The Florida Springs Institute was founded in 2010 based on the realization that spring’s health statewide was in a downward spiral and that spring’s restoration and protection would not be successful without the focused efforts of a privately-funded, non-governmental organization. Over the last eight years, thanks to individuals like you, the Florida Springs Institute has worked tirelessly to document changing springs health and to initiate meaningful restoration and protection efforts. While we still have a long way to go before Florida’s springs are on a path to full recovery, the Florida Springs Institute has made great strides in raising public awareness of the causes and solutions affecting springs health.
Florida’s springs continue to need the help of concerned individuals like you. Please consider making a generous end-of-year donation to the Florida Springs Institute to help us continue our growing springs protection and education efforts.
Click HERE to make an end-of-year donation!
Here’s a look back at some of our biggest accomplishments of 2018!
This year, the Florida Springs Institute hired four new staff and continued to inform and lead the collective efforts to stop the long-term decline of Florida’s artesian springs. Here are some highlights from 2018 of our diverse efforts to conserve Florida’s springs through sound science and education:
- FSI staff conducted regular water quality monitoring and testing at over 60 springs and river stations and coordinated with more than 20 other springs researchers across the state to better understand the ecological health of the state’s springs resources.
- FSI launched the Blue Water Audit website, which features an interactive map that allows users to learn more about their individual and their neighbor’s impacts to the aquifer.
- FSI established two new volunteer SpringsWatch programs at Weeki Wachee Springs and the Lower Santa Fe River Springs and continued to support existing SpringsWatch programs at Silver Springs, Homosassa Springs, Ichetucknee Springs, and Rainbow Springs.
- FSI produced detailed restoration action plans for Volusia Blue Spring and the Middle Suwannee River Springs. A comprehensive Florida Springs Conservation Plan for 12 major springs regions and sub-regions unveiled at the 2018 Florida Springs Restoration Summit in November provides a blueprint for restoration of all of Florida’s artesian springs.
- FSI engaged with citizens, college students, and environmental and young professionals about springs science and policy through its annual Give Springs a Break weekend at Ginnie Springs and four-day Springs Science and Advocacy Field School at Silver Springs.
- With the assistance of local experts, FSI hosted monthly springs outings and Springs Academy classes to better inform the interested public and future springs advocates about springs science and the importance of springs protection.
- FSI installed a colorful springs mural and unveiled a manatee skeleton and springs fish exhibit at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center in High Springs, which welcomed over 750 visitors eager to learn more about our springs.
We are excited to move into the new year as we continue to expand upon these accomplishments. Our research and restoration efforts at the Lower Santa Fe River springs will be a top priority in 2019. We are also pleased to announce that two new SpringsWatch programs will be established at Wakulla Springs and the Wekiva River Springs in the new year. We have also prepared a series of springs fish identification videos useful for SpringsWatch volunteers and other springs enthusiasts. In addition, new interactive tools are being added to our Blue Water Audit Project website, including an Aquifer Footprint Calculator that will allow individuals, families, and corporations to calculate and compare their water use and nitrogen inputs, with recommendations for reducing ongoing impacts.
We look forward to working with all of you to protect Florida’s springs in 2019!