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SRWMD Raising Awareness: 'Dive In' To Preserve Our Springs – Improve Water Quality 

Kayakers taking a spring break on the Santa Fe river
Kayakers taking a break in a small spring on the Santa Fe.

LIVE OAK, FL - The Suwannee River Water Management District (District) announces the launch of the water quality campaign, Dive In. With an emphasis on raising awareness of the ways everyone can help protect the springs and water quality, Dive In brings educational resources and tools to the residents and businesses throughout the District’s 15-county region.

Home to over 440 of the state’s freshwater springs, the Suwannee Valley is among the most beautiful regions boasting the largest concentration of freshwater springs in North America.

Dive In is an initiative to preserve and protect those unique resources and empower the community to take ownership and pride in being stewards of the region’s natural resources. 

Florida's springs are filled with natural beauty, surrounded by lush vegetation, and home to some of the state's most beloved wildlife. Florida families and visitors have long loved recreating at the springs; from paddling to swimming and diving, the springs are a source for making memories with loved ones. 

A refreshing 70 – 75 degrees year-round, Florida's springs are a window to the health of our groundwater. The springs play an important role in providing drinking water to our state. About 90 percent of Florida's drinking water comes from the Florida Aquifer. On average, first magnitude springs produce about 64.6 million gallons of freshwater each day.

Turtles sunbathing on the Santa Fe, a few hundred yards from the spring at Rum Island
Sunbathing on the Santa Fe river, a few hundred yards from the spring at Rum Island       (Columbia County Observer photo)

Despite their wonder, springs in the Suwannee Valley face complex threats, including decreasing spring flows and excessive nutrients. In 2016, the Florida legislature identified 30 outstanding Florida Springs that require additional protections to ensure their conservation and restoration for future generations. Of those 30 springs, 14 are within the Suwannee Valley region. The District is committed to continuing the work with the state to protect the springs for generations to come.  

Throughout the initiative, the District will provide informational resources and host workshops, webinars, and events to help the community connect, learn, and celebrate our water resources.

A key component of Dive In is “The Plunge,” a three-step challenge to protect our springs. Residents and visitors alike are invited to take “The Plunge” and join the District in committing to protecting our springs. 

The Plunge consists of three easy steps to help make a lasting impact on our water resources:

1.    Learn More 
2.    Do Your Part
3.    Share Your Pride 

Hugh Thomas, Executive Director of the Suwannee River Water Management District said, "At the District, we are continually expanding how we work with our communities to protect our springs, and we look forward to engaging and educating the community we serve through this new initiative.

Mr. Thomas continued, "We can all agree that our springs are beautiful, and I think we all have our special memories and experiences with them. Our goal is to keep the springs beautiful and healthy so that future generations can have their own experiences and memories for years to come.”  

Director Thomas and the staff of the District invite everyone to visit Dive In to learn more about the campaign and what you can do to be part of protecting the region’s water resources.

Comments  (to add a comment go here) 

On Feb. 11, 2022, Bill wrote:

I find it rather disingenuous of the district to ask the public to clean up a mess that has largely been created by the district not doing its job! The politically appointed board represents the interests of big Ag, big Dairy, and Big business. This campaign is similar to the doomed "recycling" programs. Make the public feel responsible for cleaning up a mess that Big Oil started and perpetuates. You have to stop pollution at the source.

A good place to start "Dive In" would be to get Tallahassee to appoint people with environmental credentials to the Water Management District boards. Something they are loath to do.


On Feb. 10, 2022, Walt wrote:

"SRWMD Raising Awareness: 'Dive In' To Preserve Our Springs – Improve Water Quality"

What a joke!  If they're so concerned about the aquifer, then why are SRWMD and FDEP permitting deep wells for the City of Lake City to inject wastewater effluent into? What a scam!

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