Springs Outing: Source to Sink (and Drink!)
Have you ever wondered what happens after you flush?
Join the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute on a journey through our water cycle from Source to Sink!
Dr. Bob Knight will guide us as we follow our water down the drain to the GRU Main Street Water Reclamation Facility for a tour at 10:30am. We will then follow our water to the scenic Sweetwater Wetlands Park where we will eat lunch and enjoy a walking tour. Dr. Knight helped design this man-made wetland created to restore the water’s natural path and reduce pollution before it enters the aquifer at our next stop: Alachua Sink in Payne’s Prairie. We will hike the idyllic La Chua Trail in Payne’s Prairie Preserve State Park and learn about the connections between our activities on the surface and the Floridan Aquifer, the source of drinking water for 90% of Floridians.
Finally, if you would like to, join us at First Magnitude Brewery for a beer and casual discussion as we sip and begin the cycle anew!
For ease of parking, we encourage car pooling when possible.
Your ticket includes the tour and parking at both parks. We will stop to sit down for lunch at Sweetwater Wetland at about 12pm, so please bring your own lunch and water/beverages for the day.
Dr. Robert KnightExecutive Director, Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute
Dr. Knight is an environmental scientist/systems ecologist. He has over 38 years of experience as an aquatic and wetland ecologist in Florida. His doctoral work included an ecological assessment of Silver Springs and Silver River under the direction of Howard T. Odum. He completed assessments of the quantitative basis for establishing a minimum flow regime for protection of water and human-use resource values (WRVs) in Volusia County Blue Spring, a 50-year retrospective study of the ecological health of Silver Springs, the basis for establishing pollutant load reduction goals and WRVs for the Wekiva River and Rock Springs Run, and a comparison of the ecology of twelve of Florida’s artesian springs.
Under Dr. Knight’s leadership, the Florida Springs Institute has developed restoration action plans for Glen Springs, Ichetucknee Springs, Kings Bay Springs, Lower and Middle Suwannee River Springs, Rainbow Springs, Santa Fe River Springs, Silver Springs, Wakulla Springs, Volusia Blue Springs, Wekiva River, Wekiva Springs, and recently published a comprehensive report on the ecological health and restoration needs for all of Florida’s 1,000+ artesian springs. Dr. Knight is the author of Silenced Springs – Moving from Tragedy to Hope. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors for the Florida Springs Institute, Dr. Knight is also a Board and/or Advisory Panel member for the Ichetucknee Alliance, Our Santa Fe River, Wakulla Springs Alliance, Florida Defenders of the Environment, and Florida Springs Council.
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