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The May/June 2016 High Springs & Alachua edition of Our Town has a fine article “Springs Protection” by Hannah O. Brown and great photographs by Jennifer Adler.

It seems the St Johns River Water Management District has joined with the University of Florida to study variables which may impact the health of the spring.  Of principal concern is the reduced flow and high nitrate concentrations, both much greater than in the 1950s.

Mr. Casey Fitzgerald of SJWMD calls it an “investment” and an “opportunity to have a partnership.”  It is also an opportunity to spend three million dollars of taxpayer money.

Silver Springs has been studied extensively for decades.  The solution to the problems surrounding Silver Springs is well documented and readily available for $26.20.  For this sum, considerably less than three million, one can buy the book Silenced Springs (Alta Press, Gainesville, 2015.)   by Dr. Robert Knight, who has dedicated  much of his admirable and professional career doing the work that SJRWMD and UF have spent one of the three years of the project doing.

Irony is present in that SJRWMD itself is one of the main problems afflicting the springs.  This agency continues to issue permits for huge withdrawals and allow large agricultural operations in the near springshed.

The mission of this agency, or so one would assume from its title, is to manage and protect the water resources.  Sadly, under its management, the springs continue to decline and suffer more and more degradation.

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