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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

North Port looking at 10-year contract for Warm Mineral Springs

Published March 31, 2015
The company charged with keeping the gates open at Warm Mineral Springs might get a chance to do so for the next 10 years.

City commissioners have approved negotiating a long-term management agreement with National and State Parks Concessions, Warm Mineral Springs Inc.

Dr. Grigory Pogrebinsky's plan to make the area a medical tourism destination relies on the lure of the springs, touted by users for its healing properties.
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Friday, March 27, 2015

Seminole County day trip offers something for everyone

Published 3/26/2015
...one of the best places to catch sight of a Florida gator is Wekiwa Springs State Park, where I began my recent day trip across Seminole County. The state park, which hugs the Orange and Seminole border near Apopka, offers all the sights and sounds of natural Florida. There are canoe rentals and a variety of well-maintained trails.
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Springsfest is Saturday

Published March 26, 2015
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Silver Springs State Park will host the Florida Springs Fest, where 30 to 35 non-profits, governmental agencies and artists from around Florida will provide information and display artwork related to the springs.

This is the 14th year of the festival, and the first year it features springs from around Florida instead of only those in Marion County.
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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Streak the Manatee released at Blue Spring after 3-month recuperation

Published March 25, 2015
Streak, a manatee rescued at Blue Spring State Park in December, was returned to the park in Orange City on Wednesday after a three-month recuperation at SeaWorld Orlando.

To report an ill or injured manatee, call 888-404-3922 or *FWC on a mobile phone.
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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

What's in the water? Warm Mineral Springs!

Published March 23, 2015
Florida's only naturally formed warm water mineral spring in Northport is known for giving soothing comfort. but those waters, many say have healing properties, and provide symptom relief.

Dr. Lieurance explained, when people soak in the mineral springs, the heat vasodilates a lot of the blood vessels, Which is going to enhance a lot of benefits with regards to circulation through the body. "This allows the body to absorb many of the minerals." said Dr. Lieurance, "Which is alkalizing. When you stress your body and muscles acid is produced, and your body needs to neutralize this acid with something that's alkaline." He continued, "Minerals are alkaline, and those are incredibly beneficial for the body to recover and for the body to regenerate itself."
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Friday, March 20, 2015

Is Tourism Endangering Florida's Manatees?

Published 3/19/2015
The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, which is concerned that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is allowing too much human interaction at the expense of the animals.
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Thursday, March 19, 2015

State Purchases Conservation Lands in Washington County State Purchases Conservation Lands in Washington County

Published March 18, 2015
The project, which cost $781,545, was ranked No. 1 in the Florida Forever Partnerships and Regional Incentives project category, and contains a third magnitude spring known as Brunson Landing Spring. It also includes two small unnamed seeps, which flow into Holmes Creek.

Holmes Creek is primarily a spring-fed creek containing a total of 51 springs within a 25-mile radius. The acquisition will ensure greater spring protection, while maintaining the current public access for fishing, hunting, canoeing, kayaking, boating and hiking. The Choctawhatchee River Water Management Area and Glover Conservation Easement are adjacent publicly-owned properties.
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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Amendment 1 spending plan lands mixed reviews

Published Mar 17, 2015
While touting a desire to provide funding on a recurring basis for Everglades restoration and springs maintenance, Scott during the upcoming fiscal year wants $150 million for the Everglades, of which $122 million would cover work already underway. He also wants lawmakers to allocate $50 million for springs and $178 million for debt service on bonds tied to the Florida Forever and Save Our Everglades programs. Another $20 million would go for land purchases and restoration of the Kissimmee River.
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Look but don’t touch? Tourists rub Florida manatees whether they like it or not.

Published 3/17/2015
Lumbering in the cozy waters of their habitat, they look like big, soft, squishy gray pillows. Anyone who wants to get in and swim alongside them is in luck at the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge on the central gulf coast of Florida. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials who manage the refuge say go ahead, they don’t bite.

Florida’s manatee population topped a record 6,000 this week in the state’s latest survey, nearly 1,000 more than the previous high. The numbers are so high that some are calling on the service to remove the manatee’s protection under the Endangered Species Act, where they’ve been listed since it began in 1973. A review that might downgrade them from endangered to threatened is in the draft stage.
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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Florida manatee count tallies record high

Published 3/16/2015
In an annual survey, state biologists counted more than 6,000 manatees - almost 1,000 more than previous high.

ast spring, a group of boaters in Crystal River, where manatees drawn by the 72-degree spring-fed water winter by the hundreds, joined forces with the Pacific Legal Foundation to appeal to federal wildlife managers to consider changing the status of manatees from endangered to threatened. The groups say federal officials need to act on a 2007 review that found manatees were rebounding.
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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Lawsuit targets more protection for Florida manatees

Published 3/10/2015
The lawsuit notice alleges that the USFWS is violating the Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and the Refuge Administration Act, which governs management of federal wildlife refuges. Today’s notice gives the Service 60 days to take action before the PEER-group is eligible to file suit in federal district court.
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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Florida House likely to pursue buying land for conservation purposes

Published Mar 9, 2015
The House approach appears to at least partly conflict with the Amendment 1 priorities of environmental groups. The group Florida's Land and Water Legacy, which led the amendment drive, has presented lawmakers with an outline that includes using $90 million for land management, $150 million for Everglades and South Florida estuaries and another $150 million for the Florida Forever program for land acquisition, springs and trails.
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Sunday, March 08, 2015

Lawmakers Join Forces For Protection Of Florida Springs

Published March 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.”
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Saturday, March 07, 2015

Florida House passes comprehensive water policy bill

Published March 6, 2015
The Florida House of Representatives today passed CS/HB 7003 relating to water resources. The bill is a comprehensive approach to addressing Florida’s water policy initiatives.

The bill makes a number of revisions to Florida’s water policy. All first magnitude springs in the state and all second magnitude springs within state or federally owned lands will be designated as Priority Florida Springs (PFS). The bill requires water management districts (WMDs) to develop new or revise existing recovery or prevention strategies concurrently with the establishment or re-evaluation of minimum flows and levels (MFLs).
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Thursday, March 05, 2015

Parks, campsites offer inexpensive spring break options

Published 3/4/2015
Rock Springs in Kelly Park in Apopka.

The spring, or what some call the "lazy river," takes you afloat on its current through the green landscape secluded in nature. Entrance to the park is $3 per vehicle for one to two people or $5 per vehicle for three to eight people. With grills and picnic tables, camping is a popular option and is $18 to $23 per night.

Rock Springs in Kelly Park: 407-889-4179
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Wednesday, March 04, 2015

With environmental issues looming, Alan Hays won’t haggle over Amendment 1 spending

Published Mar 3, 2015
In addition to Amendment 1, both House and Senate leaders have said comprehensive water policy is a priority after the Senate passed a springs bill in 2014 but it died after the House didn’t take it up.

HB 7003, among other things, emphasizes reliance on basin management action plans to clean up Lake Okeechobee and has backing from agriculture, business and industry groups. The bill also requires DEP to complete a water quality assessment for Florida springs by Dec. 1, 2018.
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