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Thursday, May 30, 2013

What we think: State officials fiddling while the Wekiva dies

Published May 29, 2013 Orlando Sentinel(Opinion)
On a recent visit to the once pristine, now algae-fouled river — led by the St. Johns River Water Management District — Sentinel environmental reporter Kevin Spear asked officials if they were alarmed by the condition of the waterway that runs between Orange, Seminole and Lake counties.

Leaders in the Florida Legislature have been patting themselves on the back lately for including $10 million to protect and restore springs in the $74 billion state budget that lawmakers passed this month. But the money for springs represents less than 10 percent of the $122 million that the five water districts estimated would be needed for a comprehensive springs plan.
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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

$10M set aside for springs stirs hope and discussion

Published 5/27/2013 The Gainesville Sun
"No money is going to do any good if we don't have maximum daily load numbers for nitrates and basin management action plans," Wray said. "We need accurate models and serious science to support an action plan that's realistic about our goals for having a healthy ecosystem."

Lesley Gamble, a partner in the "springs eternal project," a collaborative effort among scientists, artists and activists to promote and protect the springs, added that the nitrate levels for all springs — mainly from large-scale agriculture, leaky septic systems and animal waste — greatly exceed healthy levels.
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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Summer starts Saturday at Blue Springs

Published 5/22/2013 Jackson County Floridan
The Blue Springs Recreational Area in Marianna will open its 2013 season on Saturday. The Jackson County Parks Department says the facility will be open 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week, for the full season.

Blue Springs Recreational Area admission is $2 per person; season passes are $20 for Jackson County residents ($30 for out-of-county residents). The park is located at 5461 Blue Springs Road, Marianna.

For more information call 482-2114 or 718-0437.
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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Scott gets bill banning texting

Published 5/21/2013
In the package of bills on the Governor’s desk is SB 1808. It ratifies an agreement between the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency setting nitrogen and phosphorus limits for Florida waterways. Some environmentalists opposed the measure and are suing to close loopholes in SB 1808 they say allow toxic algae blooms in springs and rivers.

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Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Hernando looks at fertilizer rules to protect springs

Published May 7, 2013
A working group of government officials formed after the vote in May and recently reported to the board that the Weeki Wachee Springs system is adapted to a very low level of nutrients such as nitrogen. Even a small increase can spark algae growth.

Because of the levels of nutrients present in the Weeki Wachee system, the state has termed the system an "impaired water body.'' Most of the nitrogen found in the system comes from inorganic fertilizer. Septic tanks are a secondary source, staff told commissioners.
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