The Land Protection-Spring Protection Connection
Protecting Florida’s springs is of the highest importance to the Conservation Trust for Florida and many other national and state-level conservation organizations.
Facts and Figures
Scientists have been monitor-ing some of our largest springs closely for several years, and we now know that protect-ing land in its natural state within both the discharge and recharge areas of a spring is one of the best ways to keep it pure and free from harmful pollutants.
Florida has over 1,000 springs (one of the largest concentrations of freshwater springs on the planet)! Our state’s springs are a huge draw for outdoor enthusiasts including international tourists; and, according to a 2012/13 study by UF IFAS, springs-based recreation activities contribute nearly $85 million to our state’s economy each year. They also provide us with a way to “see” the health of the Floridan aquifer, which is the source of over 90% of Florida’s drinking water.
Current threats to our springs include groundwater pollution from runoff and excessive water withdrawal. Withdrawing groundwater faster than it can be replenished can cause springs to run dry. The springs that have the poorest water quality and declining volumes of daily water discharge are those that are not surrounded by a buffer of protected lands. Helping to protect natural areas like the Silver Springs Forest Conservation Area, the Silver Springs Sandhill property, and Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park are all examples of CTF’s commitment to protecting Florida’s springs for generations to come.