Suwannee Springs Ecological Health Assessment

By Hailey Hall, Environmental Scientist, Florida Springs Institute In 2016, the Florida Legislature passed the Florida Springs and Aquifer Protection Act, and the state developed a list of 30 significant springs (designated as Outstanding Florida Springs) to receive special legal protection. If water quality is found impaired, these springs require a Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) to achieve water quality standards within a 20-year time frame. FSI recently completed our ecological health assessment of four Outstanding Florida…

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Howard T. Odum expanded knowledge about springs, ecosystems, wetlands and energy

By Robert Knight and David Kaplan. Published in the Gainesville Sun on July 29, 2022. Florida’s springs and wetlands have long been known as places of natural beauty and cultural relevance, but did you know they also played a pivotal role in the development of two novel scientific fields? Gainesville and the University of Florida hold a premier place in the history of environmental science and environmental engineering because UF was the first and last academic home…

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It’s time to establish a springs and rivers national park in North Florida

By Dr. Robert Knight, the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute. Published in Orlando Sentinel on July 26, 2022 National parks have attained a special status in America. As a conservationist, I understand and appreciate national wildlife refuges, state parks, state and national forests, and other state and federally managed conservation lands and how they help us work toward solving problems like climate change and extinction. But national parks represent the best-of-the-best of our country’s natural and…

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A wake-up call to local leaders: Lee property should be protected, not developed

By Robert Knight. The Gainesville Sun, May 10, 2022 Our local springs are both polluted with excess nitrogen and depleted due to excessive groundwater withdrawals. So why would city and county commissioners, elected to ensure a healthy future in Alachua County, support more development that will make a bad springs problem worse? The ongoing discussion of the development of the Lee property on Parker Road is the spark that has ignited this criticism of the county/city leadership status quo.…

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Removing Rodman dam would be manna from heaven for manatees

By: Robert Knight. Published in the Gainesville Sun on February 1, 2022. The Sun recently published an opinion piece by Kip Frohlich and David Hankla, two of Florida’s top manatee experts, on the science and protection of this iconic Florida marine mammal. They rightly decry the state government’s failure to protect water quality in the Indian River Lagoon and the state’s equally poor response to the growing crisis facing the future of these precious wild animals. Manatees are starving…

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