PALATKA, Fla., March 14, 2017 ― For the fourth consecutive year, the St. Johns River Water Management District’s Governing Board has approved a proclamation designating April as Springs Protection Awareness Month. The annual designation helps increase awareness about the importance of Florida’s springs and encourages residents and stakeholders to participate in the protection of springs.
“Springs are an important natural feature of Florida’s environment and to the regional economy, as well as to our citizens and visitors to the state,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “Over the past three years, the district has co-funded nearly 80 projects protecting spring flow and water quality in the Silver, Volusia Blue, Wekiwa and Rock springs systems. By approving this proclamation annually, the Governing Board reinforces its continued commitment to projects to ensure that our springs have adequate flow and good water quality.”
Sen. Rob Bradley and Rep. Elizabeth Porter recently filed resolutions in the Florida Legislature (SR 1230 and HR 8005) declaring April 2017 as Springs Protection Awareness Month. Water management districts across the state are joining the Legislature in recognizing the importance of increasing public awareness about the value of springs.
The district has worked with other agencies for many years through various programs to increase knowledge and understanding about the region’s springs, while also working to protect springs systems. Since 2014 alone, through district cost-share programs, the district has contributed more than $35 million toward vital springs protection projects, resulting in more than 62 million gallons of alternative water supplied and 4 million gallons of water a day (mgd) conserved. These projects also have reduced total nitrogen loading in the vicinity of priority spring systems by 990,000 pounds and total phosphorus by 19,400 pounds.
Visit www.sjrwmd.com/springs for more information about the district’s work to protect springs.