Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

ENVIRONMENT A Perfect Program

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

ENVIRONMENT A Perfect Program

Article excerpt

The St. Johns River, which completes its lethargic sweep up the peninsula by turning through Jacksonville before spilling into the Atlantic Ocean, went through a long spell when it got little attention.

Neglect had caused a decline in the river's health, but public demand resulted in steady improvement over the past 25 years or so.

Virtually all of the communities along the 300-mile length of the river have been working to continue the improvement. The American Heritage Rivers program does nothing that cities such as Jacksonville could not have done or were not doing before it went into effect and it adds or subtracts nothing to any efforts already under way.

Furthermore, it lets politicians claim they are doing wonders for the environment.

Thus, it is almost the perfect federal government program: No costs, no benefits and plenty of political payoff.

Because of the program, there is now a "river navigator" for the St. Johns. She was quoted in the Times-Union as saying the program was not intended to hand out money nor to add new regulations. It was intended to promote economic activity, conservation and preservation. …

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