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May 9, 2017
While visiting Cedar key to conduct its May Governing Board meeting, the Suwannee River Water Management District staff boarded George Oakley-provided golf carts and rumbled off on a field trip led by Cedar Key Commissioner Sue Colson. 

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The seven carts carrying both SRWMD Governing Board Members and staff traveled to three stops:  the ever-eroding G Street; Joe Rains Beach at H and Eighth Streets; and Cemetery Point Park.  Executive Director Noah Valenstein, Division of Administration and Operations Chief of Staff Roary Snider, Division of Water Supply Director Carlos Herd, Agricultural and Environmental Projects Director Darrell Smith, Policy and Planning Director Leslie Ames, Chief Financial Officer Pam Shaw, and others saw firsthand the results of the District’s efforts. 
The critical nature of the G Street erosion was meticulously explained by the University of Florida’s Dr. Mark Clark, Extension Specialist, Wetlands and Water Quality Associate Professor, Soil and Water Science Department.   Clark then presented the shoreline restoration success occurring at Joe Rains Beach at Eighth and H Streets.  There SRWMD personnel walked the beach and the baffles for a close look at the project at low tide. 
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The trip’s last stop was Cemetery Point Park where the group was greeted by Refuge Manager Andrew Gude, Friends of the Lower Suwannee River and Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuges President Russ Hall, and other Friends members. Iced tea, cheese, and crackers were appreciated by all. 

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At the Park, District staff saw its efforts actualized in planning environmentally appropriate kayak landings, terraced fishing access areas, actualized signage suggestions, and the Earl Starnes Overlook which panoramically oversees the waters east of the Cemetery Point Park and State Road 24.  Those waters in the care of the Cedar Key–based Florida’s Nature Coast Conservancy.    
Due to the blusteriness of the day and the strong suspicion of rain, the planned Tidewater Tour boat ride offered by the Friends of the Refuges could not occur.   District staff said that they would be happy to come back, anytime, for that boat ride.