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News Update

Forum to discuss impending North Florida water crisis

Staff report

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

The forum will be conducted at the Wyndham Jacksonville Riverwalk, 1515 Prudential Drive in Jacksonville. A map and directions are available at http://g.co/maps/n6rm6. The event is open to the public and there is no charge to attend.

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 River system. 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 forum will include an in-depth discuss 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.

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