WUFT News

Florida purchases land to protect state springs

By on March 20th, 2013

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection purchased 599 acres of land along the Suwannee River Tuesday in an effort to protect Florida springs.

The agency bought the land from the Damascus Peanut Company, located near Anderson Springs, for $2.2 million.

Gov. Rick Scott and members of the Florida Cabinet approved the purchase as part of Florida Forever, a conservation- and recreation-lands acquisition program.

“This investment shows their commitment to buying critical lands for water quality improvements,” Scott said in a press release.

Florida Springs Institute Director Bob Knight said the purchase alone won’t have any significant effect on springs protection.

Knight said about 2,000 tons of nitrate-nitrogen flow down the Suwannee River per year as a result of agricultural operations.

“It’s a very high load,” Knight said.

He said the spring shed – the area that contributes water to these springs – is made-up of about 5 million acres.

“A 600-acre step is a step in the right direction, but it’s unfortunately insignificant in changing the quality of the spring or the Suwannee River,” Knight said.

Florida’s springs are important for good-quality drinking water, Knight said, as well as a recreation that attracts hundreds of thousands of people to North Florida each year.

To make a “real difference” in the quality of Florida’s springs and rivers, Knight said there needs to be a reduction in water-use permits for agricultural purposes.

“Every time they issue one of these permits, they’re basically facilitating the input of more fertilizer into the Florida aquifer, which is contaminating the groundwater with nitrate and affecting these springs,” Knight said. “Issuance of those permits should be stopped.”


This entry was posted in Florida and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Florida

Gov. Scott Announced Funding For Final Phase Of Restoration Projects

Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced funding for the third and largest phase of early restoration projects to combat the Deepwater Horizon (BP) Oil Spill of 2010 on Oct. 7. Although $100 million was allocated to Florida by the Deepwater Horizon [...]


Florida bay scallops typically reach a shell height of three inches and have a life expectancy of one year. They have tiny blue eyes that help detect movement, and they can swim backward by opening and closing the two shells.

Scallop Researchers to Start Underwater Surveying

Now that the harvesting season is over, researchers are starting underwater studies to determine the state of scallop populations at 10 sites along the west coast of Florida.


At the initial hiring event in Orlando, Fla., 55 veterans and military personnel were in attendance. About 150 veterans have applied to work with the Department of Corrections since the initiative was launched on Jun. 26.

DOC Partners with National Guard, Hires Military Personnel

The Florida Department of Corrections partnered with the Florida National Guard to hire veterans and military personnel who are unemployed. These specialty hiring events last all day and are open to all branches in the Florida National Guard and Reserves.


photo

‘Pot Predicament’ Forum Fuels Amendment 2 Debate

A panel of four met to discuss Amendment 2 and medical marijuana at a Tuesday night forum on the University of Florida Campus. Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell and former Florida House Speaker John Mills dominated the forum as they debated each other about legislation language and the need for medical marijuana.


The Ocala City Council repealed the so-called "saggy pants" ordinance at Ocala City Hall on Tuesday evening. The ordinance banned saggy pants on city property.

Ocala City Council Repeals ‘Saggy Pants’ Ordinance

The Ocala City Council voted to repeal an ordinance banning saggy pants on city property. The controversial ordinance met with criticism from the NAACP.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments