April is Springs Protection Awareness Month, an observance St. Johns River Water Management District staff take to heart. Of the more than 700 springs in Florida, 148 known springs are within the District’s 18-county jurisdiction. Of those, 96 springs have been documented and are described here.
Celebrated by artists, musicians, writers and explorers over the centuries, Florida’s springs are magical places where crystalline waters bubble up from the earth. Today, our springs face many threats, ranging from damage through overuse by swimmers to pollution entering groundwater and increases in nonnative or exotic vegetation.
We’re passionate about protecting our springs. Over many years, the District has forged partnerships with many like-minded entities, pursuing protection and restoration of springs through scientific research, restoration projects, water use regulation, water supply planning and stakeholder outreach.
Since 2014, through District cost-share programs, we have contributed more than $48.5 million toward vital springs protection projects, resulting in more than 96 million gallons per day (mgd) of groundwater withdrawal offsets and alternative water supply. These projects also have reduced total nitrogen loading near Outstanding Florida Spring systems by more than one million pounds per year.
At www.sjrwmd.com/springs you’ll find background images for your computer and mobile devices so you can always have your favorite springs close at hand. To help with the celebration of these wondrous water features, we’re sharing a few favorite photos from our archives. We hope you’ll enjoy viewing them as much as we did photographing them.
If you can, visit a spring and feel the timelessness of natural Florida. It’s as close as you’ll come to reaching across a millennium to see and feel what our state’s indigenous peoples experienced when Florida was a tropical wilderness.