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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Latest Silver Springs Fish Study Shows Exotic Fish Explosion

Scientists have been studying the fish population at Silver Springs for decades. The most recent study completed by the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute (FSI) reveals a troubling trend. Blue tilapia, an exotic fish, has exploded at Silver Springs over the last two years to 88% of the total fish population. “This is a troubling trend because blue tilapia compete with native mullet and gizzard shad for food and bass and sunfish for nesting areas. They…

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Trouble in the Garden of Eden

Bob Knight. Published in the Gainesville Sun on February 19, 2021 It was Voltaire’s “Candide” that reminded us to tend to one’s own garden. Whether he meant taking care of the Garden of Eden, or the small portion of the world that is closest and dearest to each of us, we are drawn to the importance of helping to make the world healthier and safer in our relatively small local area of personal influence. In that regard,…

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Wakulla Springs success? Not so fast

Bob Knight Tallahasee Democrat. October 14, 2020 Re: "A watery enigma: Wakulla Springs now producing more water than 20 years ago," Sept. 8, 2020 Florida’s governmental leaders wish to proclaim success with springs protection. However, the recent article citing Northwest Florida Water Management District staff needs to be placed in proper context. The article’s premise is that, in light of recent increases in spring flow at Wakulla Springs, there is still more groundwater to pump. The fact is that…

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The next fatality in Florida’s springs pandemic?
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The next fatality in Florida’s springs pandemic?

Robert L. Knight. Published in the Gainesville Sun on August 14th, 2020 Rainbow Springs, located in southwest Marion County, long nourished the Rainbow River with over 450 million gallons per day of cool, clear and clean groundwater. During Florida’s inevitable droughts, Rainbow’s reliable groundwater discharge historically supported productive fisheries in the lower Withlacoochee River and Withlacoochee Bay. Ongoing monitoring has documented a catastrophic decline in flows in the Rainbow River and in the downstream water bodies. Based…

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