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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Robert Knight: The People’s Plan for Silver Springs

Published 8/16/2015
Staff at the Florida Springs Institute (FSI) have been active in the scientific study of Silver Springs since the 1970s. FSI’s efforts, as well as research conducted by the state of Florida, have demonstrated severe biological impairments at Silver Springs as a result of reduced flows, elevated nitrate nitrogen concentrations and lost connectivity to the St. Johns River. All of these detrimental impacts are a result of human actions, are reversible, and are contrary to Florida laws that protect the biological integrity of “Outstanding Florida Waters” such as Silver Springs.

FSI’s Silver Springs Restoration Action Plan describes a feasible approach to restore the historic flow at Silver Springs, reconnect the Silver and St. Johns rivers, and lower nitrate-nitrogen concentrations to protective concentrations.
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Friday, August 07, 2015

Cooperative project to improve Silver Springs water quality and flow moving forward

Published Aug. 6, 2015
Work continues to move ahead on upgrades to the Silver Springs Shores wastewater treatment plant and to increase the distribution and reuse of reclaimed water, a partnership project among Marion County, the St. Johns River Water Management District and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to improve water quality and flow in Silver Springs.

Silver Springs is a first-magnitude spring that forms the headwaters of the Silver River, in Marion County. Silver Springs is a group of large vents and smaller springs in the bed or in coves at the edges of the Silver River. There are 30 springs in the Silver Springs group.
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Thursday, August 06, 2015

Scuba Dive Club at UCF explores Fla. waters

Published 8/5/2015
The club strives to organize two dives per month, usually to reefs off the coast of Jupiter, Stuart and Pompano. But members also explore different Florida springs, such as Alexander Springs in the Ocala National Forest and Ginnie Springs, which is about 30 miles northwest of Gainesville.
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Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Take It Outside Planner: Tubing on the Ichetucknee (w/video), camping and snorkeling in the state parks

Published August 5, 2015
Nine springs pump 233-million gallons of crystal clear water into the Ichetucknee River, which then flows south into the Sante Fe and Suwannee rivers. Right off the main parking lot at the north entrance to the state park, you'll find Ichetucknee Spring, also called the Head Spring. The spring has a bluish hue that makes it particularly appealing, especially on a warm summer day. During peak season (Memorial Day through Labor Day), tubers who want to complete the entire trip of three-and-a-half hours must arrive early. Rangers limit the number of people on the river. A tram is available at the south end to bring you back to your car. After Labor Day, things quiet down a bit. To keep the Ichetucknee wild and clean, tubers may not bring food, drink, tobacco or any other disposable items on the river.
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Sunday, August 02, 2015

Editorial: Springs plan lacks real enforcement

Published August 1, 2015
Then those who study the science of our springs start drilling down and asking questions, and what they discover is that DEP’s impressive sounding Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) is heavy on well-intended suggestions and light on regulatory compliance.
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Cool escapes: Florida's crystal clear springs

Published 7/31/2015
Geologists estimate there are more than 700 freshwater springs in Florida — the largest concentration on Earth — but only a relative few are accessible for public recreation.

De Leon Springs State Park, DeLeon Springs
Lifeguards are on duty seven days a week until school begins, then weekends through the winter.

Rock Springs at Kelly Park, Apopka
This beautiful, shaded park in the northeast corner of Orange County is one of my favorites. At the spring head, the cool water spills into a series of pools at the rate of 26,000 gallons a minute. You can wade or tube for about a quarter-mile through the crystal clear run. Outside Kelly Park, Rock Springs Run rambles for more than 8 miles through state-owned wilderness. The only canoe access is Kings Landing, a private outfitter just down the road.

Juniper Springs Recreation Area, Ocala National Forest
Dense, semi-tropical foliage not seen anywhere else, the forest provides a unique environment for picnicking, bird watching, hiking, swimming, snorkeling and paddling down the awesome spring run fed by Juniper Spring and Fern Hammock Spring. Day use is $5 per person.

Rainbow Springs State Park, Dunnelon
Be aware that the average depth is 5 feet to 18 feet, which is not conducive for small children or wading.

Peacock Springs State Park, Live Oak
There are no lifeguards, and these springs are not child-friendly. Swimming and snorkeling are limited to Peacock and Orange Grove springs and is dependent on seasonal water levels

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, Spring Hill
Kids will love the waterslides and water park on Buccaneer Bay, elevating the swimming experience to theme-park fun.
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