Pop-up art display highlights ecosystem of NCFL river systems

Pop-up art display highlights ecosystem of NCFL river systems
Published: Dec. 28, 2021 at 4:47 PM EST
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) -Art and conservation collide as North Central Florida environmentalists try to show the public what’s missing from our rivers.

The ‘Free the Ocklawaha River Coalition’ is partnering with the Brick City Center for the Arts to showcase the missing fish of the Ocklawaha, Silver Springs and St. Johns rivers. People are welcome all week to check out the pop-up display from artists based around Florida.

“A lot of that people don’t realize how important that is and I didn’t even understand about the mullet until probably a couple of years ago so it’s the whole ecosystem as Bob and I will say restoring the Silver Springs,” said Chair of Free the Ocklawaha River Coalition, Margaret Spontak. “This is one of the three things that has to happen is restoration of the Ocklawaha.”

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On top of a ‘Great Florida Riverway’ documentary, people were able to meet the artists behind the artwork. The display is meant to inform on how the Ocklawaha, Silver Springs and St. Johns rivers used to look like before certain sea life started disappearing.

“Composite of some of what we say are the missing fish of the Ocklawaha and Silver Springs,” said Spontak. “There are some that are getting up there. There are few that slip through. The locks at Buckman do get up into the river and the hybrid striped bass have been stocked from time to time. But we’ve got this guy, a lot of people don’t think much of but the eels have totally disappeared.”

The display is open at Brick City center in Ocala until Thursday.

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