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Advocates Say Florida Springs Need More Help As State Adopts Clean-Up Plans

Silver Springs. Photo: NPR
Silver Springs. Photo: NPR

Advocates are raising concerns about state plans for cleaning up Florida's ailing springs.

Environmental advocates say the plans for addressing nutrient pollution in 24 Florida springs are incomplete, overly optimistic and ignore the 2016 legislation calling for the action.

Bob Knight of the Florida Springs Institute says the plans are based on one underway in the Sante Fe River, which has not been successful.

"They're not going to make any difference. They're not going to put a dent in the problem even in 20 years. the money is not there. The will power is not there to do what actually needs to be done."

Among the springs targeted are the Blue, DeLeon, Gemini, Rock and Wekiwa in central Florida. Drew Bartlett of the state Department of Environmental Protection describes the plans as pivotal in the springs' clean-up.

"This is implementing the Springs and Aquifer Protection Act that was passed two years ago, and it has more tools for remediation of septic systems, for wastewater treatment plants."

Amy Green covered the environment for WMFE until 2023. Her work included the 2020 podcast DRAINED.