A New Year’s Resolution for Florida’s Springs

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 approximately 3,000 employees and an annual budget of about $1.5 billion. Composed of 13 divisions, including the Division…

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Improve State Plans or Springs Are Doomed
Photo by Anne Barca

Improve State Plans or Springs Are Doomed

The Florida legislature had ample warning that their 2016 Florida Springs and Aquifer Protection Act was inadequate to fix the nitrate pollution nightmare in Florida’s springs. The Florida Springs Council warned the legislature that this law as written did not have the teeth needed to solve a problem 50 years in the making. As required by the Act, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) determined that 24 of 30 Outstanding Florida Springs are currently impaired by…

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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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No Time to Cry for Dying Springs

 Saturday, September 7th, the Florida Springs Institute (FSI) and Kings of the Springs (KOTS) environmental non-profits came together to host a Springs Outing on the Chassahowitzka River in southern Citrus County. Chassahowitzka springs are christened with names like Seven Sisters, Crab Creek, Potter, the Crack, Betteejay, and more. The “Chaz”, as regulars and locals call it, is a little-known but locally popular hangout on hot summer days. With its rope swings, wildlife, and swim-through caves it’s no…

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