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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Diving Into Florida’s Springs

Published January 30, 2015
Florida is said to have the highest concentration of freshwater springs on Earth. The Florida Wildlife Corridor #Glades2Gulf Expedition is traversing springs country near the Gulf of Mexico and recently explored several of these wonderful windows into the underground aquifer.
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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Fish and Wildlife reopens Three Sisters Springs

Published January 28, 2015
Three Sisters Springs has been reopened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service despite low temperatures and a high number of manatees.

"When visitors come in swimming or paddling and there's resting animals there's an immediate change in behavior where some animals leave the area some animals find other areas in the internal spring to rest when you have too many animals the disturbance is inevitable just by allowing one swimmer in," said Vicente.
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Governor's budget recommends nearly $1.6 billion to protect and preserve Florida's natural resources

Published 1/28/2015
The Governor’s proposed budget creates a dedicated source of revenue for Everglades restoration that will provide nearly $670 million over the next four years and more than $5 billion over the next 20 years. In addition, a dedicated source of funding will provide more than $220 million over the next four years and $1.7 billion over the next 20 years to ensure the continued protection of Florida’s springs. The budget also proposes a 10-year, $500 million program to ensure Florida’s water supply remains adequate to support a growing economy while still ensuring the environment is protected.
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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Warm Mineral Springs earning big bucks for North Port

Published January 26, 2015
In the three months since taking over operations of Warm Mineral Springs, the city has collected more than $270,000 in revenue. According to the city's finance department, around $144,000 of that has gone to the management company overseeing operations. That leaves roughly $126,000 in profits in three months.
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Monday, January 26, 2015

Cool temps have manatees, visitors flocking to Orange City

Published January 25, 2015
Rangers at Blue Spring State Park said as many as 133 manatees showed up Sunday morning in search of warmer waters.

Attendance has increased as weather conditions improved from Saturday. Also, conditions at the 72-degree spring are better for viewing the sea cows.
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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Georgia flatly rejects Florida’s water wars arguments

Published January 24, 2015
The 33-page document, filed this month in the U.S. Supreme Court, denies that Georgia’s demand for water is causing “serious harm” to Florida’s Apalachicola Bay and “serious declines” to the state’s fisheries.

The filings are the opening maneuvers of the latest phase of what will likely be an even longer and costlier fight over the resource after the High Court surprised state leaders by agreeing to hear the last-ditch challenge from Florida. It was a rare setback for Georgia, which has won a series of court victories in a fight with Florida and Alabama that began in the 1990s.
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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Environmentalists on Disney Springs fake spring: really?

Published 1/17/2015 Orlando Sentinel
The theme-park giant aims to transform Downtown Disney into Disney Springs by next year.

"Disney Springs and the experience we are creating honors Florida's rich natural heritage," spokeswoman Jacquee Wahler said. "We hope that the name will raise awareness of the importance of springs and waterways to Florida's past and its future."
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Monday, January 12, 2015

Six authentic Florida destinations for 2015

Published January 11, 2015
Ocala National Forest:
Located just north of Orlando
Second largest National Forest in the U.S.
Home to four major springs, referred to as the "jewels of the Ocala National Forest.
Juniper, Alexander, Silver Glen and Salt Springs offer unique and lovely retreats.
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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Springs groups unite to strengthen their voice

Published January 10, 2015
In December, representatives of nine groups, including four from North Central Florida, established the Florida Springs Council. Together, they plan to advocate for "comprehensive" springs protection legislation during the upcoming legislative session in Tallahassee, as well as potentially mount legal challenges against groundwater pumping permits, water supply plans and minimum flows and levels that they feel harm or do not do enough to protect the state's springs and the aquifer.

Other member groups from this area include the Ichetucknee Alliance and Our Santa Fe River Inc. From other parts of the state, the Save the Manatee Club, Wakulla Springs Alliance, Kings Bay Springs Alliance, Friends of Warm Mineral Springs and Withlacoochee Aquatic Restoration Inc. were also organizing members.
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Thursday, January 08, 2015

Second manatee rescued from Magnolia River doing well after being evacuated to SeaWorld Orlando

Published January 07, 2015
She was the second rescued from the area of Baldwin County's Magnolia River known as the "cold hole," located where water from Magnolia Spring flows downhill from a narrow drainage and into the main river.

Magnolia Spring is the largest of many natural springs that feed Magnolia River year-round with cold water that makes the hole attractive to swimmers hoping to escape warm air and water temperatures of summer and also freshwater dwellers such as fish hoping to escape falling water temperatures of winter.

Surface water temperature Monday in the Magnolia River near the largest spring averaged about 65 degrees while a National Weather Service reading at the mouth of the Mobile River was a dozen degrees colder.
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Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Postcards from Florida - Celebrate manatees in January

Published 1/5/2015
On Jan. 17 and 18, the 28th Annual Florida Manatee Festival (gomanateefest.com) will unfold in Crystal River, about 90 miles northwest of Orlando on the Gulf of Mexico. In addition to sea-cow spotting, the event also features music, an art show, crafts and food at the festival site at Citrus Avenue and U.S. Highway 19.

Closer to home, the 30th Annual Blue Spring Manatee Festival in Volusia County (themanateefestival.com) offers the same mix Jan. 24 and 25 at Valentine Park and Blue Spring State Park in Orange City.
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