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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Study to look at impact of nitrates on Florida's springs

Published March 25, 2014
Two University of Florida institutes and the St. Johns River Water Management District are about to begin a three-year $3 million study of the impact of nitrates on Florida's springs, with a focus on Marion County's Silver Springs.

The study will zero in on the effects of nitrates on two springs and their runs — Silver Springs in Ocala as the primary subject and Wekiva Springs in Apopka secondarily.

Graham added that a model for the flow of nitrates through conduits in the aquifer also will be developed. That could help with reducing nitrates from their source, she added.

Source

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Restoration plan for manatee haven Blue Spring is a first for Florida

Published March 21, 2014 Orlando Sentinel
The number of manatees seeking refuge there is expected to increase in the coming years, so work to replenish water surging from the Floridan Aquifer at Blue Spring is needed to keep more of the spring's stream warm along its picturesque run of 1,000 feet to the St. Johns River.

Bob Knight, director of the Florida Springs Institute in Gainesville, said the Blue Spring rescue proposal came about because of unique circumstances driven largely by the popularity of manatees and their clear need for spring water.
Source

Thursday, March 20, 2014

New Bill Could Protect Springs - But Not All Of Them

Published March 19th, 2014
Only those waterways designated as "first magnitude springs" will be included for protection in the bill and labeled as "outstanding Florida springs. Source

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

It's Florida Manatee Time: How to See the Gentle Giants

Posted 01/09/2014, updated 3/11/2014
For almost thirty years, The Orange City / Blue Springs Manatee Festival has been raising funds to preserve the manatee population. The festival is a really fun fair, with food, music, booths and comfy busses are provided to shuttle folks to manatee viewing experiences.
Source

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Lawmakers Join Forces For Protection Of Florida Springs

Published 3/7/2014
“They’re acting as if this renewable resource is something you can simply mine and when it’s gone, it’s gone,” said Guest, head of the Florida office of Earthjustice. “It’s been there for thousands of years, and only recently have we had this attitude that you just take it and the future generations just don’t get anything anymore.”
...an environment without regulations “licenses big corporations, big agricultural enterprises, to contaminate waters and not take personal responsibility for what they do.”
Source

Friday, March 07, 2014

Endangered Waters: Silver Springs Dwindles (Editorial)

Published March 6, 2014
The Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute, whose namesake began studying Silver Springs, just outside Ocala, in the 1950s, announced its latest measurements last week. They were significant-and-sad: Silver Springs is "no longer the world's biggest first-magnitude spring."

Knight said his measurements of Silver Springs' flow show that Rainbow Springs is now the largest first-magnitude spring in the world. Nonetheless, Rainbow Springs — west of Ocala — also is declining in flow.

Now, Rainbow Springs has 65 million gallons per day per day more than Silver Springs. That's about 20 percent greater flow than Silver Springs.

Combined, the flows of the two major springs have declined from 1.01 billion gallons per day in the 1950s to about 650 million gallons per day now. That's about 33 percent less flow combined — and 45 percent less flow over the decades for Silver Springs.
Source