Central Florida - Danny Goodding

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Silver Springs

I will never tire of seeing the beautiful blue-green, crystal-clear waters of Florida springs. Unfortunately many springs are declining in quality, ecologically and aesthetically. Florida's springs historically were full of various aquatic plants including vast underwater fields of eelgrass and all of the organisms they support including manatees, turtles, and many fish species. Many springs now have lost most of their aquatic plant diversity and house mostly algae species due to a high nutrient load and decreased groundwater flow conditions. This is not optimal habitat quality for most of the animals that are native to our springs in Florida.

Some springs such as Silver Springs in this picture still support healthy populations of eelgrass luckily, but not as extensively as they used to. Many other springs continue to be choked out by thick algae growth and some smaller springs have even dried up from low flow.

A combination of pollution, groundwater over-pumping, and a general regulatory failure to successfully protect them have caused a rapid degradation in spring quality over the past few decades. If we don't fight for the springs now, future generations won't get to experience these beautiful natural splendors, including the biodiversity they support and the fresh drinking water they supply us.

Visit these websites to learn more about what is causing their decline and ways that you can help to save our springs:

http://www.FloridaSprings.org
http://www.SpringsEternalProject.org

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