• Local environmental groups, students push to expand protections for St. Johns River

    By: Alicia Tarancon , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    Local environmental groups and students boarded a bus to Tallahassee Wednesday to push for expanded protections for the St. Johns River. 

    Michael Chen is a junior from Ridgeview High School. He took the trip because he’s interested in helping the environment and making a difference. 

    Chen is also the president of the Earth Club at his high school.

    He said his school gave him the chance to voice his concerns to his lawmakers about keeping the St. Johns River clean. 

    “I mean, that’s advocacy and that's how I really think we’re going to be making a difference in the future,” said Chen. 

    St. Johns Riverkeeper says the St. Johns and its wildlife are being threatened by sewage sludge or biosolid which is runoff from the land. 

    The group said that runoff can fuel green algae blooms that can cause fish kills and is toxic to humans. 

    The St. Johns Riverkeeper is pushing  lawmakers to help stop the sludge that it says is polluting the St. Johns River. 

    Two bills are being heard in committee that could help protect the St. Johns River from sewage sludge and biosolids but they have a long way to go before becoming law.

    Chen told Action News Jax he hopes this trip will inspire other students to voice their concerns about issues that are important to them.

    “You know, getting this experience will give them maybe the confidence to do this stuff in the future,” said Chen. 


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