Peacock Springs (shown above) is one of the state's Outstanding Florida Springs.
LIVE OAK, FLA., Apr. 1, 2019 – With over 300 documented springs, the Suwannee River basin is home to the largest concentration of freshwater springs of anywhere else in North America. The springs of the area tout significant historical, economic, environmental and recreational value to local communities and Florida. The Suwannee River Water Management District (District) is celebrating April as Springs Protection Awareness Month to bring attention to these unique natural wonders.
“Florida is entering a remarkable era for environmental protection under the leadership of Governor DeSantis and Secretary Valenstein,” said Hugh Thomas, executive director of the Suwannee River Water Management District. “The challenges our springs and water resources face need solutions and we stand ready to work alongside the Governor and Department to bring needed relief to the water resources of the Suwannee Valley.”
Springs in the District are world-renowned, and many visit the area for their crystal-clear waters to swim, cave dive, canoe, kayak and escape to nature.
Springs Protection Awareness Month kicks off a three-month outreach initiative by the state and local water management districts to bring attention and awareness to one of Florida’s most critical ecosystems.
The District is home to 21 of state’s 33 first-magnitude springs, which discharge at least 65 million gallons of water per day. Springs are natural windows into the aquifer and reflect groundwater conditions, which serves as the primary source of drinking water in Florida.
Although resilient, springs face a multitude of challenges, primarily from human impacts.
“Springs have existed since the beginning of time and it’s our job (at the District) to ensure they remain for centuries to come,” said Thomas.
The state of Florida is renowned for its work in water quality assessments and restoration programs. In fact, Governor DeSantis has committed $50 million to springs restoration and an additional $150 million for water quality improvements statewide. Since 2013, more than $66 million has been allocated for District projects. These projects are estimated to provide almost 20 million gallons per day in water savings through recharge, alternative water supply and conservation; reduce more than 2.4 million pounds of nitrogen leeched to the groundwater and create almost 7,200 acres of wetlands.
Participate in the effort by visiting mysuwanneeriver.com/mysprings and myhomemysprings.org and share your springs story with us on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #mysprings.
The mission of the Suwannee River Water Management District is to protect and manage water resources using science-based solutions to support natural systems and the needs of the public. The District holds true to the belief of providing water for nature, water for people. Headquartered in Live Oak, Florida, the District serves 15 surrounding north-central Florida counties.
For more information about the District, visit www.mysuwanneeriver.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter, search @SRWMD.