Setting the Record Straight - Springs Protection

Florida Department of Environmental Protection Release

CLAIM: “A state-sponsored effort to save [Florida’s] springs… ended last year under Gov. Rick Scott.”

SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT:

The Department of Environmental Protection has adopted more water quality criteria in the last year than any single year in the previous decade.

The Department is on schedule for a reduction of 9,000 pounds of phosphorus in Lake Jesup in two years, which is 50 percent of the plan’s targeted goal.

In addition, 78 percent of nitrogen and 87 percent of phosphorus reductions for Lake Harney, Lake Monroe, Smith Canal and Middle St. Johns River plan will be achieved through five years.

Over the past two years, under the leadership of Governor Scott, the Department has more than doubled the amount of money spent in the previous three fiscal years on the state’s springs.

The Department, under Secretary Herschel Vinyard, has committed $11 million to projects and monitoring to specifically improve water quality to springs:

In the Santa Fe River basin, the Department committed $900,000 to provide rural farmers advanced technology to improve fertilizing and irrigation practices in order to keep more than 1 million pounds of nitrogen from entering the Santa Fe River and its associated springs and save 670 million gallons per year of water use.

Another $300,000 will be spent on directing wastewater away from Silver Springs’ main boil and to an advanced wastewater treatment facility 10 miles away, $400,000 to take Silver River State Park off of a septic system and onto city sewer and an additional $700,000 that is dedicated to help Silver Springs.

The Department is also spending $1.1 million to improve King’s Bay in Citrus County to eliminate 750,000 gallons a day of spray field disposal, which currently harms the associated springs.

CLAIM: “$8 million of [the $11 million in funding] went for a statewide pollution monitoring system — not for restoration, outreach or research.”

SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT:

The $8 million pollution monitoring system will monitor the health of the springs wirelessly in real time. It will give Department scientists the data necessary to evaluate and take action on the problems our springs are facing. The Department’s scientists require the most up-to-date information to continue creating solutions.


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