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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tubing the Itchetucknee

Published 6/14/2011 Blog
Only 750 people are allowed in that part of the river per day so vegetation isn’t damaged. You can’t rent tubes once you’re inside the park, so you have to stop before you enter. The convenient part is that the vendors collect your tubes as soon as you get out of the water, so you don’t have to bring them back to the rental station. The tubing fee is $5 per person.
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Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Sea cows journey north to the Panhandle

Published 6/6/2011
While manatees spend the majority of their time in warmer waters on Florida’s east and west coasts, we get a surprising number of these lumbering mammals who venture north each summer. Sightings and reports are common in the St. Marks, Aucilla, and Apalachicola Rivers, Lake Wimico, which is well off the Apalachicola River, St. Andrew Bay, and sometimes Choctawhatchee and Escambia bays.
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Vintage divers celebrate Sea Hunt anniversary

Published 6/7/2011 Orlando Sentinel
The National Association of Vintage Equipment Divers is a group dedicated to diving using old-style equipment. They gathered at Silver Springs for the 50th anniversary of the end of filming of Sea Hunt, a popular high-action TV series starring Lloyd Bridges as Mike Nelson, a scuba diver in the days when it was new.
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Monday, June 06, 2011

Black Bear Takes Swim In Family Spa

Published 6/6/2011
A black bear was caught swimming in a family's hot tub last week. The bear was just two miles from Wekiwa Springs State Park, and there are so many black bears there, that the state said they are considering removing their endangered status.
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Pensacola kayakers paddle down Suwannee River for autism awareness

Published 6/6/2011
The two men will paddle 240 miles over eight days down the Suwannee River from Georgia to the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. It’s an ambitious adventure the two men have been training for since winter of this year.

Funds raised will go to Kids for Camp, a program that will provide a safe place for children and adults up to age 22 with autism, and School and Education Improvement Projects for Autism Pensacola.
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Girl facing rabies shots after otter bite on Ichetucknee

Published 6/6/2011 Ocala.com
An 8-year-old Gainesville girl will likely have to undergo rabies shots after being bitten over the weekend by an otter near Fort White.
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FDEP cuts springs working groups' funding

Published 6/2/2011 Ocala.com
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection announced Thursday that it will not fund springs restoration working groups for the Rainbow, Silver, Ichetucknee and Wakulla springs during the 2011-12 fiscal year.

The working groups were established so local residents could play a part in designing restoration goals and standards for the water bodies and making recommendations to FDEP.
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Saturday, June 04, 2011

Tampa approves ban on fertilizer

Published 6/3/2011
Scientists at the Tampa Bay Estuary Program and the Sierra Club pushed for the tougher rules, arguing that nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers contribute to nutrient pollution that saps the oxygen in waterways and fuels algae blooms that harm marine life.

Statewide, at least 50 cities and counties have approved seasonal nitrogen-based fertilizer bans to varying degrees, including St. Petersburg and Sarasota and Pinellas counties.
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Money for Wakulla Springs' restoration plan slashed

Published 6/2/2011 Tallahassee Democrat
Members of the Wakulla Springs Basin Working Group learned Thursday that funding for the group and development of a restoration plan for the spring has been eliminated by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

In an email to working group members, Bob Knight, president of Wetland Solutions Inc., which had been contracted to lead a $72,000, three-year study and produce a restoration plan, said he was informed after last week’s working group meeting that funding for the project would be cut.

Stevenson says Florida’s springs need leaders. He advocates raising public awareness about the value of springs, including the formation of a “Florida Springs Alliance” to get the word out and pressure government officials.
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Thursday, June 02, 2011

Feds examining mussels in tri-state water case

Published 6/1/2011 Miami Herald
Federal scientists could revise their estimate of how much water Florida's Apalachicola River needs to prevent the deaths of an endangered mussel, a development that could give Florida more legal leverage in a long-running water dispute with neighboring Georgia.

When scientists conducted the last study, a severe drought had starved the river of water. Mussels feed at the river's surface and have some ability to follow changing waterlines. The ongoing study will examine the mortality rate of mussels, their ability to move with river's surface and how quickly they die when exposed to air.
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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Sturgeon jumps in airboat on Florida river, breaks 25-year-old woman’s leg

Published 5/31/2011 The Washington Post
A sturgeon jumped into an airboat on a Florida river and broke a 25-year-old woman’s leg.

Witnesses say the fish was about 5- to 6-feet long and weighed about 60- to 75-pounds.
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