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SPringsWatch: Santa Fe River

This group is accepting new volunteers.  Volunteers must have their own kayak or canoe to participate. 

The Santa Fe River flows through the Springs Heartland of North Central Florida and is the discharge point for at least 36 named springs. Located in parts of Alachua, Columbia, and Gilchrist counties, the Lower Santa Fe River and springs attract paddlers, tubers, divers, snorkelers, swimmers, and boaters.  Residents of these counties depend on a healthy river and springs system for their water supply, livelihood, and recreational enjoyment.

The Lower Santa Fe River is home to many named springs. Gilchrist Blue, Rum Island, and Ginnie Springs are among the most popular and are open to the public. At both spring and river stations, Santa Fe SpringsWatch volunteers collect monthly data on water temperature, dissolved oxygen, specific conductance, vertical light attenuation, water clarity via vertical Secchi disk measurements, and aquatic vegetation. This group also conducts LakeWatch sampling as part of the University of Florida’s IFAS Extension. 

SpringsWatch offers participants a deep dive into understanding the ecology of Florida springs as well as a fun day on the water helping to generate research which supports them.  To learn more about the data our volunteers are collecting, click on the monitoring summary or dashboard links below. 

Click here or scroll down to sign up, contact us, or learn more about other SpringsWatch locations.  

Santa Fe River SpringsWatch Data AND Monitoring summarIES


2021 Monitoring Summary


2020 Monitoring Summary


2019 Monitoring Summary

Become a citizen scientist And help protect Florida's springs!

Springswatch volunteer application form

*Groups with a wait list are at capacity and currently not accepting new volunteers. If you wish to select one of these groups, we suggest applying for an additional group with no wait list to ensure you are able to participate in sampling as soon as possible. Apply for as many as you like!



Jill Lingard

FSI SpringsWatch Volunteer Coordinator


The Florida SpringsWatch program was funded in part through generous support from the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida