DRAFT EIS: Wild and Scenic River Study, Environmental Impact Statement, Loxahatchee River, Florida, 1982

Wild and Scenic River Studies, Loxahatchee River, archives of Fred van Vonno

Loxahatchee Lesson 1

Loxahatchee Lesson 2

Loxahatchee Lesson 3 updated!

Loxahatchee Lesson 4

Loxahatchee Lesson 5 

Loxahatchee Lesson 6

Loxahatchee Lesson 7 

~History of Florida’s Wild and Scenic Loxahatchee

In the lessons above, I have been sharing the archives of Mr Fred van Vonno who worked as a Planner (GS-11) from June 1978 until 1982 for the Department of Interior, National Park Service, Regional Office, Atlanta Georgia.

According to his wife, Nicki, his work involved assessing the recreational potential of rivers and trails and Fred was the Study Coordinator for the Loxahatchee and Myakka Wild and Scenic River studies. 

One of the documents Mr van Vonno saved was the 1982 Wild and Scenic River Study, Draft  Environmental Impact Statement.  This declaration led to the Loxahatchee River being designated Florida’s first Wild and Scenic River. An incredible feat! 

You may ask, “what is an Environmental Impact Statement anyway?” Basically, it is a rigorous requirement of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1970 and thankfully it is still protecting the environment even today. 

The FINAL Loxahatchee EIS is available on line. As of publishing this blog post, the DRAFT is too. It is always interesting to see the evolution of a document and to see what ends up on its pages, and what does not…

Please see link below for the DRAFT Wild and Scenic River Study, Environmental Impact Statement, July 1982, Loxahatchee River, Florida and thank you Mr van Vonno for saving! 


Excerpt from the Environmental Protection Agency

What is the National Environmental Policy Act?

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was signed into law on January 1, 1970. NEPA requires federal agencies to assess the environmental effects of their proposed actions prior to making decisions. The range of actions covered by NEPA is broad and includes:

  • making decisions on permit applications,
  • adopting federal land management actions, and
  • constructing highways and other publicly-owned facilities.

Using the NEPA process, agencies evaluate the environmental and related social and economic effects of their proposed actions. Agencies also provide opportunities for public review and comment on those evaluations.

On this page:

  • What does NEPA require?
  • How do federal agencies carry out the NEPA requirements?

What does NEPA require?

Title I of NEPA contains a Declaration of National Environmental Policy. This policy requires the federal government to use all practicable means to create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony.

Section 102 in Title I of the Act requires federal agencies to incorporate environmental considerations in their planning and decision-making through a systematic interdisciplinary approach. Specifically, all federal agencies are to prepare detailed statements assessing the environmental impact of and alternatives to major federal actions significantly affecting the environment. These statements are commonly referred to as Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) and Environmental Assessments (EA).

Title II of NEPA established the President’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to oversee NEPA implementation. The duties of CEQ include:

  • Ensuring that federal agencies meet their obligations under NEPA
  • Overseeing federal agency implementation of the environmental impact assessment process
  • Issuing regulations and other guidance to federal agencies regarding NEPA compliance.

Learn more about the National Environmental Policy Act.



5 thoughts on “DRAFT EIS: Wild and Scenic River Study, Environmental Impact Statement, Loxahatchee River, Florida, 1982

  1. Thank you. Are the “3 new tollways to nowhere” receiving Federal funds? Or are the $700 million coming from Floridians’ taxes. Are there rivers in that area of FL that will be impacted?
    I know you are mainly concerned with our area, and you certainly have enough on your plate, so you don’t have to reply. Is the “River of Grass” considered a “wild and scenic river”, or just a “swamp”? Again, just wondering.

    1. Helen I do not think those awful highways are yet to that point. I think some of them are tied up in law suits. I hope the lawyer win. The River of Grass is not considered a wild and scenic river. Would not that have been a wonderful thing if it were. First it would have to be a flowing river again. Presently there is much in the way. You might enjoy Friends of the Everglades if you are a facebook person. Eve Samples is their new CEO and she post quite a bit about South Florida and Marjory Stoneman Douglas’ River of Grass. I do dream that one day it will flow again.

      1. Thank you. We’re almost 80, and my husband refuses to allow me to go on Facebook, or even have a “smartphone”. I am glad Eve got the job, and we do try to do what we can.
        It’s incredible to read in “The Quartermaster”, by Robert O’Morrow, about the ACE rebuilding the Capitol, making aqueducts, and even then, doing all kinds of projects on the Mississippi.
        We’re from IL, so know the consequences to Louisiana. Your aerial and satellite photos hopefully inform and educate. Thanks again

  2. Was in my boat on south fork of Sebastion River yesterday. There is a very live and healthy oyster population milles from lagoon (up river) it is obvious that winding river must cotinuosly turn pockets of calcium sand to liquid and change course otherwise these millions of oysters would starve to death.

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