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Wednesday, July 01, 2015

State adds land near springs to its ‘Florida Forever’ list

Published 6/30/2015
Local efforts to protect Silver Springs got a boost last week, when the Florida Department of Environmental Protection approved Marion County’s application to add the Silver Springs Sandhill Site to the 2016 Florida Forever project list.

With the site potentially under state ownership and county management, the aquifer that feeds Silver Springs would also be protected from pollutants that might otherwise contaminate it if the site fell to developers and was potentially used for as many as 1,600 residential and commercial units, Couillard added.

In the late 1990s, Marwick spearheaded springs’ protection efforts that led to the state’s purchase of Indian Lake State Forest from a development company that was planning to build 10,000 houses and 1 million square feet of commercial space.

The DEP’s Acquisition and Restoration Council — which approved the Sandhill Site for the Florida Forever project — also added the Site to Florida’s First Magnitude Springs Project. The Florida Forever project is the state’s premier conservation and recreational lands aqcuisition program, according to the DEP web site.

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