SPRINGS BLOG

Events

2018 Florida Springs Restoration Summit Regional Panels and Keynotes Addresses

2018 Florida Springs Restoration Summit to Feature Springs Regional Panels and Keynote Addresses by Dinah Voyles Pulver and Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch OCALA, FL – The Florida Springs Council (FSC), with support from the Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida and Jelks Family Foundation, is hosting the Florida Springs Restoration Summit from November 1st – 4th at the College of Central Florida to report on the status of springs health in Florida and to develop a roadmap

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Events

Florida Springs Institute to Host Springs Field School in Silver Springs

SILVER SPRINGS, FL – The Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute (FSI) will host its annual Springs Field School from August 13th – 16th in Silver Springs. Florida’s artesian springs are an important natural resource, providing the basis for extensive wildlife support and human recreation. These springs and the Floridan Aquifer that feeds them are under increasing threats from human activities, including flow reductions, nutrient increases, aquatic weed management activities, recreational impacts, and a variety

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Op-ed

Thank God for Cool Springs

Summer in North Florida can be brutal. Working outside during 90+ degree days is utterly draining. Just six hours spent landscaping and mowing last Saturday made me feel like I was 150 years old. I admire the many working folks who endure long days in Florida’s intense sun and humidity. But why do those who have a choice continue to live here and why do more people move to Florida each day? Visit the new

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Uncategorized

Florida Springs Field School Q&A

The Florida Springs Institute is gearing up for its fourth Springs Field School program and registration is now open for FSI members and future members. The Springs Field School is a 4-day course that provides in-depth lectures on topics including springs biology, geology, hydrology, chemistry, stresses, environmental law and advocacy efforts. As a Field School participant, you will learn everything there is to know about Florida springs and what is needed to protect them. This

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Op-ed

Tierra del Agua

Instead of “Land of Flowers”, Florida could just as easily have been named “Tierra del Agua” by the European invaders of the early 16th century. Originally blessed with more than 1,200 miles of coastal shorelines, 20 million acres of freshwater wetlands, 7,700 lakes, 11,000 miles of streams, and at least 1,100 artesian springs and their spring runs, the geography of Florida is about water. Not surprisingly, since the first Earth Day in 1970 Florida’s government

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Events

5th Annual Give Springs A Break

Our yearly educational retreat, Give Springs A Break (GSAB), which takes place at Ginnie Springs Outdoors and is aimed towards young people, attracted 42 students and young professionals from around the state making it our biggest GSAB event! Funding for our 5th Annual GSAB was provided by First Magnitude Brewing Company. First Magnitude raised nearly $10,000 for the Florida Springs Institute during their 7.2k Springs Run event in January of this year. With endless possibilities, the

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Springs Outings

Springs Outing – Sweetwater Wetlands Park

Sweetwater Wetlands provides an interesting combination of both engineering innovations and wildlife benefits.  Bob Knight began the outing by discussing the design aspects of the project.  His initial remarks included comments on the challenges, the cost, the effectiveness, and the benefits of the design. The challenges included the 20-30 years it took to convince the City fathers that the project was worthy of the $25 million cost.  The project was given a boost when a

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Springs Outings

Springs Outing – Seminole State Forest

On this hike, the Florida Springs Institute combined with St. Johns Riverkeeper for a day hike through Seminole State Forest.  Led by Jane Durocher of Riverkeeper, Heather Obara of FSI, and Ranger Ralph Risch we hopped from a conversation with a scrub jay to three small unknown (to most of us) springs. The first stop was a mile or so along the appropriately named Sand Road, where Ralph called a nesting pair of scrub jays to

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Springs Outings

Springs Outing – Holton Creek Tract Hike

Written by FSI Board Member, Dave Wilson Despite easy access near Live Oak, Holton Creek is a virtually unknown spot.  Outing leader and biologist, Tom Morris, chose this venue as a natural progression from last month’s exploration of the sink at the Alapaha Dead River!  The connection between the Dead River Sink and the rise at Holton Creek was established last year by the Florida Geological Survey when they dumped 100 pounds of fluorescein dye

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Springs Supporters

A Word From Springs Supporter, Sun Power Lawn Care

5 Lawn Care Tricks that Save Water for Our Springs from FSI Springs Supporter Business Member, Tom Snogles, founder of Sun Power Lawn Care, a Gainesville, FL electric lawn care business dedicated to quiet, sustainable service. What does a lawn mower in downtown Gainesville have to do with a catfish in Wakulla Springs? Like almost everything in Florida, this lawn mower plays a part in the catfish’s health and security–and that of the whole ecosystem surrounding it. If

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Events

2018 First Magnitude Brewing Company Springs Run and Springs Fest

First Magnitude Brewing Company has been an avid springs supporter since opening in 2014, hence their springs themed name “First Magnitude”. They have named close to a hundred beers including pilot batches and year-round beers after our springs and rivers! First Magnitude has taken their love for our local water resources farther than most.  For the past three years, they have raised thousands of dollars through fundraising events that support local environmental organizations. This year, First Magnitude selected the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs

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Springs Outing – A Tour of the Best Karst Features in the Ellaville Area

Despite chilly breezes and overcast skies, Tom Morris led 29 outings enthusiasts through the karst region surrounding Suwannee River State Park. To start the trip, Tom used samples to explain the differences between Ocala limestone, Suwannee limestone, and chert. Limestone is calcium carbonate or CaCO3; the Ocala Limestone is soft and crumbles in your hand; the Suwannee Limestone is hard; while chert is silica dioxide with formula SIO2.   He also brought along a fossilized mastodon rib

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Uncategorized

2017 Springs Field School

This year’s Springs Field School was a wonderful success! Students from around the state joined us in the Ocala National Forest for four full days of springs exploration and education. With a great group of students, presenters, and some incredible sights, it was one of our best years yet. Dr. Bob Knight and guest speakers, Bob Palmer, Jim Gross, Christine Denny, Monica Ross, Eric Hutchenson, Nathan Reaver, Whitey Markle, Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, Guy Marwick, and Lars Anderson

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Uncategorized

Alapaha Dead River Hike Recap

By Dave Wilson (FSI Outings Leader) Twenty six springs enthusiasts enjoyed a perfect day hiking along the Alapaha River near Jennings, Florida.  This river is notable because of its large fluctuations in water level.  When ten inches of rain fall in South Georgia, the water can be 25 feet deep.  After informative talks by Florida Springs Director, Bob Knight, and leader, Tom Morris, we began with a side trip to an old settlement, where a

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Springs Outings

Alapaha Dead River Hike Recap

By Dave Wilson (FSI Outings Leader) Twenty six springs enthusiasts enjoyed a perfect day hiking along the Alapaha River near Jennings, Florida.  This river is notable because of its large fluctuations in water level.  When ten inches of rain fall in South Georgia, the water can be 25 feet deep.  After informative talks by Florida Springs Director, Bob Knight, and leader, Tom Morris, we began with a side trip to an old settlement, where a

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Uncategorized

Elevated Nitrate Nitrogen Levels Found in Florida’s Drinking Water Supply

The Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute (FSI)  is concerned about elevated levels of nitrate nitrogen in much of the Floridan Aquifer (seepotable water nitrate nitrogen analysis findings). This same Floridan Aquifer is the source of water feeding our 1,000+ artesian springs in North Florida and is the principal supply of potable water for the region. A substantial portion of the water in the Floridan Aquifer has been contaminated with nitrate by human activities, including the

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Uncategorized

Florida Springs – A Water-Budget Approach to Estimating Water Availability

Florida Springs Institute Director, Dr. Robert Knight, and Senior Environmental Scientist for FSI, Ron Clarke, were recently selected for publication in the February 2016 edition of the Journal of Earth Science and Engineering. The article, entitled “Florida Springs – A Water-Balance Approach to Estimating Water Availability”, and a brief summary can be found below:  Click on the image above to access the full article.  Abstract:Florida’s artesian springs receive groundwater outflows from the Floridan Aquifer System

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Celebrate Earth Day – Visit a Florida Spring!

By Juliette Jones Florida has more freshwater springs than anywhere else in the world—that makes Florida the Springs Heartland of Planet Earth.– Lucinda Faulkner Merritt  At this moment in time there are a great many environmental challenges competing for our attention, but few as immediate as those connected with food and water.  I have to admit that not so long ago I managed to keep myself oblivious to the environmental crises now escalating in Florida and

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Gum Slough MFLs

On February 25, 2016, the Florida Springs Institute sent a letter to the Southwest Florida Water Management District regarding our concerns surrounding the establishment of Minimum Flows and Levels for Gum Slough. That letter can be foundhere. In an email sent later that day, FSI Advisory Panel member, Linda Bystrak, stated that: SWFWMD is only looking at the flow of Gum Slough from 2003 on, so they can get that big spike in 2004 (from 3 hurricanes

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Springs Outings

Springs Outing – Harvey Sharron Bat Cave

By Dave Wilson Once again Tom Morris led a group of intrepid hikers into the unknown.  This time 15 willing victims descended into the Harvey Sharron Bat Cave located midway between Newberry and High Springs.   Since it is fenced off to keep both visitors and the cave out of harm’s way, we had to stop at Santa Fe College to pick up a key to the gate.  While the cave is small, we were scheduled

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Springs Outings

Springs Outing – Suwannee Spring Hopping

by Dave Wilson with photos by Dagmar Bastiks On October 17, Tom Morris led 23 adventurers on an enjoyable outing to six exquisite springs near Branford.  The stops included Mill Creek Sink (actually near the city of Alachua), Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park, Olsen Springs, Running Springs, Cow Springs, Royal Springs, and Little River Springs.  While some members of our group had heard of a few of these gems, most had never visited any

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Uncategorized

Update from the Field: Rainbow River Baseline Assessment

Today concludes the first week of FSI’s baseline assessment along the Rainbow River. For the past five days, FSI staff and local volunteers have been engaged in an extensive study of the middle and lower segments of the river with the goal of establishing a baseline of scientific information that will serve as a starting point for future health assessment of this diverse ecosystem, which connects to Rainbow Springs and the Floridan aquifer. FSI Executive Director, Dr.

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Uncategorized

Florida Springs Institute Requests Comprehensive Groundwater Nitrate Sampling in Alachua and Gilchrist Counties

On August 27, Dr. Robert Knight, Director of the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute called for a comprehensive, area-wide groundwater nitrate sampling effort by state and local governments, especially in the karst areas of Alachua and Gilchrist counties. Dr. Knight’s call for action comes after the Alachua County Health Department released private, self-supply well nitrate data confirming the relatively common occurrence of nitrate above safe drinking water levels (10 mg/L) and the lower springs

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Phone: (386) 454-9369

Mailing Address: 23695 West US 27 High Springs, FL 32643

 

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