But like the rest of Florida’s springs, patches of algae have since clouded over some of the waters, making parts seem more like a moat than a sanctuary.
The demise of Florida’s springs is an old problem, and for years, various solutions have been batted around among environmental activists, legislators and scientists.
Last week, state government might have signaled a willingness to dive into solving the host of problems in the springs by assigning $10 million out of the budget to springs protection for efforts such as improving water quality, reducing nitrate levels and conserving water.
“We have a lot of projects in house that we know can help the springs,” Florida Department of Environmental Protection press secretary Patrick Gillespie said.
Lawmakers and experts also are reviewing various counties’ projects on restoring the springs, he said. Lawmakers will meet with officials from the DEP, the water management district and, possibly, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to work out the details. “Our goal is to get the best bang for our buck and stretch that $10 million to benefit the most springs throughout the state,” Gillespie said.