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UPDATED Mega-Dairy Issued Permit


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IDOA issued a construction permit.

A.J. Bos can start construction at any time.

Somebody is celebrating somewhere, no doubt.

 

Been on the phone all night trying to get details.

 

What a sad day for Illinois.

 

 

More later....

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These photos were taken last weekend.

Judge for yourself the facts in this issue.

 

I asked for these photos after a phone conversation this evening.

They came with the following description:

 

"Here are some pictures of a sink hole on John Balbach's property that just 3-4 days ago collapsed and opened up. This property is located very close to the proposed site of the Bos CAFO that Terry Feldman has said was not KARST topography. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that KARST topography covers all of Jo Daviess and most of Stephenson Counties in Northwest Illinois. This KARST region also extends well into Southwestern Wisconsin. For you Environmental program leaders for the state of Illinois to ignore all the scientific evidence proving beyond doubt that this whole area is laden with KARST is negligence on your part and putting the people's lives as well as the Environment in serious jeopardy. Where do you think untreated manure applied to the farm land as deliberate or "unintentional" will go once in the sink hole? Do not forget the other points of the LMFA that this Dairy farmer from CA and his paid lobbyist have NOT met, like the road issue."

 

karst1.jpg

karst2.jpg

karst3.jpg

 

More to digest:

 

NOTICE OF VIOLATION

 

Via Certified Mail# _______________ Via Certified Mail# _______________

 

To: Donald Shelmon Tony Bos

Registered Agent President

T & M Limited Partnership, Bos Family Farms, Inc.

Bos Family Farms, Inc. and P. O. Box 1150

Windy Ridge Dairy, L.L.C. Clint, TX 79836

119.5 N. Cullen St.

Rensselaer, IN 47978

Case No. 2003-13468-S

 

Based on an investigation by designated representatives of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) on September 16 and 23, 2003, T & M Limited Partnership, Bos Family Farms, Inc. and Windy Ridge Dairy, L.L.C., located at 1652 N. C.R. 1100 W., in Fair Oaks, Jasper County, Indiana, were in violation of the following environmental statutes and rules:

 

A. Pursuant to 327 IAC 2-6.1-7, any person who operates, controls or maintains any mode of transportation or facility from which a spill occurs shall, upon discovery of a reportable spill to the soil or surface waters of the state, contain the spill, if possible, to prevent additional spilled material from entering the waters of the state; undertake or cause others to undertake activities needed to accomplish a spill response; and as soon as possible, but within two hours of discovery, communicate a spill report to the Department of Environmental Management, Office of Environmental Response.

 

A reportable spill of animal manure from the Site into Curtis Ditch, waters of the state, occurred on or about September 9, 2003, and was not properly contained and/or responded to and/or reported by T & M Limited Partnership, Bos Family Farms, Inc. and Windy Ridge Dairy, L.L.C., in violation of 327 IAC 2-6.1-7.

 

B. Pursuant to 327 IAC 2-1-6(a)(1), all waters at all times and at all places, including the mixing zone, shall meet the minimum conditions of being free from substances, materials, floating debris, oil, or scum attributable to municipal, industrial, agricultural, and other land use practices, or other discharges that will settle to form putrescent or otherwise objectionable deposits, that are in amounts sufficient to be unsightly or deleterious, that produce color, visible oil sheen, odor, or other conditions in such degree as to create a nuisance, which are in amounts sufficient to be acutely toxic to, or to otherwise severely injure or kill aquatic life, other animals, plants, or humans, and which are in concentrations or combinations that will cause or contribute to the growth of aquatic plants or algae to such a degree as to create a nuisance.

 

T & M Limited Partnership, Bos Family Farms, Inc. and Windy Ridge Dairy, L.L.C. caused and/or allowed the discharge of animal manure from the Site on or about September 9, 2003, into Curtis Ditch, waters of the state, that settled to form putrescent or otherwise objectionable deposits, that was in an amount sufficient to be unsightly or deleterious, that produced color, visible oil sheen, odor, or other conditions in such degree to create a nuisance, which was in amounts sufficient to be acutely toxic to, or otherwise severely injure or kill aquatic life, other animals, plants or humans, which was in concentrations or combinations that caused or contributed to the growth of aquatic plants or algae to such a degree as to create a nuisance, in violation of 327 IAC 2-1-6(a)(1).

 

C. Pursuant to 327 IAC 5-2-2, any discharge of pollutants into waters of the state as a point source discharge, except for exclusions made in 327 IAC 5-2-4, is prohibited unless in conformity with a valid NPDES Permit obtained prior to the discharge.

 

T & M Limited Partnership, Bos Family Farms, Inc. and Windy Ridge Dairy, L.L.C., caused and/or allowed the discharge of animal manure, a pollutant, from the Site on or about September 9, 2003, into Curtis Ditch, waters of the state, without a valid NPDES permit and without meeting any of the exclusions in 327 IAC 5-2-4, in violation of 327 IAC 5-2-2.

 

D. Pursuant to IC 13-18-4-5, it is unlawful for any person to throw, run, drain, or otherwise dispose into any of the streams or waters of this state, or to cause, permit, or suffer to be thrown, run, drained, allowed to seep, or otherwise disposed into any waters, any organic or inorganic matter that causes or contributes to a polluted condition of any waters, as determined by a rule of the board adopted under IC 13-18-4-1 and IC 13-18-4-3.

 

T & M Limited Partnership, Bos Family Farms, Inc. and Windy Ridge Dairy, L.L.C., caused and/or allowed the discharge of animal manure, an organic matter, from the Site on or about September 9, 2003, into Curtis Ditch, waters of the state, in violation of 327 IAC 2-6.1-7, 327 IAC 2-1-6(a)(1) and/or 327 IAC 5-2-2, and thus violated IC 13-18-4-5.

 

E. Pursuant to IC 13-30-2-1(1), no person may discharge, emit, cause, allow, or threaten to discharge, emit, cause, or allow any contaminant or waste, including any noxious odor, either alone or in combination with contaminants from other sources, into the environment or into any publicly owned treatment works in any form which causes or would cause pollution which violates or which would violate rules, standards, or discharge or emission requirements adopted by the appropriate board under the environmental management laws.

 

T & M Limited Partnership, Bos Family Farms, Inc. and Windy Ridge Dairy, L.L.C., caused and/or allowed the discharge of animal manure, a contaminant or waste, into the environment from the Site on or about September 9, 2003, in violation of 327 IAC 2-6.1-7, 327 IAC 2-1-6(a)(1) and/or 327 IAC 5-2-2, and thus violated IC 13-30-2-1(1).

F. Pursuant to 327 IAC 16-3-1(a), a confined feeding operation shall be managed to avoid an unpermitted discharge into waters of the state.

 

T & M Limited Partnership, Bos Family Farms, Inc. and Windy Ridge Dairy, L.L.C., did not manage the confined feeding operation to avoid an unpermitted discharge into waters of the state, resulting in a discharge of animal manure from the Site on or about September 9, 2003, into Curtis Ditch, waters of the state, without a valid permit, in violation of 327 IAC 16-3-1(a).

 

G. Pursuant to 327 IAC 16-9-5(B), the operating record must contain all applicable records from the following: 327 IAC 16-9-1(e) regarding completed self-monitoring records for three (3) years; 327 IAC 16-10-1, regarding minimum acreage records; 327 IAC 16-10-2©, regarding land application records for five (5) years; 327 IAC 16-10-5©, regarding marketing and distribution records for three (3) years; and documentation of any spill response implemented in accordance with 327 IAC 16-9-4(a)(3) by confined feeding operation personnel within the past five (5) years.

 

The operating record of T & M Limited Partnership, Bos Family Farms, Inc. and Windy Ridge Dairy, L.L.C., on or about September 23, 2003, did not contain all applicable records from 327 IAC 16-10-2©, regarding land application records for five years, in violation of 327 IAC 16-9-5(B).

 

H. Pursuant to 327 IAC 16-9-1(a), all waste management systems and application equipment must be maintained and operated to meet the approval conditions.

 

T & M Limited Partnership, Bos Family Farms, Inc. and Windy Ridge Dairy, L.L.C., on or about September 9, 2003, did not operate the manure application equipment in accordance with the approval conditions, in violation of 327 IAC 16-9-1(a).

 

I. Pursuant to 327 IAC 16-9-1(e), the owner/operator shall inspect all waste management systems for compliance with this article and the approval conditions and, if applicable, freeboard as specified in subsection (d) or

the approval, at least one (1) time each month. Completed self-monitoring records must be kept in the operating record described in section 5 of this rule.

 

T & M Limited Partnership, Bos Family Farms, Inc. and Windy Ridge Dairy, L.L.C., on or about September 23, 2003, did not maintain self-monitoring records of waste management system inspections, in violation of 327 IAC 16-9-1(e).

 

J. Pursuant to 327 IAC 16-10-3©, to prevent leaks or excessive application of liquid manure spray irrigation must be conducted: under the constant supervision of a person designated by the owner/operator or as specified in the approval, with devices to detect pressure loss due to leaks and devices to shut down the system if leaks are detected or in accordance with a spray irrigation plan approved by the department.

 

T & M Limited Partnership, Bos Family Farms, Inc. and Windy Ridge Dairy, L.L.C., on or about September 9, 2003, did not conduct liquid manure spray irrigation under the constant supervision of a designated person, with devices to detect pressure loss due to leaks and devices to shut down the system if leaks are detected or in accordance with a spray irrigation plan approved by the department, in violation of 327 IAC 16-10-3©.

In accordance with IC 13-30-3-3, the Commissioner is required to notify an alleged violator in writing that a violation may exist and offer an opportunity to enter into an Agreed Order providing for the actions required to correct the violations and for the payment of a civil penalty. The Commissioner is not required to extend this offer for more than sixty (60) days.

 

Entering into an Agreed Order will prevent the issuance of a Notice and Order of the Commissioner under IC 13-30-3-4, or the filing of a civil court action under IC 13-14-2-6. IDEM encourages settlement by Agreed Order, thereby saving time and resources. Timely settlement by Agreed Order may result in a reduced civil penalty. Settlement discussions will also allow the opportunity to present any mitigating factors that may be relevant to the violations. In addition, as provided in IC 13-30-3-3, an alleged violator may enter into an Agreed Order without admitting that the violation occurred.

 

If settlement is not reached within sixty (60) days of receipt of this Notice of Violation, the Commissioner may issue a Notice and Order containing the actions that must be taken to achieve compliance, the required time frames, and an appropriate civil penalty. Pursuant to IC 13-30-4-1, the Commissioner may assess penalties of up to $25,000 per day for each violation.

 

To discuss this matter further, please contact Craig Henry at 317/233-1136 within fifteen (15) days after receipt of this Notice to request a conference. If settlement is reached, an Agreed Order will be prepared and sent for review and signature.

 

For the Commissioner:

 

 

 

Date: Signed February 2, 2004

 

Felicia A. Robinson

Deputy Commissioner

for Legal Affairs

 

cc: Jasper County Health Department

Jasper County Public File, L file

Daniel P. McInerny, Esq., Bose McKinney & Evans, LLP

Steve Bos, Bos Family Farms, Inc.

www.in.gov/idem

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As of this afternoon, excavating equipment is on-site.

Scraper and tractor.

Will update as I learn more.

This has not been released in the press as of yet, but I'll post as we find more.

 

Nic Anderson of the ILDG or anyone else supporting the dairy is free to post here if they have information relevent to the issue.

 

Anything we should know about is greatly appreciated.

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Guest rich mc

just to let anglers know. the site where the lunkers were placed is upstream of the mouth of the creek that is nearest the bos farm. thanks again mike for all your efforts on this . rich

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ROCKFORD — California dairyman A.J. Bos has the state’s approval to build a controversial mega-dairy in northeastern Jo Daviess county, about an hour northwest of Rockford.

 

The Illinois Department of Agriculture, following months of back and forth with Bos over the details of his proposed operation, issued the desired permit today.

 

The massive project has divided northwestern Illinois residents. While farmers see manure, a fertilizer high in nitrogen, as something that will aid their crops, those opposed to the project are fearful of manure seeping into the soil and contaminating water.

 

State Rep. Jim Sacia, R-Pecatonica, a vocal supporter of the development, said the farm will be an economic boost to northern Illinois.

 

“I think this is a very positive thing for northwest Illinois,” he said. “I think it will help tourism. Environmentally, it’s the way to go. Europe has proven that.”

 

Opponents of the project, a grassroots group based in Warren and Nora, called H.O.M.E.S., or Helping Others Maintain Environmental Standards, said the farm will have a “terrible impact ... on the region’s air, water and quality of life.”

 

The 5,464-cow operation will be the largest dairy farm in Illinois — 26 percent larger than any other built since 1996, when livestock farms were first required to get the state’s permission to build.

 

Bos intends to build his barns, manure ponds and other farm facilities on 100 acres just west of tiny Nora. He also purchased another 1,350 acres for crops.

 

Bos could not be reached for comment.

 

Opponents have long maintained that the bedrock under the farm site is karst, meaning it is fractured and particularly susceptible to environmental spills. Bos plans to liquify the manure and flow it into three massive collection ponds lined with clay.

 

“That’s not adequate,” area farmer Jim Francis said, citing reports from state geological chemists.

 

Francis operates a 300-acre grain and livestock farm a mile away from the site. “They’re inadequate for being placed in a karst area, and groundwater contamination is highly likely.”

 

Tom Bergstrom of Warren, who lives within three miles of the proposed dairy farm, added, “Every shallow well will be polluted.”

 

The Illinois Department of Agriculture is expected to monitor the construction of the manure ponds.

 

“We’re required under the statute to do a minimum of one, but because of the scope of this project, we’ll be making numerous visits to the site,” said Warren Goetsch, IDOA’s Bureau Chief of Environmental Programs. Goetsch said such visits would occur “during critical parts of construction phase.”

 

Ag agency officials will inspect storage structures, manure transfer structures, concrete alleyways, and other parts of the facility expected to come into contact with manure, Goetsch said.

 

Galena, located about 30 miles west of Nora, draws more than one million visitors a year. Galena Mayor Tom Brusch said the mega-farm will provide another tourist attraction for northern Illinois and will likely bring more visitors to his city.

 

“I don’t speak for the council or the city, but I don’t think it will have any adverse developments from it.

 

“I think people will come out this way to see it as a tourist attraction. I don’t think it will hurt us.”

 

Getting the first farm off the planning board and into the construction phase was a relief to those involved, said Terry Feldmann, an engineer with Maurer-Stutz, the firm employed by Bos to design the project.

 

“Personally, I feel relieved, finally. It’s been a long exhausting week, and it’s a Friday,” Feldmann said. “I think it’s exciting.”

 

Staff writer Aaron Chambers and Diana Roemer of the Freeport Journal Standard contributed to this report.

Staff writer Chris Green can be reached at 815-987-1241 or cgreen@rrstar.com.

 

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Once again, big money wins! Sure is sad. I am moving to Canada.

 

Ditto!

 

We should invite those guys out and teach them how to fish. Obviously they don't.

 

 

Mike, it seems like you do a heck of a lot of work. It is greatly appreciated. I haven't forgotten about your offer.

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Yes, many were supporting a no vote from the county board, and we got that.

The final decision rested in the hands of the IDOA, and they subsequently issued the permit.

It never mattered what the county board decided.

We should sit down with Governor Blagojevich and the IDNR hierarchy and discuss EXACTLY what happened here.

We support these people with our funds, but beyond that all of these people owe the citizens and sportsmen of Illinois an explanation.

Why did the IDNR offer a letter stating that the area properties managed by them would not be affected?

That question needs to be answered.

It will NOT be answered by those that stand to lose their jobs.

The Governor has some explaining to do on this one.

We deserve that at the very least.

 

The next step, as I see it, is to lobby hard for people of the A.J. Bos ilk to pay dearly for any damages incurred upon our watersheds.

That's where it needs to go now.....getting laws changed.

When I see Nic Anderson and his friends show us that they truly care about the well-being of our natural resources, then we can talk about the value of a milked cow.

This is, after all, an issue of values.

 

At what cost do we provide milk to the American public at a reasonable cost?

Is destroying one of Illinois' last ecologicically significant watersheds an acceptable price to pay?

 

These questions will be answered in the courts.

That I can assure you with utmost certainty.

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Smells funky in here. Seems like A.J. Boos and co. are going to be treating some people at IDOA, IDNR, and the Jo Davies Co. board to some very nice dinners and vacations and golf outings...or am I wrong to think that some palms got greased...I hate to think that way but I was born and raised in Chicago and Cook co. all my life and I know that's how things get done there. "It's not what you know, It's who you know"

 

I'm throwing my 2bits in a little late here, but is there nothing more that can be done to stop this place from being built?

 

 

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The county board was with us, John.

They voted down the project.

 

The rest will be held accountable for their actions.

Too many millions of dollars are tied up in that watershed to let a corrupt administration piss it all away with back door meetings and clandestine decision making.

This isn't over by a long shot.

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I noticed tat there is a Bos family farm in Fair Oaks, IN.

Is this the same A.J. Bos?

Is this farm affiliated with Fair Oaks Farms, just a few miles down I-65?

Bos seems HUGE!!!

Looks like they have many farms that do not operate under the Bos name.

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I noticed tat there is a Bos family farm in Fair Oaks, IN.

Is this the same A.J. Bos?

Is this farm affiliated with Fair Oaks Farms, just a few miles down I-65?

Bos seems HUGE!!!

Looks like they have many farms that do not operate under the Bos name.

Scroll up and see the violations that occured on just that farm.

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Yes, it says that Steve Bos operates Bos Family Farms but mentions nothing about Fair Oaks Farm. I don't think the two are affiliated....

I hope not, anyways. I kinda like the place. I hope their waste management practices aren't so damaging.

www.fofarms.com

 

 

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Sad to hear, really sad. This is hitting home here in Indian as well. In fact, where I grew up there are plans for several CAFO's which is the area containing the headwaters for the White River. I am personally and emotionally connected to this land and it pains me deeply to think that this wondeful river/watershed will be gone before long. Heck, the county commissioners are even on board! They changed the minimum parcel size in Randolph Co. to 50 acres among other things pro CAFO!!!

 

Keep up the fight, as I know you will!!!

 

John Bunner

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I saw one of the most incredible events take place when thousands (literally) rallied to perform a clean-up of the White River. Reading of that has stuck with me to this day.

What an outpouring of support for a watershed.

 

You guys have something special there in a core volunteer base that needs to be harnessed against yet more environmental carnage.

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I saw one of the most incredible events take place when thousands (literally) rallied to perform a clean-up of the White River. Reading of that has stuck with me to this day.

What an outpouring of support for a watershed.

 

You guys have something special there in a core volunteer base that needs to be harnessed against yet more environmental carnage.

 

 

Mike or maybe Tim- Has there been anything done to establish the quality of the watershed as it is right now-pre dairy? Kind of like a standard set? I'm thinking of that program the DNR had a few years ago where people sampled invertabrates. By the type and number, one could guage the water quilty.

 

I can't remember the name of the program.

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The Apple River is part of the IEPA Ambient Water Quality Monitoring Network.

 

I'm not sure if the EPA site is above the dairy or not.

 

Mike's running the adopt a stream program now, so he can comment on what the ISA has in mind out there. I know there was interest in the Apple before I stepped down.

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Mike or maybe Tim- Has there been anything done to establish the quality of the watershed as it is right now-pre dairy? Kind of like a standard set? I'm thinking of that program the DNR had a few years ago where people sampled invertabrates. By the type and number, one could guage the water quilty.

 

I can't remember the name of the program.

 

 

Mark~

 

If you were referring to Indiana then the program name is Hoosier Riverwatchers. Riverwatchers are currently monitoring as well as trying to establish a pre-CAFO base on the watershed. Problem is that we are not "official" as far as the government is concerned so any data we collect or discover has to be verified by IDEM or DNR before anyone listens. It's better than no one watching though.

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Problem is that we are not "official" as far as the government is concerned so any data we collect or discover has to be verified by IDEM or DNR before anyone listens.

 

This is a basic issue with all citizen stream monitoring programs.

 

Before Mike took over the ISA program and I was working on it, I spoke to Prairie Rivers Network about their citizen monitoring program. They have a large program in place but apparently, has had limited influence on problems in streams. PRN felt their program was worthwhile primarily because it generated education and interest about streams and they felt perhaps it was a slight deterrent to people who might want to try funny business.

 

Getting data from the field to the agencies in a form they can trust and use is key part of any program like this.

 

Businesses are often responsive to photographs because they convey data to all audiences in an unambiguous way. In my personal experience, before and after pictures have gotten more changes accomplished more quickly than anything else.

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Tim is spot on with this.

That's why we are including Photo Monitoring for every segment sponsored.

The RiverWatch program has jumped from sponsor to sponsor many times over the years due to limited availability of funds to keep it running.

 

In the spring of 2006, the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC) became the official administrator of the Illinois RiverWatch Program. A generous grant from the Office of Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn and the Illinois River Coordinating Council made it possible to continue to sustain this incredibly valuable program.

I have been in contact with them, and we'll be coordinating efforts in some respect.

 

Before that, Friends of the Fox River maintained the program.

 

PRN coordinates the Stream Team effort.

The Illinois Stream Team is a volunteer monitoring program that allows citizens from across the State of Illinois to monitor the water quality in their local stream or river by testing certain chemical and physical parameters. Stream Team volunteers are provided with training and a monitoring kit, which includes equipment to test for pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen, phosphate, nitrate, alkalinity, total suspended solids, and stream flow.

 

What needs to be pointed out here is that the EPA will not recognize sampling results on the basis of the fact that someone is doing it. In most cases in IL, you need to have a rather solid number of dead fish in order to proceed with an environmental emergency claim.

What is an emergency to you and I is not necessarily the case with state officials.

As well, random analysis of at least 30% of the samples by a chosen lab has typically been the protocol.

If memory serves, it was a scientist at the UIUC.

 

Our needs will initailly be met by the mere fact we are facilitating a means for groups to educate citizens about the importance of their local natural resources.

If we are able to save a few streams in the process, then it will be a bonus.

Everything has to start somewhere, and it will take more than a handful of people to make it grow and evolve into something with bigger ambitions and goals.

 

 

As for the Apple River, it will depend on their watershed organizations doing what it takes to fill in the gaps on water quality and photo monitoring where others left off.

Same goes for every other significant stream in the state.

If there is not currently a group doing these things, the ISA is willing to fill the void.

Will the results of this monitoring make a profound impact?

We aren't even close to making assumptions on that.

 

Will the program make a profound impact in the sense that thousands more people will be coming down to the stream's edge and the surrounding habitat to take a closer look?

That is the first positive we can take to the bank, with many more to come.

 

Remember, this is not just about testing water quality.

The AAS program IS the conservation arm of the ISA in a complete package.

Our focus is on Illinois streams, period. The lifeblood of our efforts.

It also includes clean-ups, storm-drain stenciling, environmental workshops on the water and in the classroom....the list goes on and grows as the program evolves.

In a nutshell, the largest and most comprehensive program of it's kind in the state, and perhaps anywhere.

That is the vision and goal from the outset.

 

More on all of this later.

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