By: Robert Knight, The Gainesville Sun, January 13th, 2022.

Last month I led a family outing to Kings Bay/Crystal River by pontoon boat. I was delightfully surprised by what I saw below the water surface. From the Port Hotel to Three Sisters to Hunter Springs and around Banana Island to Tarpon Hole, healthy eelgrass and clear water have returned to this coastal manatee sanctuary.

From 2012 through 2015 I directed the Florida Springs Institute’s Kings Bay Adaptive Management (KBAM) project. At that time, Kings Bay was suffering from poor water clarity and the decline of eelgrass beds.

The KBAM study demonstrated that the floating (phytoplanktonic) algal bloom in the bay could be partially controlled by shading with a shoreline blanket of aquatic plants. But this well-intentioned plan was shelved in favor of a more direct effort undertaken by Save Crystal River, a local homeowners group.

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