Santa Fe River Springs Protection Forum

 

springs forum feb 15 stacey In: Santa Fe River Springs Protection Forum | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

 

Stacie Greco runs a great forum that is laid back, informative, low stress and always well attended.  Today, Feb. 15, 2018 was no exception with interesting speakers dealing with various topics all about springs and mostly on the Santa Fe River.

springs forum feb 15 velez In: Santa Fe River Springs Protection Forum | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Darlene Velez of SRWMD speaks on water assessment

Very interesting but at the same time disheartening was the “Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Survey of Selected Springs on the Santa Fe River” by Greg Owen,  Tom  Morris and Pete Butt.  Huge amounts of algae are now found in virtually all the springs sampled.  We have been hearing about this for years, but the underwater pictures are most disturbing.

springs forum feb 15 pete t In: Santa Fe River Springs Protection Forum | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Pete Butt and Tom Morris of Karst Environmental Services report on vegetation in our springs.

 

This is but graphic confirmation of what many groups have repeated time after time to the water management districts.  These include OSFR, the Ichetucknee Alliance, Florida Springs Institute, Sierra Club and many more.  Unfortunately, as was so obvious at the recent UF/Duke Energy water conference in Gainesville, our managing agencies prefer to spend their time and money studying and talking about the problems instead of acting on what they have known for years– the solution is to reduce nitrates and over-pumping.

Our springs are in deep and serious trouble.  And, under the current mindset of our water managers, it is getting worse and not better.

Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-


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4 Comments

  1. Charles,

    As Past President of OSFR I want to thank you for commenting on this post.

    Your offer to work collaboratively is exactly what we need to do at this point and that starts with communication and understanding each other’s perspective on the issues negatively affecting our springs and rivers.

    I have asked the OSFR Board to invite you to meet with us in the near future to discuss these perspectives directly. I personally would look forward to that opportunity .

    Regards,

    Pam Smith
    Past OSFR President
    2015-2017

  2. When asked at a recent BMAP forum whether Best Management Practices had reduced nitrates into springs over the past ten years, FDEP answered: not really. If there’s evidence to the contrary, where is it? -jsq

  3. Interesting comments Jim but you very well know that the ‘agencies’ and stakeholders are indeed reducing nitrates in the spring basins (and across Florida as a whole). In regards to your mantra of over-pumping; peer reviewed studies have shown that pumping is relatively insignificant to total spring flow. You know very well that water quantity in Florida is rain driven.

    Continually harping on these issues may help stir the membership but it creates friction and you are certainly an intelligent man and are aware that friction absorbs energy. Energy that could be used productively to work collaboratively with all stakeholders (individuals, special interest groups, agencies) towards solutions that we all seek – Clean and abundant natural resources.

    Let’s turn the corner together and work in a more collaborative fashion, Jim. I’m willing if you are.

    1. Charles, we are willing to work also, but please explain why nitrates are increasing. Other objective studies show that water flow has decreased since general irrigation began a few decades ago, while rainfall is relatively the same, with a few ups and downs.
      These studies are not politically driven as are those by the water management districts.
      JIm

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