman's fishing is already losing its luster.
t cut government waste. This week, Crist, a Nutrients accumulate in the pool, depleting ox-
publican who represents St. Petersburg and ygen and causing fish-killing algae blooms. Silt
p Ft of Tampa, and his fellow senators will and weeds clog the pool, requiring costly clean-
h e an opportunity to show he means it. up work.
/ Crist is on the Senate committee that will In contrast, a free-flowing Ocklawaha would
/ d ide whether to put an end to a costly boon- create opportunities for canoeists, hikers,
/ d e or continue a project that is ecologically campers, fishermen and the businesses that ca-
/ hi mful and economically foolish. Facing the ter to them. Furthermore, draining the pool
/ s e test are Tampa would free some
SB area Sens. Mal- 10,000 acres of prime
com Beard, R-Hills- A Senate committee will decide deer and turkey-habi-
bo6ough; Rick Dan- tat that the Florida
tzLr, D-Polk and whether to put an end to a costly Game and Fresh Wa-
Hi- borough; Curt boondoggle or continue a project ter Fish Commission
Kier, R-Pinellas and wants to establish as
P4co; Jim Hargrett, that is ecologically harmful and wan to establish
ecnmial Jim Hargrett, a wildlife manage-
illsborough, Pinel- economically foolish. ment area. Research
SManatee and shows hunters pump
; and Ginny far more money into
B wn-Waite, R-Hernando, Pasco and Polk. local economies than do fishermen.
rThey all serve on the Senate Natural Re- In addition, a revived Ocklawaha would
sources Committee that will vote whether to help the St. Johns River. Before it was blocked,
get rid of the Rodman Pool, a 10,000-acre lake the Ocklawaha flowed into the St. Johns, dis-
near Palatka created when the Ocklawaha Riv- tributing nutrients that invigorated its food
er was dammed as part of the ill-fated Cross chain. Now, instead, the nutrients build up and
Florida Barge Canal project.cha Now stead the nutents b a
.Also serving on the panel is Sen. George pollute the pool.
Kirkpatrick, a Gainesville Democrat who is de- Gov. Lawton Chiles and members of the
termined to save the pool. Rodman is a favor- state Cabinet support the restoration of the
ite haunt of bass fishermen, and local business n -
owners fear the loss of their enterprises. Kirk- Ocklawaha River, as do the Game Commission,
patrick wants to spend $2 million in taxpayers' the Department of Natural Resources, the De-
money on another study of the Ocklawaha, apartment of Environmental Regulation, the De-
though numerous studies already have been apartment of Community Affairs, and every ma-
conducted. jor conservation group in Florida.
This doesn't make sense. Prior studies show
it would cost as little as $3 million to remove The members of the Senate panel should
tlt.jlam. In contrast, maintaining the pool reject Kirkpatrick's costly delaying tactic and
would cost taxpayers more than $13 million for do what is best for taxpayers and the environ-
operation and maintenance expenses and $3 ment: Free the Ocklawaha River.