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Monday, April 21, 2008

Our position: If legislators don't act now, region's springs could be ruined

Published 4/20/08 (Editorial)
Don't be fooled by the seeming clarity of the waters at Wekiwa Springs -- as pictured above -- or Rock Springs or Silver Springs. Or springs further out, such as at Weeki Wachee, home to generations of mermaids. Studies increasingly show that nutrients chiefly from fertilizers and septic tanks entering those and other springs are choking eel grass and spawning algae blooms. In 10 to 20 years, many of the springs Floridians consider irreplaceable, that support sportsmen and threatened species alike, could resemble your neighborhood blue-green, algae-filled retention pond.

But the importance of getting lawmakers to set up the task force that can make recommendations on how the state can address threats to the springs can't be overstated. Uniform state standards on the amount or kind of fertilizers landowners should use, for instance, don't exist. Without them, the fertilizers continue invading the springs by feeding them in storm runoff or through the aquifer.
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