SpringsWatch: Santa Fe River
The Santa Fe River is in the Springs Heartland of North Central Florida and is the discharge point for at least 36 named springs. Located in parts of Alachua, Columbia, and Gilchrist counties, the Lower Santa Fe River and springs offer significant recreational opportunities including kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, tubing, swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, boating, and other water-related activities. The inhabitants of these counties depend on a healthy river and springs system for their water supply, livelihood, and recreational enjoyment.
The Lower Santa Fe River is home to many named springs. Gilchrist Blue, Rum Island, and Ginnie Springs are among the most popular and are open to the public. At these stations, as well as stations along the Lower Santa Fe River, our SpringsWatch volunteers collect data for the following parameters: temperature, dissolved oxygen, specific conductance, vertical light attenuation, vertical Secchi disk measurements (water clarity), and aquatic vegetation surveys. This group also conducts LakeWatch sampling at several river and spring stations as part of the University of Florida’s IFAS Extension (click here for more info about the LakeWatch program). The SpringsWatch program is a great way to get out to the springs, learn, and volunteer. To learn more about the data our volunteers are collecting, click on the dashboard and report links below!
This group is currently accepting volunteers. You must have your own watercraft to participate in this SpringsWatch group.
Click here to learn more or sign up for an upcoming SpringsWatch trip!
Photos by John Moran, Tessa Skiles, and Brenda Wells.