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Monday, May 28, 2007

Blue Springs Recreation Park

Published May 28, 2007
More than 1,500 people spent the day at what was once considered to be northwest, Florida’s best kept secret.

It's located on Blue Springs Highway, just outside of Marianna. The pond is fed by a natural underground aquifer.
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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Ichetucknee tubing season set to get under way

May 25, 2007
Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, and perhaps no local event symbolizes that more than the kickoff of the Ichetucknee tubing season.

Starting Saturday, Ichetucknee Springs State Park allows visitors to float tubes down the 3.5-mile span from the Head Spring to the final takeout point. Until Labor Day, the park allows 750 visitors each day to float that span.
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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Residents fearful proposed water plants will hurt Santa Fe River, aquifer

Published 5/10/2007
The two proposed water plants are within two miles of an existing water plant, CCDA Waters, which is located near Ginnie Springs. The proposed water plants would be located at Lilly Springs in Gilchrist County and July Springs in Columbia County.

At the Lilly Springs location, the applicant has requested to pump one million gallons a day, and at the July Springs location, the applicant has requested to pump 600,000 to 750,000 gallons a day.

The CCDA Waters plant is permitted to pump one million gallons a day.
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Drought keeping manatees out of Ichetucknee River

Published 5/10/2007
Manatees, an endangered species, are on the move in the Santa Fe River, and concerned residents want the public to know to watch out for these gentle giants as boaters travel the river.

A recent drought has caused the water level in the river to be lower than normal, which is affecting a limerock ridge that manatees usually swim over from the Santa Fe River into the Ichetucknee River, said Jim Stevenson, chairman of the Ichetucknee Springs Basin Working Group, a group dedicated to protecting the waters flowing to the Ichetucknee.
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Green dye part of study at Wakulla Springs

Published May 11, 2007
The plume of green dye that showed up at Wakulla Springs today is part of a study to see how dependent Wakulla and nearby Spring Creek are on area groundwater.

The food-grade dye, which is harmless, was injected last Saturday into Turner Sink, about three miles away. Scientists had to use more dye than usual because they're trying to make it to Spring Creek, which is about 10 miles from Wakulla Springs.
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Health risk from springs' pollution not fully known

Published May 13, 2007
Pollution in springs could cause reproductive changes in aquatic species and have implications for human health, according to emerging science on the issue.

Rising nitrate levels in the springs of the Suwannee River basin have long been linked to algae growth that disrupts aquatic ecosystems. But new research suggests nitrates could also affect reproduction and lead to allergic reactions.
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Water trail provides paddlers glimpse at Suwannee's habitat

Published May 13, 2007
The river trail is now becoming reality. Spanning 170 miles, the trail provides paddlers with stops about every 10 miles between White Springs and the Gulf of Mexico.

Harris, who manages the trail for the Florida Park Service, said work on the 17 stops should be completed by late 2008. They include primitive campsites, state parks with cabins and places where paddlers can pull out their boats and get supplies or use restrooms.
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State park slated for the vicinity of spring

Published May 15, 2007
Little River Spring is expected to be the latest Florida state park, continuing a history of public land being bought around springs and along the Suwannee River.

Located 3.5 miles north of Branford, the Suwannee River Water Management District now owns the property around the spring. The state is negotiating with the district to take control and make the land into a state park, according to a state parks department spokeswoman.
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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Run on the Wild Side at Wakulla Springs

Published 4/30/07
Few realize that Wakulla Springs State Park protects 6,000 acres of wilderness. Volunteers plan events such as the recent wildlife festival to showcase some of these remote areas. Members of the Friends of Wakulla Springs State Park also organize one or two excursions annually.

Run for Wakulla is the first time a 5k course has been laid out to offer runners the shade and quietness of the wilderness, with windows onto the Wakulla River.
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Task force on springs likely to receive funding

Published 5/2/07
As Florida's springs continue to face threats from encroaching development and other pollution sources, state lawmakers are poised to back a study on the springs' predicament.

The House has unanimously backed a bill (HB 299) that would create a nine-member Florida Springs Stewardship Task Force that will collect data on the state's 33 largest springs, which each release about 65 million gallons of water a day. The Senate is expected to pass the legislation before the end of the week.
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City unveils $162 million water plan

Published 5/1/07 Tallahassee Democrat
The new plant is part of more than $160 millon in planned improvements to the city's water operations aimed at cutting down on nitrogen that has been seeping into the ground and making its way to Wakulla Springs. Being able to depend on re-used water for irrigation will also preserve the state's groundwater supply for drinking.
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