Silenced Springs: Moving from Tragedy to Hope
Silenced Springs is a timely assessment of the current plight of Florida’s over 1,000 artesian springs, including their former glory, how they came to be impaired, and the hopeful path to their eventual restoration and protection. Dr. Knight is Florida’s premier springs scientist and weaves his personal experiences with technical data that document how Florida’s springs and aquifer are being depleted and polluted due to a combination of blind ignorance and willful greed. Many of the actors in this unfolding tragedy are identified and informed of their responsibility to save and restore these “bowls of liquid light.” Silenced Springs is a wake-up call to the millions of people who enjoy the refreshing, clear water of healthy springs. All of us who love the springs must rally together if Florida’s water future is to be secured and the ultimate demise of our springs is to be avoided.
About the Author: Robert L. Knight lives north of Gainesville, Florida at Seven Springs Farm. Dr. Knight is an environmental scientist and systems ecologist with over 40 years of professional experience in aquatic ecosystems, including springs and wetlands. He is the founder and Executive Director of the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute, a private, non-profit organization focused on improving scientific understanding of springs and their restoration, protection, and management. Prior to forming the Florida Springs Institute, Dr. Knight pioneered the widespread utilization of wetlands for water purification and co-authored the first comprehensive handbook on the planning, design, and operation of treatment wetlands. He earned his Ph.D. in Systems Ecology at the University of Florida under Dr. Howard T. Odum in 1980 and conducted his doctoral research at the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory in South Carolina and at Silver Springs, Florida. He also holds a Master of Science in Public Health and a Bachelors in zoology, both from the University of North Carolina. He served as an adjunct professor in the Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences at the University of Florida for six years where he taught Treatment Wetland Design and Springs Ecology. Over his career, Dr. Knight has conducted detailed environmental studies at 18 Florida spring systems, including assessments of human use, ecological values, pollution reduction and ecosystem studies, and quantitative assessments of nutrient pollution on springs’ ecology. Dr. Knight has served on the Board of Directors of the Silver Springs Alliance, the Wakulla Springs Alliance, the Ichetucknee Alliance, and the Florida Defenders of the Environment.
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