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Sunday, June 03, 2012

The Santa Fe, a river in peril

Published 6/2/2012 The Alachua Today
During a public information meeting about the Santa Fe River held at Poe Springs on Tuesday, Megan Wetherington, Senior Professional Engineer at SRWMD, said the river will hardly see an increase in levels or flow because the surrounding areas were so dry. Like a sponge, those dry areas will soak up the water before it reaches the river. Prior to Beryl, Florida had record low water levels, Wetherington said.
Recently, the Alachua County Health Department identified an algal bloom on the Santa Fe River between the U.S Highway 27 bridge and Poe Springs. The water samples it collected contained the algae Anabaena circinalis, a known producer of toxins. In Florida, there are no records of the algae producing these toxins, but David Whiting of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection said scientists are unsure what causes the algae toxin producers to turn on and off. An algae bloom in Leon County’s Lake Munson produced high levels of toxin one year, but the next year, no toxins were present.

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