May 15 Forum to Address Threats to Silver Springs and St. Johns River

Silver Springs is a National Natural Landmark and one of Florida's most famous natural attractions. The associated Silver River is an Outstanding Florida Water, yet it is impaired due to elevated levels of nitrate and a significant decrease in flow. Photo by Bill Belleville.

From Press Release

On Tuesday, May 15 at 6 p.m., St. Johns Riverkeeper, Silver Springs Alliance, and Florida Springs Institute will be hosting a forum to discuss the current threats to Silver Springs and the declining health of many of our springs, lakes, and rivers in North Florida.

The forum will be held at the Wyndham Jacksonville Riverwalk. It’s open and free to the public.

Map and Directions: http://g.co/maps/n6rm6

Dr. Bob Knight and other experts will present information about the significant decline in flow and increase in pollution that has been documented in many of North Florida’s waterways, including Silver Springs.

While Silver Springs is a world-famous tourist destination and iconic Florida natural and cultural treasure, it is also an important source of clean, fresh water for the St. Johns Riversystem.  This first magnitude spring flows from the aquifer into the Silver River before converging with the Ocklawaha River, the largest tributary of the St. Johns River. Long-term flows in the Silver River have declined by more than 30 percent, and water from the aquifer that feeds Silver Springs is polluted with nitrate nitrogen, the result of excessive fertilizer use and insufficient wastewater management.

 “The health of so many of Florida’s springs and rivers is in decline due to encroaching development, pollution, and excessive groundwater withdrawals,” explains Lisa Rinaman, the St. Johns Riverkeeper.  “This forum will help us better understand the interconnectedness of our aquifer, springs, and St. Johns River and why we must take action now to protect these priceless resources.”

The forum will include an in-depth discussion about a proposed large-scale cattle operation in Marion County that could have serious impacts on the health of Silver Springs, a National Natural Landmark, and the Silver River, an Outstanding Florida Water.

Adena Springs Ranch is seeking a permit to withdraw over 13 million gallons of water a day, more water than is used by the entire city of Ocala on a daily basis.  St. Johns Riverkeeper is opposing the permit, due to the potential impacts to the flow of Silver Spring and Silver River and an increase in nitrogen loading from fertilizers and livestock waste

St. Johns Riverkeeper is a privately-funded 501(c)(3) nonprofit advocacy organization that serves as an independent voice for the St. Johns River.  Our mission is to work on behalf of the community for clean and healthy waters in the St. Johns River, its tributaries and its wetlands, through citizen-based advocacy.