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Thursday, July 19, 2007

The City of Mermaids celebrates turning 60

Published Jul. 19, 2007
Diving 30 feet deep in Weeki Wachee Spring, I bear no resemblance whatsoever to the lovely mermaids who perform underwater ballet in this submerged theater three times a day.

...divers from Karst Underwater Research, Inc. made earlier this summer upon entering the Weeki Wachee cave for the first time. The explorers have mapped nearly 3,000 feet of passage beneath the main spring to a vertical depth of nearly 400 feet, making Weeki Wachee perhaps the deepest underwater cave system in the U.S.
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Area events (Hernando Today)

Published: Jul 16, 2007
A three-day celebration is scheduled for July 27-29 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Weeki Wachee Springs, the City of Live Mermaids.

The three-day event will include a mermaid reunion, with mermaids representing six decades of mermaid magic. Also scheduled that weekend is the opening of the Weeki Wachee Springs historical museum.

For more information, call 596-2062, or visit www.weekiwachee.com
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Possible new bottling plants raise concern

Published July 17, 2007
Currently, Coca-Cola's plant in High Springs is the only active water-bottling operation along the Santa Fe. But if four more planned permits move forward, they could mean a combined billion gallons pulled each year from springs feeding a three-mile stretch of the river.

Bottling supporters say the plants use relatively little groundwater. About 1 percent of the water withdrawals in the Suwannee River district go to bottling, as compared to 32 percent for agriculture, according to district figures.
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Wakulla Springs State Park Offers "Life" Lesson to Campers

Published 07-16-2007
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Wakulla Springs State Park hosted summer campers this past Thursday from Florida State University’s Camp Flastacowo participating in activities developed for DEP’s LIFE (Learning in Florida’s Environment) program. The students conducted labs measuring water temperature and giant shade trees, discovering exactly what makes the park such a ‘cool’ summer experience.
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Rain deficit is rapidly drying up wells

More than 50 wells have dried up in the Suwannee water district since April.
Published Jul. 14, 2007

Rainfall in the district is down 17 inches from average over the past 12 months, the eighth-driest period since 1932, according to a report released last week. The district includes parts of 15 North Florida counties, including a section of Alachua County.

Parts of the Suwannee and Santa Fe rivers set June records and are nearing historically low levels. The Suwannee's Big Shoals near White Springs is the state's only Class III whitewater rapids in normal conditions. Today there isn't enough water for a kayak to pass over exposed rocks.
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At the end of the Rainbow

Published Jul. 8, 2007 Opinion
With 17,000 homesites already approved for development - some OK'd as far back as the 1960s - their fear is justified. With nitrate levels in the Rainbow River up 500 percent over the past 50 years, it's scientific fact that more isn't better for the Rainbow.

But allowing building on the slopes of Rainbow Springs is not how to develop. Allowing 17,000 homes to be built where they're unwanted is not how to develop. Keeping on keeping on, when we have endless examples of Florida development disasters to reference, is not how to develop.
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Volusia's hot cool spots

Published July 8, 2007
In southwest Volusia, residents can escape the heat by taking a dip at Blue Spring State Park. The park in Orange City charges $5 per vehicle entry.


Another spring-fed swimming area can be found in northwest Volusia. The pool at DeLeon Springs State Park is a constant 72 degrees, and there are plenty of shade trees. This park also charges a $5-per-vehicle fee.
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