One of the newest Riverkeepers in America's oldest city! Building on decades of community effort, Matanzas Riverkeeper fights to protect and defend one of Florida's last best rivers and the remarkable Matanzas River Watershed. We're a proud member of the Waterkeeper Alliance.
“When you dwell in madness, anything, anything, is possible. So sometimes the developers are going to win, but sometimes we’re going to be able to stop them. It really is crazy work,” Armingeon says.
“Along the Matanzas, one-third of the watershed is developed, one-third is publicly owned and protected and the final one-third is what we’re all fighting for. Developers want to build and we want to protect.
The Matanzas River is one of the healthiest rivers in Florida, one of the few left. Groups like ours and the Environmental Youth Council St. Augustine are fighting tooth and nail to preserve this all in the face of a changing climate and local development pressures.”
Read Folio Weekly's story by JOSUÉ CRUZ, with photos by WALTER COKER
Riverkeeper's office nearly destroyed by river from Anne Schindler, WTLV “Waves were breaking next to my office." Armingeon doesn’t blame the river that he loves and works for. “That’s nature,” he says.
But his years of environmental advocacy means he views the 100-year storm in the context of a changing environment and warming seas.
“Climate change is radically altering all of this,” he says, gesturing at a deceptively calm, blue river. “This is actually the healthiest river in Florida, but it is threatened on all sides.”
Good News for the Matanzas River
The St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners voted to deny the zoning change for the parcel of land adjacent to the Matanzas River. The vote was 3-2. Commissioners Bennett, Morris, and McClure voted to protect the health of the Matanzas and the open shellfish leases.
Thanks to them for their thoughtful decision and thank all of you for your efforts supporting our fight.
These are hard times for Florida’s natural resources. Our community is blessed to be home to one of only two healthy coastal river systems in the state. Together, with your help, we commit to doing everything in our power to protect the Matanzas--Florida’s last, best river.
Read more about whyMatanzas Riverkeeper opposed both the rezoning and variance requests
This project will document and preserve the lived experiences, recollections, and impressions of the people whose lives and work on the Matanzas River have shaped the cultural landscape of our region. Together, Matanzas Riverkeeper Neil Armingeon, Anna Hamilton of Watershed Radio and photographer Walter Coker will create an audio/visual history of our unique, precious resource.
Contributions to MATANZAS RIVERKEEPER are fully tax deductible. MATANZAS RIVERKEEPER is a program of FRIENDS OF THE MATANZAS, INC. Use FDACS Registration # CH40186 for official financial registration records or call the FL DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES (800-435-7352).
Thanks to all in my adopted City of St. Augustine who marched today for Future Generations. It was a beautiful day with many positives. Thanks to the students from The Montessori School and their teacher, Melanie Knezich. Your courage and words, and those beautiful sunflowers, were such an inspiration. Hunter Miller, EYC, and Bill Hamilton, thanks for helping us all reach a better place. Dan Tonsmeire, thank you brother for the effort. Jacob Hamilton, is there anything more energizing than a drum line with earnest drummers?