FSI Blog

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  • 04 Sep 2015 2:38 PM | Heather Obara (Administrator)
    Today concludes the first week of FSI's baseline assessment along the Rainbow River. For the past five days, FSI staff and local volunteers have been engaged in an extensive study of the middle and lower segments of the river with the goal of establishing a baseline of scientific information that will serve as a starting point for future health assessment of this diverse ecosystem, which connects to Rainbow Springs and the Floridan aquifer.


    FSI Executive Director, Dr. Bob Knight (left), leads a team of volunteers conducting light measurements to help determine water clarity. 

    During the week, staff and volunteers have conducted various sampling activities, including fish, bird, and vegetation surveys; flow, depth, and light measurements; and snail and human use counts. FSI is also collecting insects and water quality measurements, such as pH, turbidity, and dissolved oxygen, throughout the study period. These activities will resume next week with additional data collection and surveying.



    FSI Environmental Scientist, Ron Clark (right), records water quality data with volunteer Dan Hilliard. 

    During the busy holiday weekend, volunteers will conduct additional human use counts of the recreational activities that occur along the river. Examples of these activities include tubing, snorkeling, kayaking and canoeing. If you are planning a visit to the Rainbow River this weekend be sure to waive to our wonderful volunteers as you pass by!

    FSI has already conducted the first phase of the baseline assessment along the lower Ichetucknee River. In October, staff and volunteers will begin a two-week study of the Wakulla River and will re-visit all three systems in Spring 2016. To learn more about FSI's springs baseline assessment project and how you can become a volunteer, click here.

  • 01 Sep 2015 11:07 AM | Heather Obara (Administrator)
    On August 27, Dr. Robert Knight, Director of the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute called for a comprehensive, area-wide groundwater nitrate sampling effort by state and local governments, especially in the karst areas of Alachua and Gilchrist counties. Dr. Knight’s call for action comes after the Alachua County Health Department released private, self-supply well nitrate data confirming the relatively common occurrence of nitrate above safe drinking water levels (10 mg/L) and the lower springs standard of 0.35 mg/L.

    ALACHUA AND GILCHRIST COUNTY NITRATE (mg/L) WELL DATA, 1985 – 2013
    (Source: Florida Department of Health)

    FDEP DRINKING WATER DATABASE - MAXIMUM NOx-N (2004 - 2013)
    (Source: http:// www.dep.state.fl.us/water/drinkingwater/)




    The Alachua County Department of Health has initiated additional sampling and nitrate testing of private wells in the area of the Watson Dairy in eastern Gilchrist County. “In our opinion,” stated Knight, “that does not go far enough considering the human and ecological health risks posed by these elevated pollutant concentrations…This sampling effort should be expedited and results need to be widely publicized so that local residents are aware of the risks they face and the alternatives they have to avoid those risks.”


    A PDF version of this information is available for download here.

  • 01 Sep 2015 10:18 AM | Heather Obara (Administrator)
    One of the many goals of the Florida Springs Institute is to disseminate current best available knowledge and information about the ecology and environmental condition of Florida's springs to the public and their leaders through continuous public outreach and education. We know that websites containing a plethora of information can be difficult to navigate when you are looking for specific content, which is why we are starting the FSI Blog!


    The FSI Blog will serve as a platform for the newest information and content on Florida's springs released by FSI and our springs allies. Blog posts may contain press releases, event announcements, educational materials and resources, important springs articles and editorials, and scientific updates on springs health. Although much of this information may be found elsewhere on the FSI website, the FSI Blog will help guide you to the most important content on springs in a web-friendly format and will provide an opportunity for discussion and public engagement. 

    We hope to update the blog frequently as new information becomes available. We will also include similar updates on our Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ profiles for those who prefer to follow us on social media. To receive direct updates from the FSI Blog, please click on the RSS link at the top of the page. We look forward to continuing to provide our members and supporters with updated scientific and educational information on Florida's springs and to encourage the public and Florida's leaders to engage in efforts that lead to the protection of these natural treasures for current and future generations!
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The Florida Springs Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit. All or a portion of your donation may be tax deductible. FEIN 46-1663401.


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