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Safe Water for Walton Presents An Evening with Cynthia Barnett

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What: Safe Water for Walton Presents An Evening with Cynthia Barnett
When: Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Time: 5:30 pm
Where: South Walton High School Auditorium

Safe Water for Walton Presents: An Evening with Cynthia Barnett at South Walton High School Auditorium on Wednesday, July 25. A reception will be held at 5:30pm, the presentation at 6:30pm followed by a book signing. Purchase ticketes online now:

Join us for an exciting and rare evening with Florida's own Cynthia Barnett! This National Book Award nominee, award-winning journalist and now a University of Florida professor, Cynthia Barnett is the author of 3 critically acclaimed books! 

All event proceeds and book sales will benefit Safe Water for Walton, a local non-profit organization established in 2017, and run 100% by community leaders with no overhead. This event is FREE for Safe Water for Walton members who join by July 15.

Reception: 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Program: 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Book-signing: 7:30

In Spring 2018, Safe Water for Walton started to accept membership support and has successfully launched projects such as "Operation Medicine Cabinet," which will be an annual event. Membership information is available here.

More information about Cynthia Barnett:

Safe Water for Walton has reeled in a TEDx speaker and renowned global environmental writer for its inaugural community conversation headliner.

Award-winning journalist Cynthia Barnett is a popular global reporter. Her large-auditorium stage appearance in the Panhandle is rare. Her lecture, followed by a book-signing for attendees, includes:

  • What is the history of water in Florida?
  • What about those majestic freshwater springs that gush millions of gallons of freshwater up from underground? 
  • How is state public policy changing around water policy?
  • What’s the national scene like?

Barnett has won many national awards for her reporting as a newspaper journalist, as well as her decades-long academic study of water-related issues. Her writing appears in National Geographic, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Salon, Politico, Discover, and other publications.

Barnett is the first national headliner, on July 25, for what the non-profit membership group hopes will be a major annual event. The event will be at the South Walton High School Auditorium in Santa Rosa Beach.

“We are thrilled to present someone who has traveled the world on assignment—and yet also has dedicated the past 30 years in equal measure to the public’s understanding of our water resources in the Sunshine State,” said Kelly Layman, a founding Board member of Safe Water for Walton.

Barnett is a professor at the University of Florida and is at work on a soon-to-be-published fourth book. Her three best-sellers the past decade are:
“Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S.”—named one of the top 10 books that every Floridian should read.
“Blue Revolution: Unmaking America's Water Crisis”—named by The Boston Globe as one of the top 10 science books of 2011.
Her latest, “Rain: A Natural and Cultural History,” was a finalist for the National Book Award, and the PEN/E.O. Wilson Award for Literary Science Writing. It was also named a best book of the year by The Boston Globe, The Miami Herald and others.

Tickets are just $15 each and must be purchased in advance online:

Barnett’s books can be purchased at the event—and even reserved online in advance for faster pick-up on-site. Attendees are asked to only purchase at the event. Proceeds benefit Safe Water for Walton and the South Walton High School Environmental Club.

Members of Safe Water for Walton and event sponsors receive free tickets. There are 750 seats maximum at the venue. New memberships done online by July 15 also receive free tickets: Individuals ($30)—1 ticket; Family memberships ($50)—2 tickets; and Corporate members ($100)—3 tickets along with other benefits.

“We could not have this event without the support of generous corporate underwriters—especially the Walton County School District and the School Board, our major partners for the next Safe Water for Walton ‘2019 Operation Medicine Cabinet’,” said Board member Katie Fuentes.

“Operation Medicine Cabinet” is part of a national movement to keep medicines out of the public water supply chain, because they are not regulated as are other pollutants and chemicals, and are causing widespread health challenges for both wildlife and humans.

Safe Water for Walton brought that event to Walton for the first time in March 2018. The group is finalizing logistics for the next collection event. Dates and collection sites will be announced later this year on the Facebook page: Safe Water for Walton.

As the Panhandle population continues to increase, the group’s leaders say it’s critical to focus more on water supply protections for the wildlife and recreation we all enjoy—and for safe water quality at homes and businesses.

The non-profit was galvanized into being by a State permit application—which is still pending—for a deep injection well an hour northeast of Walton. The express purpose of the uncapped well drilled one mile down would be for landfill “leachate,” a highly toxic mix containing heavy metals, chemicals, and other pollutants. 

With the support of area businesses, the group has been hosted at a few membership drive events since March, including a major benefit with “Cabana at The Seaside Style” in Seaside. It launched a membership program in the spring because more and more year-round residents from a six-county region, plus second-homeowners and visitors, were asking how they can help. The impacted regional watershed covers parts or all of Walton, Jackson, Okaloosa, Holmes, Washington, and Bay counties.


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Ticket Price
  • $15 general admission
  • $20 general admission & book
  • free admission: Safe Water for Walton members

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