My Flickr Photos of Springs

Friday, September 29, 2006

State cancels announcement on Avatar

Published Sep. 28, 2006
Friday's public ceremony was to seal the deal on thousands of acres near Silver Springs.

The state's Florida Forever program, which buys land for conservation, has spent money in this year's budget for other projects, Baxley said. So, the state did not have ready funds to buy the more than 4,000 acres of environmentally-sensitive land near Silver Springs owned by Avatar Corp.

The Trust for Public Land, a nonprofit land conservation organization, stepped forward with offers to buy the land and hold it in safekeeping until the state's new budget is approved and Florida Forever has money to buy the land from the Trust, Baxley said

Road Trip Leads to Gators, Birds and Otters

Published Sep 28, 2006
One person's family experience during a recent trip to Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Volunteers vow to weed out invasive plants at park

Published September 27, 2006
Exotic invasive plants are on the most wanted list of dangerous vegetation at DeLeon Springs State Park and this weekend, staff and volunteers will work to eliminate some of the worst non-native plants that cause problems at the park.

The invasive exotic plants are threatening the park's native plant life, as they are in other parts of the state, according to Donna Collins park, service specialist. She will coordinate the exotic plant cleanup, from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday in honor of National Public Lands Day.

State close to deal for Avatar land

Published Sep. 27, 2006
Local officials are optimistic that a deal for the state to buy thousands of acres of environmentally sensitive land near Silver Springs could be completed this week.

Two things must happen first, according to Marion County Commissioner Randy Harris. The governor and Cabinet have to approve the deal, the price of which is still undisclosed, and the board of Avatar Corp., the property owner, would have to accept the state's offer.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Wekiwa is Disneyland of nature

Published September 25, 2006
The largest spring alone releases 42 million gallons of water annually from the underworld, and it might be an even safer place to swim than a chlorinated backyard pool.

But while the broad Wekiwa Springs swimming hole draws the great majority of visitors, another smaller spring on the other side of the park has an entirely different character yet is no less spectacular.

Rock Springs is located within the small, county-owned Kelly Park, adjacent to Wekiwa Springs Park, but the stream flows on to form the northern border of the larger preserve.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Fall Field Trips in Wakulla

The Concerned Citizens of Wakulla (CCOW) will kick off its fall field trips with a work ‘n play adventure at Gremlin Sink on Saturday, September 30

Cal Jamison, Wakulla’s resident Springs Ambassador, will meet participants at 9:00 a.m. on New Light Church Road just west of Crawfordville Hwy (319) in northern Wakulla County. While equipment is readied for the main event, participants will walk to the sinkhole (~ ½ mile) and pick up trash and pull mimosa seedlings on the way.

CCOW is co-sponsoring this event with Wakulla Springs State Park to celebrate National Public Lands Day.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Find books about Florida Springs in WorldCat

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Florida Springs Task Force Leader to Speak at Chipola

Jim Stevenson, former Chief Biologist for the Florida Park System, will discuss the work of the Florida Springs Task Force, Thursday, September 28, at 6:30 p.m., in the Chipola College Arts Center.

Stevenson coordinates the Wakulla Springs Basin and the Ichetucknee Springs Basin Working Groups. During his 20 years with the Florida Park system he developed the educational and the land management programs for the park system. Jim retired in 2003, after 38 years with the Department of Environmental Protection.

For information, call 850-718-2301.

Officials concede protecting water will be challenge

Published September 21, 2006
From pitch-black runoff flowing into Silver Springs to nutrient-rich fertilizers greening the Santa Fe River with algae, the region's drinking and recreational waters are under dire threat, officials said Wednesday.

The summit was held by the Santa Fe Working Group, an initiative by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to protect and improve the water quality of springs. It was at Camp Kulaqua, home of Hornsby Spring.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Task forces are dedicated to restoring our waterways

Published September 20, 2006
In response to concerns for the health of Citrus and Hernando County waterways, the 2003 Florida Legislature created the Citrus/Hernando Waterways Restoration Council.

Charged with developing restoration plans for the Citrus County Tsala Apopka Chain of Lakes and for the Hernando County Weeki Wachee River and Springs, the council has 12 voting members appointed by the president of the Florida Senate and the speaker of the House.

Wakulla Springs Bottled Water Facilitated Public Workshop

Published on September 19, 2006.
Wakulla Senior Center - 33 Michael Drive (Next to Department of Health Building)
Tuesday, October 3, 2006 6:00 – 9:00 PM

The purpose of this workshop is to provide an opportunity for the citizens and leaders of our county to learn more about the plan and process to locate a locally-owned and operated water bottling plant in Wakulla County. It will also provide the public and commissioners an opportunity to ask questions and raise any concerns they may have with this project.

For more Information call 926-7439.

State park to start St. Johns canoe, kayak races

Posted September 20, 2006
Blue Spring State Park will put on a canoe and kayak race Sept. 30 along a 3-mile stretch of the St. Johns River from Blue Spring to Hontoon Island State Park.

The inaugural running of the St. Johns Paddle Battle Canoe and Kayak Race is in conjunction with National Public Lands Day and is designed to redefine the St. Johns as a paddle-friendly river. The race will be broken into a variety of classes based on age, experience and gender.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Quantifying Wakulla Springs

David E. Loper, September 11, 2006
PPT Presentation 5.23 MB (PDF)

Wildlife's welfare is main concern
Published September 19, 2006
A new center at a Homosassa Springs state park will allow staffers to better meet the needs of animals.

Ellie Schiller, director of the Felburn Foundation. ... has donated $1-million to the park in the past two years, with half of that earmarked for the new wildlife care building that got its official start on Monday.

Land lease crux of Weeki Wachee's issue with Swiftmud

Published: Sep 18, 2006
Swiftmud owns the land that encompasses the mermaid attraction. Weeki Wachee has an active lease.

However, Swiftmud would like the attraction, which is owned by the City of Weeki Wachee, to sign a new version of the lease. Weeki Wachee officials refused to sign the new lease due to several clauses they said were unreasonable.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Water specialists urge action before Marion's beautiful springs become a

Published Sep. 15, 2006
"We know that because of the population growth that the water quality of a large number of our springs, including Silver and Rainbow, have been affected," Scott said. "When you see a lot of algae in water that was not there 20 years ago, you wonder why." He said researchers are looking not only at the nitrates but the phosphorus levels, which also come from fertilizers and waste water

The Marion County Commission has been working on developing a springs protection program, which would set goals and objectives to be incorporated into the comprehensive plan and land development codes that regulate how property may be developed in spring shed areas.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Boat Accident Caused By Jumping Fish

Published: Sep 15, 2006
Jesse Carr, 51, was traveling about 40 mph along the river in Dixie County when the sturgeon jumped in front of his boat, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission said in a news release issued Friday. Carr swerved to avoid the fish and the boat crashed into a concrete support piling of a trestle bridge, the release said.

Fish change eating habits as autumn approaches

Published September 15. 2006
Leaping Suwannee River sturgeon have made the news lately in a negative light, having seriously injured boaters on the Suwannee. Each was just doing what they do - boaters boat and sturgeons jump. The sturgeon population seems to have grown greatly of late, and the U.S. Geological Survey is performing a census of Gulf sturgeon in the Suwannee River.

The group spends Wednesdays on the river near Fanning Springs, and is looking for volunteers to help temporarily capture, measure, weigh, and tag the big fish.

A red mark on springs protection

Published Sep. 15, 2006
This weekend marks the fifth annual Marion County Springs Festival, a chance for us to get a renewed perspective on and appreciation for these natural wonders. The event features arts and entertainment, but the real value is the educational experience, the chance to learn about the springs, what we've done to them and what needs to be done to keep them thriving.

As Stevenson said, "we look at that pretty water flowing out of the ground and think it's got to be pure, and it's not anymore."

And despite the fact that Bush and the Legislature have set aside $2.5 million a year for springs protection, he added, "It just goes to show that we're very poor housekeepers. We're sloppy with our fertilizer and our sewage disposal. We need to do better."

Marion County Springs Festival

First tourism conference succeeds

Published September 15, 2006
The first-ever conference of several area chambers of commerce brought about 100 people together Sept. 11 so that they could share insight about networking with other business interests and improving their services for customers.

Florida's Pure Water Wilderness, which is also known as the Dixie-Gilchrist-Levy Tourist Development Board, coordinated the event held in a large church in Levy County just south of Trenton.

Fanning Springs and Manatee Springs state parks ... are a couple of the keystone parts of a complete Nature Coast eco-tourism area, which stretches out to the beaches of Cedar Key as well as inland to the many other springs in the area, and along the Suwannee River.

Ichetucknee Springs: Best time to go is now!

Published Sep 15, 2006
On summer weekends, as many as 3,000 people wedge themselves into inner tubes to float a 3-mile section of North Florida's Ichetucknee Springs State Park near Fort White. Pushed by the Ichetucknee River's gentle 1 mph current, the ride takes almost 3 1/2 hours, often in very noisy company.

But after Labor Day the crowds thin and only the 1.7-mile southern stretch of the Ichetucknee remains open -- a 90-minute float. This is my favorite time for tubing the amazingly clear stream, which is so pristine that in bright sun the sand bottom almost looks like it's sparkling. The river's remarkable clarity is due to the 233 million gallons of 73-degree water poured into it daily by nine springs.

Lecture Series Slated with River Exhibit at Chipola

Published September 15, 2006
The series opens with a meeting of the Blue Springs Working Group, Thursday, September 21, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the Chipola Arts Center. The public is invited to attend. For information, call Vicki Mathis at 850-718-2289.

On Thursday, September 28, at 6:30 p.m., Jim Stevenson, former chief biologist for the Florida Park System, will discuss the work of the Florida Springs Task Force.

On Friday, September 29, at 10 a.m., Edd Sorensen, certified cave diver and dive shop owner on Merritt’s Mill Pond, will discuss Blue Springs and underwater caverns.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Anderson Spring (Suwannee County)

Not a good place for swimming for little children.

Steep incline leads down to Suwannee River

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County looks to take steps to protect springs

Published September 13, 2006
Stricter regulations on development in parts of Alachua County will likely be needed to curb pollution of springs and groundwater after dye testing showed how quickly water travels underground to the Santa Fe River, county officials said Tuesday.

Environmental Protection Director Chris Bird said it is likely regulations will be sought eventually. Bird said a first step will be taken next week with a multi-county summit on spring protection that will bring together scientists, public officials and others to discuss worsening water quality.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Suwannee Springs (Suwannee County)

Suwannee Springs was one of Florida's original tourist destinations. The springhouse was probably established around the time of the Civil War. People came from all around the east coast to partake the "healing spring waters" which were rumored to cure everything from go to marital problems. From the Civil War to the 1920's the site had a succession of 4 wooden hotels, a bath house, and many private cottages. A special spur railroad line was established just to handle the tourists to the springs. The last hotel burned in 1925 and with the decline of the railroads the resort faded away. Today, the springhouse and some private cabins on adjacent property is all that is left of the site. (From sign in park)
Pictures taken 9/9/2006

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Fanning Springs State Park (Levy County)

18020 N.W. Highway 19
Fanning Springs, Florida 32693
Phone: 352-463-3420
Hours: Open from 8 a.m. until sundown 365 days a year
Cost: $4 per vehicle
Located on U.S. Hwy. 19/98 in the town of Fanning Springs.

Video taken 9/3/2006 (Requires Flash Player Ver. 8.0 or higher)

Pictures taken 9/3/2006

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More Info:
Florida Online Park Guide

A River in Danger -- Algae killing Ichetucknee Springs

Published September 7, 2006
Experts attribute the changes to development - particularly spray fields, septic tanks and stormwater that carry nitrates - in and around the Ichetucknee Springs Basin.

Up to 5,000 tubers per day float the river, adding up to 200,000 people per year who bring about $23 million to the area.

Week shines light on water conservation

Published September 6, 2006
Save Our Waters Week, established in Citrus County in September 1996 by Citrus 20/20 Inc., promotes public awareness, education and consensus to save the county's treasured waters. Save Our Waters Week is committed to focusing public attention on preserving Citrus' aquifers, springs, rivers, lakes and coastal estuaries.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Irwin's Silver Springs visit remembered fondly

Published September 05. 2006
Steve Specht, marketing director of Silver Springs, said he joined Irwin when he filmed a segment of "The Crocodile Hunter" at the park in 1999. Specht said he watched Irwin swim alongside an alligator in the Silver River.

In and around Silver Springs, Irwin also found a large snapping turtle, searched in vain for cottonmouths and tapped Sobek, a 15-foot-long crocodile weighing 2,000 pounds, the largest American crocodile in captivity, on the nose, Specht said.

FWC officers crack down on wildlife management area

Posted on 8/14/2006
Near Weeki Wachee, Florida - Florida Fish and Wildlife officers are cracking down on a problem in a state wildlife management area in Hernando County.

People have been abusing part of the Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area along the Weeki Wachee River.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Florida, not valley, warned of leaping sturgeons

Folks boating on the Suwannee River in Florida will now be greeted by signs with this message: Warning: Fish May Jump. The Suwannee has had six sturgeon jumping accidents this year — probably a record. The gulf sturgeon in Florida are the closest relative of the Atlantic sturgeon we have in the Hudson River, and both can reach eight feet and weigh close to 200 pounds.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Manatee Springs State Park (Levy County)

11650 N.W. 115th St.
Chiefland, Florida 32626
Phone: 352-493-6072
Hours: Open from 8 a.m. until sundown 365 days a year
Cost: $4 per vehicle
Located at the end of S.R. 320, off U.S. 98, six miles west of Chiefland.

According to a sign in the park Manatee Springs is the largest spring flowing directly into the Suwannee River. Canoe rentals are available within park.

Video taken 9/3/2006 (Requires Flash Player Ver. 8.0 or higher)

Pictures taken 9/3/2006

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More Info:
Florida Parks Online Guide