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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Guaranto Spring (Dixie County)

The Florida Geological Survey - Bulletin #66 on pg 84 refers to this spring as Guaranto Spring even though locally it is also known as “Gronto” or “Gornto” Spring (as sign had it).

(This spring is located inside of a county park and has a boat ramp leading to the Suwannee River)








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More Info:
Florida Springs Database

Saving our springs

Posted October 30, 2006
Conservation is key in keeping the water flowing

Some of Central Florida's springs may grow drier if the increasing human demand on the region's underground water supply continues.

In Rock and Wekiwa springs, which are surrounded by booming development in Orange and Seminole counties, flows are expected to decrease by close to 10 percent by 2025.

Officials Plan to Keep Counties Wet

Published October 30, 2006
Regional water officials are banding together to figure out how to supply water to fuel exploding population growth without causing serious environmental damage or spending years in court.

The evaluations are intended to avoid further environmental damage that could affect such things as spring flow and maintenance of natural wetlands.
Source

Mystery of Florida's Giant Jumping Sturgeon Solved?

Published October 30, 2006
Ken Sulak, a biologist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Gainesville, Florida, thinks he has found the answer.

The sounds jumping sturgeons make are distinct from the sounds of other jumping fish, Sulak says. He believes the jumping is a form of communication that sturgeons use to connect with larger groups and maintain community cohesion.
Source

Hart Springs Park (Gilchrist County)

(A Gilchrist County Park)
4240 SW 86th Ave, Bell, FL
(352) 463-3444
Cost $2 per person ages 5-59, $1 per person age 60 and over
Excellent, very family friendly.
Hours Memorial Day through Labor Day: 9:00 a.m.- 9:00 p.m.
Rest of the Year: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Pictures taken 10/30/2006


2nd opening













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More Information:
Florida Springs Database - Hart Springs

Hart Springs Website
Hart Springs Diving & Guide Information

Springs Fever:
A Field & Recreation Guide...

Monday, October 30, 2006

Otter Springs (Gilchrist County)

(Part of the Otter Springs RV Resort)
6470 SW 80th Ave.
Trenton, FL 32693
Contact:1-800-883-9107

Pictures taken 10/30/2006




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More Info:
Otter Springs RV Resort Homepage

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Capturing 'rural America'

Published October 27, 2006
After each event day and on Sunday, the artwork will go on sale at the High Springs Gallery, where part of the proceeds will go to Current Problems, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of the area's natural waterways.

"We're trying to make people aware of our water systems," said Dan Rountree, the president of Current Problems, better known by its most recognized program, Adopt-A-River. "It's especially important to this area since we're surrounded by places like Ginnie Springs, Poe Springs, Blue Springs."
Source

Commission ponders preservation of springs

Published Oct. 25, 2006
Enhanced septic systems could reduce nitrogen pollution.

"The conventional household septic system puts out about 24 pounds of nitrogen each year," said Troy Kuphal, the water resource manager at the Planning Department. There are 100,000 septic systems in Marion County and 100,000 other vested properties, which would need septic systems.
Source

Marion County land buy bars development plans

Published October 24, 2006
A 4,500-acre swath of environmentally sensitive land north of Ocala that developers once planned to flatten and carve into a 14,000-home subdivision will be spared that fate.

Florida Department of Environmental Protection officials announced Monday they struck a deal with Avatar Properties Inc. to buy the mixed farm and forest land for $76.2 million and turn the area that helps replenish the pristine Silver River into conservation land.
Source

Deal protects Silver Springs site

Posted October 24, 2006
The state's $76 million agreement would halt development near the famous bubbling waters.

On Monday, state officials announced an agreement with help from Marion County and The Nature Conservancy environmental group to safeguard a huge area just north of Silver Springs.
Source

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

DeLeon Springs Clean-up

Date: October 28, 2006
Come out and plan to clean up the community and springhead of DeLeon Springs. Meet at the Wachovia Bank, 5065 N. U.S. Highway 17, De Leon Springs. Participants will be assigned an area to pick up trash in the DeLeon Springs area. After the clean up, participants will be provided free admission to DeLeon Springs State Park, where a complimentary lunch will be served. Participants are encouraged to wear sunglasses, hat, sunscreen, work gloves, and comfortable clothing. For more information, or to register on line (required), go to Volusia Clean Up This clean up is being held in conjunction with National Make A Difference Day.
Fees: Entrance fees are waived for participants
Contact: Tom Carey 386-736-5927 ext. 2073
Source

Residents: Spring Creek Not Flowing

Published Oct 19, 2006 The Wakulla News
The largest spring in Florida has reportedly stopped flowing. Or at least it's discharging a lot less than normal.

Spring Creek, as the dozen or so submarine springs that produce more freshwater than any ohter springs in the state are called, have not been flowing for the past several weeks according to nearby residents.

The springs that once boiled up water into the bay are now apparently running like a vortex at high tide, drawing saltwater underground.
See Spring has mystery drought - Tallahassee Democrat Article

County to consider land purchase

Published 10/21/06
On Tuesday, the Board of County Commissioners will mull the purchase of three contiguous parcels of environmentally sensitive land located in Warm Mineral Springs. Each consisting of .23 of an acre, the parcels border Warm Mineral Springs Creek near the intersection of Granada Drive and Isabel Street in the unincorporated area of Sarasota County near North Port.
Source

Manatees Seek Power Plants, Warm Springs as Safe Havens

Published October 20, 2006
Some manatees seek shelter here in the Suwannee River, which runs through northern Florida into the Gulf of Mexico.

It is the only undisturbed river system in the southeastern United States. The river's thick mats of sea grasses and temperate springs, which stay at 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius) year round, provide refuge for hundreds of manatees.
Source

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Manatees Seek Power Plants, Warm Springs as Safe Havens

Published 10/20/2006 National Geographic
Some manatees seek shelter here in the Suwannee River, which runs through northern Florida into the Gulf of Mexico.

It is the only undisturbed river system in the southeastern United States. The river's thick mats of sea grasses and temperate springs, which stay at 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius) year round, provide refuge for hundreds of manatees.

Thanks in part to strong protection efforts, Florida's manatee numbers today have been boosted to about 3,500 animals
Source

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Manatee Collisions Won't Get Law-Abiding Boaters Citations

Published 10/18/06
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) said today, boaters who comply with manatee speed zones won’t get citations if they strike manatees.

Officials said cooler weather will cause manatees to begin their annual migration from open water to warm-water springs and power plant discharges, leaving the slow-moving sea cows vulnerable to speeding and even slow-moving vessels. Law-abiding boaters who strike a manatee or observe a manatee hit by another vessel can call the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 1-888-404-3922 without fear of a citation. Boaters should be prepared to provide the incident location, weather conditions, boat specifications and other relevant information.
Source

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Rainbow Springs State Park (Marion County)

19158 S.W. 81st Pl. Rd.
Dunnellon, Florida 34432
Phone: 352-465-8555
Cost: $1 per person
Note: Water depth was at least 5 feet or more near swimming area. Not recommended for small children.

Driving Directions:
From I-75, exit at the second Ocala exit onto State Road 40. Take State Road 40, west. Drive until it deadends at U.S. 41. Turn left, the park entrance is on the left-hand side of the road

Pictures taken 10/5/2006














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More Info:
Rainbow Springs State Park

Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park (Citrus County)

4150 S. Suncoast Blvd.
Homosassa, Florida 34446
Phone: 352-628-5343
(1st Magnitude Spring)

Pictures taken 10/7/2006



















Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

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Weeki Wachee Springs State Park (Hernando County)

http://www.weekiwachee.com/
6131 Commercial Way, Weeki Wachee, Florida 34606
Phone: (352)596-2062
(1st Magnitude Spring)

Pictures taken 10/6/2006





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More Info:
Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
Weeki Wachee Spring 2007 Exploration Report

Monday, October 16, 2006

Ichetucknee River, its beauty will be focus of Save Our Suwannee meeting with presentation by artist

Published October 16, 2006
The free meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17 at the Ichetucknee Springs State Park Education Center. The building is located just inside the southern entrance to Ichetucknee State Park, four miles west of Fort White on U.S. 27.

For more information, call Loye Barnard 386-497-3536.
Source

Regional water policy is more stick than carrot

Published 10/13/06
The vast majority of potable water used in Charlotte County comes from one source, the Peace River via the DeSoto water treatment plant operated by the Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority

It's called regionalization. In the coming decades, the extent to which local governments "buy into" the concept will determine how much they have to invest in water projects.
Source

The final word on our water

Published Oct. 13, 2006
In what is being reported as an unprecedented step and a monumental level of cooperation, three of the state's five water management districts have tentatively agreed to adopt new regional regulations that will force Central Florida water providers to develop alternative sources in less than a decade or forget about increasing their future withdrawls from the Floridan aquifer, the underground source of almost the entire state's fresh water supply.

On Tuesday, the St. Johns River Water Management District became the first of the trio - along with the Southwest Florida and South Florida districts - to approve the plan, which pertains to all of Polk, Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties plus the southern portion of Lake County and the city of Cocoa in Brevard County. In essence, all of Orlando and its sprawling suburbs, where the three districts come together.
Source

Nature flows on tour of discovery

Published October 14, 2006
If you're in the mood for a nice boat tour of an outstanding waterway, head over to the "Discover Your Wildlife Refuge Festival" in Crystal River today .

This is the first of the fall outdoors festivals, and the mood is relaxed, mainly due to the picturesque waterfront setting, the cool weather and the live music.
Source

Water district set for aquifer vote

Posted October 10 2006
Environmentalists worry that manatees will suffer if the flow rate at Blue Spring is reduced by aquifer pumps.

Volusia utilities have already started discussing construction of a plant that would convert the St. Johns River into drinking water. District officials want to require them to have that plant in operation by 2018.
Source

Panel urges septic-tank standards

Published October 12, 2006 Tallahassee Democrat
An advisory committee is recommending that advanced septic tank systems be required in southern Leon County to protect Wakulla Springs.

The springs have become choked with weeds and algae in recent years. Scientists say nitrogen from septic tanks and Tallahassee's wastewater spray field are likely feeding the plant growth.
Source

Blue Spring minimum flow set over manatee protest

Published October 11, 2006
The St. Johns River Water Management District approved a minimum long-term flow for Blue Spring Tuesday, vowing to restore the spring's flow to its long-term average.

The district, required by state law to set the flow, will phase it in by five-year increments until it reaches the long-term average of 157 cubic feet per second in 2024. That allows for a 15 percent decrease in the spring flow until 2009. But, district officials say that won't have negative impacts on the manatees, even though their numbers are expected to continue rising.
Source

Blue Spring water can flow less freely

Posted October 11, 2006 Orange Sentinel
Less-stringent limits balance needs of man and manatee, leaders say.
The Blue Spring flow was decided on a day when officials with the St. Johns River Water Management District also wrestled with how to curb Central Florida's addiction to underground water supplies.

The Blue Spring regulation, which establishes a legal minimum for the average spring flow, should be used as a clear limit on how much groundwater can be used for Volusia utilities, district officials said.
Source

Water district launches plan to cap aquifer withdrawals

Posted October 10, 2006 Orange Sentinel
The St. Johns River Water Management District today launched an ambitious plan to cut off increases in pumping of underground water by 2013.

Environmental experts worry that taking too much water from the Floridan Aquifer -- more than the roughly 600 million gallons daily pumped by Central Florida utilities -- will dry out springs and wetlands.
Source

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Checking in on our sea cows

Published October 9, 2006
A virus has kept park manatees in quarantine for nine years. Two that are being studied at an Ohio zoo are showing improvement.

Manatee experts have long theorized that the Homosassa manatees could be showing the virus because they live all their time in relatively fresh water from the springs and cold water. The headwaters of the Homosassa River remain around 72 degrees year round.
Source

Water managers reviewing Blue Spring water-flow goals

Published October 09, 2006
After taking another look at long-term conservation goals for Blue Spring, regional water managers have decided to speed up their timeline for increasing the average water flow because the spring is so popular with manatees.

The St. Johns River Water Management District has been trying to set a minimum average flow mark for the spring for 10 years. The targets are required by state law to help water districts review water use requests. The districts are charged with making sure the state's groundwater supplies aren't overused to the point that it causes environmental damage.
Source

Jumping Jehoshaphat! Beware Leaping Fish

Published: Oct 8, 2006
The recent case of two Plant City residents injured when their boat crashed after a sturgeon nearly jumped aboard on the Suwannee River is not nearly such an isolated incident as it seems.

The incidents are likely on the rise because gulf sturgeon have now been protected from all harvest since 1991, and appear to be making a strong comeback on a number of north Florida rivers. The species was commercially harvested to the brink of extinction in the early 1900s, with the slaughter including destruction of a large population in the Hillsborough River.
Source

Spring cleaning

Published October 8, 2006, Tallahassee Democrat
Wakulla sets a great example

In a unanimous vote, Wakulla County commissioners put new environmental safeguards into place to protect Wakulla Springs, which is not just a local and regional asset, but a state and national treasure whose protection is an obligation of responsible stewardship.

In so doing, Wakulla became the first Florida county to adopt tough spring-protection standards, which Department of Community Affairs Secretary Thaddeus Cohen hailed as "by far the strongest yet adopted by any Florida local government." The new rules require the state's blessing, but given the DCA's enthusiasm, that's probably only a formality.
Source

Thursday, October 05, 2006

New policies boost spring safeguards

Published October 4, 2006, Tallahassee Democrat
The Wakulla County Commission unanimously approved policies requiring setbacks from some sinkholes and springs. New developments also must use advanced septic-tank systems that reduce nitrogen seeping into the groundwater.

State officials heralded the Wakulla County Commission's unanimous vote Monday. They said Wakulla became the first county in the state to adopt standards to protect springs.
Source

Wakulla moves to protect groundwater

Published October 3, 2006, Tallahassee Democrat
The County Commission approved policies requiring setbacks from sinkholes and springs for new development. Those developments also must use advanced septic tank systems that reduce nitrogen seeping into the groundwater.
Source

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Bottled water workshop Tuesday

Published October 2, 2006
Wakulla Springs Bottled Water is holding a workshop Tuesday on its proposal to build a water-bottling plant near Wakulla Springs State Park.

The workshop will be held at the Wakulla Senior Center at 33 Michael Drive from 6 to 9 p.m. For more information, call 926-7439.
Source

Sinkhole free of its Gremlin

Published October 2, 2006 Tallahassee Democrat
Beneath 33 feet of water, logs, leaves and debris sat a Honda Civic. To celebrate National Public Land Day on Saturday, Cal Jamison and the Concerned Citizens of Wakulla got it pulled out.

The word is that years ago, a Wakulla County Sheriff's diver identified the vehicle as an AMC Gremlin, which is why it's called Gremlin Hole.

Jamison, the Wakulla Springs ambassador, .. has detailed and cataloged 460 sinkholes in the park and plans more trips and projects like this in the future. .... his mission to protect the sinkholes because they're connected to the aquifer, which supplies drinking water.
Source

The faithful gather for Ichetucknee baptisms

Published October 02, 2006
Almost 400 years ago in 1616, Columbia County's first church held baptisms in the Ichetucknee River

On Sunday, parishioners from several churches revived the tradition by coming out en masse to reaffirm their faith.

Years ago when the springs were polluted, such a ceremony would have been much less likely. In cleanups over the years, Ichetucknee Springs State Park staff have uncovered bricks, bottles, even an old revolver on the floor of the water body. Their work to clean and protect the springs continues.
Source

Monday, October 02, 2006

Three blooms are bad news for Florida

Published 10/01/2006
Researchers at the Florida Department of Health's harmful algal bloom seminar this week tackled policy ques- tions, talked about what they've learned and discussed the focus of future research into the blooms...
Source

Underwater Lion

Photographer, philanthropist honored Mozert's work called 'pivotal' to park success
Published Oct. 1, 2006

Bruce Mozert has helped people see for about 70 years, either through his lens or a pair of their own.

As the official publicity photographer of Silver Springs Attraction during its heyday, Mozert is credited with inventing underwater photography. His lens introduced an international audience to the Springs' crystal clear waters and the park's "mermaids" - attractive swimsuit models posed underwater in an array of everyday activities like swinging a golf club or playing cards.
Source

Researchers worry about algae toxins in water supply

Published October 01, 2006
Florida is home to more kinds of toxic algae and cyanobacteria than anywhere else in the United States and perhaps the world.

Better known as pond scum, cyanobacteria can look like green hair or like someone dumped bright green paint on the water.

Blooms of several species are showing up more and more in Florida's springs, lakes and rivers, and along its coasts, mostly where rivers bring runoff to the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico.
Source

The River Wild

Published October 01, 2006
Nothing could be more intimidating than the bumper sticker on the station wagon in front of me Saturday. I followed the threatening slogan into Blue Spring State Park for Paddle Battle, the area's first-ever kayak and canoe race.

Paddle Battle was organized by Erik Peterson, a 24-year-old AmeriCorps service volunteer, as a chance to appreciate parks on National Public Lands Day. A lighthearted but energetic group of 25 kayakers and one canoe duo took up the challenge.
Source