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Monday, April 21, 2008

Expanding protection zone around Wakulla Springs

Published 4/20/2008 (Opinion)
Originally passed as part of the Water Quality Ordinance in 1994, the current protection zone was based on the best available science and information from the early 1990s. Essentially, the zone encompasses a mile swath around the known cave systems of that time and totals about 17 square miles.

After numerous studies and various research, including tracer dye studies by Hazlett-Kincaid Inc. and dives by the Wakulla Karst Plain Project, the area that is now known to contribute to Wakulla Springs (i.e., Wakulla Springs Basin) is much more extensive than currently protected by the ordinance. In fact, we now know that much of the basin extends north through Leon County and into southern Georgia.

Expanding this protection area is merely a reflection of the latest science and is an effort to incorporate the best available information into county policy and law. If approved, the protection zone would expand to about 85 square miles, half of which would be in areas already publicly owned.

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