The Friends of the Wekiva River, Inc. is a citizen action group.
The founders began meeting informally in 1978, and the organization was chartered in 1982 with nineteen members. Our objectives are:
- to promote and protect the aesthetic and recreational values of the Wekiva River system.
- to protect the integrity of the Wekiva River Basin.
- to work toward restoration and continuation of the river and its tributaries.
- to carry out educational activities to the same end.
Our mission has never been to oppose growth per se, but to insist that growth is well planned and considers the long-term future of the basin, its resources, and the quality of life for future generations. We are opposed to growth that seeks only to satisfy the few with no consideration of the long-term impacts on the ecology of the river basin, its resources, and the citizens of the region as a whole.
The Wekiva River together with Wekiwa Springs Run, Rock Springs Run and Black Water Creek were designated by the United States Congress as a National Wild and Scenic River in October 2000. Five Outstandingly Remarkable Values (ORVs) have been identified for the river system: scenic, recreation, wildlife and habitat, historic and cultural, and water quality and quantity. In accordance with the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, these ORVs, the river system’s free flow characteristics, and its immediate environment “shall be protected for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations” (section 1(b) Wild and Scenic Rivers Act). Unlike most rivers in the National Wild and Scenic River System that are managed exclusively by either a federal or state agency, the Wekiva River System is considered a “Partnership Wild and Scenic River.” This means that it is jointly managed by a consortium of local stakeholder groups, referred to as the Wekiva River System Advisory Management Committee (AMC) with oversight and coordination provided by the National Park Service (NPS). For more information, visit: http://www.wekivawildandscenicriversystem.com/.
The Friends of the Wekiva River (FOWR) is a non-profit organization founded in 1982 to preserve the beauty and natural functions of the Wekiva River system.
We cooperate with government officials and agencies, other environmental groups, and the community of artists and educators to promote an understanding
of the magnificent legacy the river represents for central Florida, the nation, and indeed the world.
Hundreds of thousands come every year from near and far to see one of the few National Wild and Scenic Rivers in the east. Our organization is largely scientific and from the beginning we have tried to bring the facts to the table of discussion wherever decisions are being made or permits granted that affect the river and its quality of life. We are pro-development and expect land to be productive of many values.
However, we always favor sustainable development and stand to insist that our children and grandchildren will grow up to experience the river and its wildlife as we have. We make no enemies in our pursuits, but recognize that the issue today may divide us, but the issue tomorrow may bring us together. We don’t always win, but we never give up. Our organization is grass-roots. We live on a shoe-string budget, pay no employees, seek donations and sponsors for all our needs, and enjoy working together to create a better community at many levels. Most of our board members are on many other organizational teams.
Occasionally when we are unable to get a viable compromise, we have to seek legal action that requires funds beyond our normal budget. In this rare circumstance, we have small fundraising activities and ask for donations. For the most part, we’d much rather have your help as a volunteer than the money out of your pocket. You don’t have to become a member to lend a hand. If you just consult this web site regularly, we will post volunteer opportunities associated with each single event. If you prefer to make donations.
John Pottinger, President
Jim Adamski, Vice President
Jay Exum, Secretary
Jim Coffin, Recording Secretary
Faith Jones, Treasurer
Mary Sue Weinaug
Board Members Emeritus