Civic Duty and Springs Protection

A small group of private citizens gave their all last month for Rainbow Springs. Faced with a state-sanctioned plan to add additional harm to this beloved but impaired natural resource, five individuals penned their names to a legal petition challenging the state’s policy. They are the few and the brave who fought for the many. Following a week when America celebrates patriots who sacrificed their lives to fight tyranny, we all should thank the Rainbow Five for…

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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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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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The past and future glory of Silver Springs

Last weekend’s Florida Springsfest was a reminder of the former glory of Silver Springs. With an outpouring of public enthusiasm, Marion County’s most unique natural feature may once again be elevated to its rightful importance. An estimated 7,000 visitors traveled to Silver Springs for the 17th Annual Florida Springsfest. Hosted by the nonprofit Marion County Springs Festival, with the help of dozens of park staff and volunteers, this year’s Springsfest was a celebration of the past and…

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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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