Water-Related News

Test your springs knowledge during Springs Protection Awareness Month


Springs are pretty special places — they have been celebrated by artists, musicians, writers and explorers over the centuries. Each day, staff at the St. Johns River Water Management District celebrate these magical places where crystalline waters bubble up from the earth through our core missions work, but with particular focus during April when we join others in recognizing Springs Protection Awareness Month.

SJRWMD is passionate about protecting Florida’s springs. Over many years, it has formed partnerships to pursue protection and restoration of springs through scientific research, restoration projects, water use regulation, water supply planning, cost-share projects and stakeholder outreach.

So how well do you know our region’s springs? Take SJRWMD's short quiz to find out:

  • How many springs in the St. Johns River Water Management District are designated as an Outstanding Florida Spring?
  • How many known springs are found within the St. Johns River Water Management District’s boundaries?
  • There are eight categories of springs classifications. How many cubic feet per second of water flows from a first-magnitude spring?
  • How many springs are found throughout Florida?
  • Which county within the St. Johns District has the most springs?

How did you do? All the answers can be found by exploring SJRWMD's springs webpages at www.sjrwmd.com/waterways/springs. You can also read about some of the many springs protection projects at www.sjrwmd.com/waterways/springs/projects.

Next step, visit a spring to feel the timelessness of natural Florida for yourself. It’s as close as you’ll come to reaching across a millennium to see what our state’s indigenous peoples experienced when Florida was a tropical wilderness.

EPA to limit toxic ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water

WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday proposed the first federal limits on harmful “forever chemicals” in drinking water, a long-awaited protection the agency said will save thousands of lives and prevent serious illnesses, including cancer.

The plan would limit toxic PFAS chemicals to the lowest level that tests can detect. PFAS, or per- and polyfluorinated substances, are a group of compounds that are widespread, dangerous and expensive to remove from water. They don’t degrade in the environment and are linked to a broad range of health issues, including low birthweight and kidney cancer.

“The science is clear that long-term exposure to PFAS is linked to significant health risks,” Radhika Fox, assistant EPA administrator for water, said in an interview.

Fox called the federal proposal a “transformational change” for improving the safety of drinking water in the United States. The agency estimates the rule could reduce PFAS exposure for nearly 100 million Americans, decreasing rates of cancer, heart attacks and birth complications.

Florida’s love-hate relationship with phosphorus

The state has mined and abused the Devil’s Element for decades, and now it is increasingly fouling precious coastal waters

In the summer of 2018, in Stuart, a small beach community on the Atlantic Coast of Florida, some hundred panicked homeowners showed up at City Hall in the middle of the business day to demand something be done about the green goo plaguing their coastal waters. It was a sweltering July day, the kind towns like Stuart are built for, but signs on the boardwalk outside City Hall warned visitors:

As people at the meeting introduced themselves and stated their affiliations, it became clear this was not a typical gathering of environmentalists. They weren’t strategizing about how to protect some beleaguered species and the far?away lands or waters upon which it depends. These people, who represented businesses as well as homeowners’ associations and fishing and yachting clubs, spoke as though they were the threatened species.

“I need help,” said Will Embrey, a scraggly commercial fisherman whose business had collapsed right along with the region’s schools of mackerel not long after the green slime arrived. “There are a lot of people like me that need help.” The 45-?year-?old was suffering chronic stomach pain that was initially diagnosed as diverticulitis, and then ulcerative colitis, and then Crohn’s disease. Eventually doctors had given up trying to figure out what made Embrey so sick.

Embrey didn’t need to spend tens of thousands more dollars on more specialists, CT scans and lab tests to figure out the source of his illness. He knew it was the poisoned water, and he wasn’t alone.