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The People’s Plan

FSI is currently restudying Silver Springs System. In light of the changes we are seeing, we are re-publishing the following op-ed written by Dr. Knight, originally printed in the Gainesville Sun in August 2015. Staff at the Florida Springs Institute (FSI) have been active in the scientific study of Silver Springs since the 1970s. FSI’s efforts, as well as research conducted by the State of Florida have demonstrated severe biological impairments at Silver Springs as a result of reduced…

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North Florida, South Florida vie to be most-polluted region

By Dr. Robert Knight. Published in the Florida Specifier April/May 2023. Given the Environmental disaster that has continued to engulf the estuaries and beaches on both sides of the state, South Florida's guacamole-filled coastal waters are receiving the state and national press they deserve. But thanks to on-going releases of nutrient-laden water from sugar plantations, ranches, and other intensive agricultural operations; toxic floating algae, starving manatees, and rafts of dead fish continue to slime the once-blue waters,…

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The death of North Florida’s springs

By Robert Knight. Published in Orlando Sentinel, January 28, 2023. Once compared to the greatest hydrological wonders of North America, including Niagara Falls and the Mississippi River, North Florida’s springs in the 1850s were praised for their extreme water clarity and complex ecology. Like the Everglades in South Florida, artesian springs in North Florida continue to delight millions. Increasingly “discovered” by tourists and recreationalists from Florida and beyond, healthy springs provide waders and swimmers with the cool…

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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.” ( 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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