Death by a Thousand Cuts

Two weeks ago as I was reading the Gainesville Sun a small note on the Classified page shouted out to me: “Public Notice – The Suwannee River Water Management District (District) intends to issue a Water Use Permit for a maximum of 150,000 gallons per day in Alachua County for row crops and cattle watering. Affected parties can obtain a copy of the Technical Staff Report by writing the District.” Having recently compiled a list of well…

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Springs Outing: Remarkable Karst Features Near High Springs

The May 2019 FSI outing explored three distinct and impressive karst features all located within five miles of the Florida Springs Institute High Springs office, including:  the Santa Fe River Rise in O’Leno State Park; Scrubtown Sink, a giant sinkhole used as a dump; and a little known Ichetucknee-like karst valley with an extinct headspring, rocky walls, caves, and park-quality forest. We started the day at the rather unspectacular River Rise, which is the second largest dark…

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Silver Springs, Heal Thyself!
Photo by John Moran

Silver Springs, Heal Thyself!

Medice, cura te ipsum! (physician, heal thyself!) is an applicable biblical quote depicting the current fate of Silver Springs. Attributed to Jesus in Luke 4:23, this passage can be interpreted to warn against the hypocrisy of claiming to have the ability to solve a problem in others while being unable to avoid the problem in ourselves. In early 2018 the Florida legislature ratified Senate Bill 670, codifying a “prevention strategy” for Silver Springs. The purpose of this…

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Springs Bike Tour

A few months ago we received an email from Lee Hogan, a bicyclist from Tennessee who was preparing to set out on an 800-mile "springs bike tour" to raise awareness for springs protection.Lee told us the story of how he fell in love with Florida's springs during his time in college at the University of Florida and how he revisited the sunshine state numerous times with his children so they could share his same love for the…

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Beyond Significant Harm

In December 2010 the Governing Board of the Suwannee River Water Management District (WMD) published their Water Supply Assessment. This document concluded that: ”… groundwater levels in the Upper Floridan aquifer have declined significantly during the past 75 years as a result of regional groundwater withdrawals…” and that “…unacceptable impacts to flows in the Lower Santa Fe River and springs were predicted for the 2010–2030 planning period…”. In April 2014, in response to this unfolding tragedy, the…

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