The public is invited to a free open house hosted by members of the Santa Fe Springs Working Group at the High Springs Civic Center on March 21 from 6 until 8:30 PM. Member groups, including Alachua County's Environmental Protection Department, will be displaying exhibits and distributing materials of interest to residents and businesses. At 7 PM there will be a series of presentations that focus on recent research about cave systems and connections between two Alachua County “sinking streams”, Mill Creek and Cellon Creek, and the Santa Fe River miles away.
Newcomers to the area are especially urged to attend so that they can enhance their understanding of the uniqueness and sensitivity of the Santa Fe Springs region.
The goal of the Working Group is to create a forum in which professionals, government entities, and the public can learn about and resolve issues regarding the quality and quantity of water in springs of the lower Santa Fe River and their contributing areas in Alachua and Gilchrist Counties. The Working Group's activities are currently funded by the Florida Springs Initiative. The area that affects the Santa Fe springs includes portions of the municipalities of High Springs, Alachua and Newberry.
Geologists estimate that there are over 600 springs (33 first-magnitude) in the State of Florida, mostly located in north Florida. This may represent the largest concentration of freshwater springs on Earth. North Florida’s springs are important natural and recreational areas for residents, and continue to draw visitors from other states. Florida’s twelve state parks that are named for springs attracted over two million visitors in 2001, creating $7 million in annual revenue in these 12 state parks alone.
For information contact Fay Baird, Pandion Systems, (352) 372-4747.