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Florida Springs Initiative Achievements

People swimming at Wakulla SpringsFlorida is home to one of the largest concentrations of freshwater springs in the world. The Florida Springs Initiative is the first comprehensive and coordinated program to increase protection for the state’s more than 700 freshwater springs.

Florida has invested $15 million to improve spring water quality and flow through improved research, monitoring, education and landowner assistance. As part of the Initiative, researchers completed the first in-depth scientific study of Florida springs in three decades, describing nearly 200 previously undocumented springs. Additionally, the State conserved close to 27,000 acres of spring recharge area to protect Florida’s groundwater, including more than 4,000 acres of land around Wakulla Springs, one of the largest and deepest artesian springs in the world.


Restoration and erosion control are a vital part of the Springs Initiative’s goal to allow Florida’s springs to return to their natural conditions and to help the springs flow without obstructions. The following are projects that the Springs Initiative has funded for restoration:

2002-2003 Head Spring Restorations $246,583.22
2002 Restoration of Fanning Spring $65,000
2002 Removal of Sediments from Alexander Spring $60,000
2002 Ichetucknee Restoration $1,900
2002 Construction of Monitoring Well along St. Marks River
2004 Gainer Springs Restoration
2004 Poe Springs Restoration $16,700
2002-2003 Troy Spring Erosion Control $250,000
2002 Boardwalk to Control Erosion at DeLeon Spring
2002 Removal of Lime Rock Trails from Spring Wetlands at Homosassa Springs
2002 Fencing around Ichetucknee and Rose Sinks $8,000
2002 Access Ramps and Boardwalks to Cherokee Spring at Wakulla Springs
2004 Rose Sink Restoration at Ichetucknee Springs $3,948
2004 Indian Spring Restoration at Wakulla Springs $9,725
2004 Peacock Spring Boardwalk for Erosion Control at IchetuckneeSprings $6,200



Underwater shot of Scuba diver in Florida springPoorly maintained septic tanks can cause harm to springs by allowing nutrients to seep into ground and deep into the aquifer. The Springs Initiative has worked to provide safe management of waste for the state owned spring parks by funding:

2003 Lafayette Blue Drainfield Relocation $70,000
2002 Septic Tank Drainfield and Boat Ramp at Manatee Springs $122,684
2002 Sewer Improvements at Rainbow Spring $180
2002 Sewer Hookup to Park Ranger Residence and Shop and Wakulla Springs
2004 Elimination of Septic and Hookup to Sewer at Park Ranger Residence at Volusia Blue Spring $23,450
2004 Removal of Septic Tank and Park Ranger Residence Sewer Hookup at Blue Hole in Florida Caverns $38,665
2004 Waterless Urinals at Rainbow Springs $1,436
2004 Wekiwa Springs Sewer System Upgrade/Connection $85,667



The Florida Springs Initiative produces educational materials for the public to highlight the importance of Florida’s springs and the impact people can have on the health of Florida’s liquid bowls of light. Below is a sampling of the educational projects the Springs Initiative has funded:

2002-2003 Homeowner Brochure $18,700
2002-2006 Water’s Journey Video Production $176,632
2002-2006 Springs Website Updates $208,632
2002-2003 2003 Springs Conference $6,000
2002 Springs Recharge Area Brochures $250
2002-2006 Spring Specific Brochures and Updated Reprints of Ichetucknee, Wakulla and Wekiwa Springs
2002 Two Public Service Announcements $1,665
2002-2003 Three Public Workshops for Gainer, Jackson Blue, St. Mark, Wakulla Springs and Spring Creek $5,000
2003 Ownership Mapping for 8 Privately Owned First Magnitude Springs $20,500
2004-2006 Renovation of Rainbow Springs Education Center $100,237
2003 “Portals to the Past” Springs Brochures $580
2003 Florida Geological Survey Poster $2,148
2003 State Fair Exhibit $14,000
2004-2006 Wakulla Springs Educational Trail System
2004-2006 Springs Curriculum Development $40,000
2004-2006 Florida Springs Website Maintenance $1,800
2004 Sponsorship of Wakulla Springs Scientific Conference $1,000
2004-2006 LIFE Program $20,000
2002 Wakulla Springs Recharge Area
Landowner Assistance Program
Surveys $18,245
2002 Video on Volusia Blue Spring
2004-2006 Educational Signage/Kiosks $28,965
2002 Environmental Education at Camp Kulaqua $6,000
2004-2006 Springshed Basin Road Signs $4,385



Underwater view of Devils Eye Run at IchetuckneeThe most effective method of preservation is through acquiring land in the springshed to be left in its natural state. The Springs Initiative has been, and continues to be, supportive of land acquisition efforts through the Florida Forever program. For developed land in recharge basins the Springs Initiative works to establish Best Management Practices (BMPs) to help protect the water resources. The effectiveness of the BMPs are evaluated and used to plan methods of day-to-day management of the area that will help preserve the environment. BMP projects include:

2002-2003 Nutrient Reduction BMPs $332,200
2002-2006 Springs BMPs/Land Use BMPs (aka Model Land Code Outreach Program) $101,173
2002 Land Use Management Tool $10,000
2004-2006 Golf Course BMPs $89,464


Community Involvement

To ensure the continued health of a spring, the Springs Initiative engages the local community to be involved in its protection. The Springs Initiative has established local spring basin workgroups who engage in a vigorous and collaborative process for the preservation of the springs. The workgroups are composed of the federal, state and local government agencies having information or responsibilities concerning the function of the spring recharge basin. Other important stakeholders include agricultural and commercial interests, environmental organizations, and citizens.

2005 Florida Springs Task Force Facilitator $30,000
2002-2006 Ambassador for Manatee Springs $30,112
2002-2006 Working Group Coordinator for Ichetucknee Springs $22,551
2002-2006 Silver Springs Outreach/Working Group Coordinator $104,964
2002-2003 Working Group Coordination at Rainbow Springs $15,000
2002-2006 Ambassador at Wakulla Springs $32,051
2002-2006 Working Group Coordination at Santa Fe Springs $46,214
2004-2006 Working Group Coordination at Wakulla Springs $14,047


Last updated - January 26, 2011

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