It’s time to establish a springs and rivers national park in North Florida

By Dr. Robert Knight, the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute. Published in Orlando Sentinel on July 26, 2022 National parks have attained a special status in America. As a conservationist, I understand and appreciate national wildlife refuges, state parks, state and national forests, and other state and federally managed conservation lands and how they help us work toward solving problems like climate change and extinction. But national parks represent the best-of-the-best of our country’s natural and…

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FDEP offers mid-year’s resolution for Florida’s Springs

By Dr. Robert Knight. Published in The Florida Specifier June/July 2022 edition. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship and is tasked to protect the state’s air, water, and land. Reading from FDEP’s website, its vision is “… to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources, and enhance its ecosystems.” (www.floridadep.gov) Headquartered in Tallahassee, but with staff state-wide, FDEP has about 3,000 employees and an annual…

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A wake-up call to local leaders: Lee property should be protected, not developed

By Robert Knight. The Gainesville Sun, May 10, 2022 Our local springs are both polluted with excess nitrogen and depleted due to excessive groundwater withdrawals. So why would city and county commissioners, elected to ensure a healthy future in Alachua County, support more development that will make a bad springs problem worse? The ongoing discussion of the development of the Lee property on Parker Road is the spark that has ignited this criticism of the county/city leadership status quo.…

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Bottled Spring Water and Corporate Responsibility

Nestle’s recent move into the Florida Springs Heartland (i) of Gilchrist County to bottle water from Ginnie Springs warrants full historical disclosure. In 2002 Coca Cola purchased the High Springs water bottling facility, originally built in 1998 and operated by AquaPenn Springwater Company owned by the Groupe DANONE (ii). This facility received ‘spring water” via a water use permit held by Seven Springs Water Company. Groundwater is extracted from the Floridan Aquifer (iii) through two conventional wells…

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The Ocklawaha’s Lost Springs

One or more Florida legislators, yet unnamed, have the enviable opportunity to undo the tragic mistake of a previous generation and be lauded as Florida Springs Champions. With bipartisan support in the house and senate appropriations committees, these champions are uniquely positioned to convince the 2020 legislature and Governor DeSantis to do what no other legislature/governor in the past 50 years has been willing or able to do – restore the 20 Lost Springs of the Ocklawaha…

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