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Friday, August 29, 2008

Flooding opens Wekiwa Springs to manatees

Published August 28, 2008 - Orange Sentinel
For the first time in memory, manatees are frolicking in the swimming hole at Wekiwa Springs, a spectacle made possible by Tropical Storm Fay.

A pair of manatees, one small and one young adult, has been showing up infrequently for a few minutes at a time.

"The spring hasn't changed," said park biologist Paul Lammardl. "The water is rising because the St. Johns and the Wekiva are backing up."

Lammardl said manatees could have ventured to the spring in the years before Central Florida was developed. But now millions of gallons are pumped from underground, robbing strength from Wekiwa Springs and reducing the river's flow.

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