Reports and Maps

​​ Economic Contributions and Ecosystem Services of Springs in the Lower Suwannee and Santa Fe River Basins of North Central Florida (2014)

This study examines the economic contributions to a nine-county area of north-central Florida from recreational use of fifteen major springs. The springs are located in the lower Suwannee and Santa Fe River basins, and include springs at state parks (Fanning, Ichetucknee, Lafayette Blue, Manatee, Troy, Wes Skiles Peacock), county parks (Hart, Little River, Poe, Rum Island), and privately owned sites (Gilchrist Blue, Ginnie, Hornsby, Devil’s Den, Blue Grotto).  Click HERE to view this paper by UF's Food and Resource Economics Department and HERE to watch a recording of webinar exploring the results.  

"Sources of Nitrate and Estimated Groundwater Travel Times to Springs of the Santa Fe River Basin (2013)"

In this report AMEC evaluated potential nitrate concentrations based on land use for the Lower Santa Fe River Springs Basin with an emphasis on Alachua County.  The area investigated was developed from earlier springshed delineations developed in 2007 and 2008.  Improved pasture, silviculture and septic tank systems were found to have the highest estimated nitrate loading for the springshed.  Groundwater travel times were modeled for the same springshed area with the shortest travel times located in proximity to the springs and river in southern Columbia and northwestern Alachua counties.

Map of Floridan aquifer high recharge areas!

An updated Alachua County map designating the Floridan Aquifer protection zones has been created which more accurately depicts the aquifer system's relative vulnerability and recharge. The more refined map will replace the high aquifer recharge map titled "Degree of Confinement of the Floridan Aquifer System (1988)", which is also referred to as the 3-color map.

In creating the map four data layers were evaluated: overburden thickness above the Floridan aquifer, karst features (sinkholes, swallets, etc), soil permeability, and water level difference between the surficial and Floridan aquifer. Stream-to-sink watersheds were overlain to provide additional protection of the Floridan aquifer in the Santa Fe River and its tributaries and in the smaller closed basins in the central portion of Alachua County, creating the map of Floridan aquifer high recharge areas.

The map of Floridan aquifer high recharge areas was adopted into the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan as part of the first round of Large Scale Comprehensive Plan amendments in 2009. The definition of high aquifer recharge and minor text changes will be made to clarify use of the new map. This map will affect the location of new high risk hazardous materials handling facilities and the design of stormwater basins in the unincorporated area of Alachua County.

Click HERE to read the Alachua County Aquifer Vulnerability Assessment report or HERE to view a presentation on the map. Click HERE to see a larger version of the map, or HERE for a smaller, printable image.

Springshed Mapping

A springshed is the area of land that contributes to the water that discharges from a spring. The springshed for some of the springs of the Santa Fe River has recently been mapped.

  • Click HERE to view the springshed map
Springs and Swallets of the Lower Santa Fe River


Click HERE to download an image of this map!

Designing a Springs Protection Public Outreach Campaign

ACEPD received funding from the WIldlife Foundation of Florida Protect Florida Springs License Plate Grant Program to design a public education campaign to encourage landscaping behaviors that are protective of our springs. Click HERE to read the report.

 Mill Creek and Lee Sinks Dye Trace Study (July - December 2005)

Have you ever wondered where the water that soaks through your yard ends up? Well, we have! ACEPD contracted Karst Environmental Services, inc. to do a dye trace study to do just that. Harmless dyes was put into sinkholes and samples were collected at nearby springs, wells, and Santa Fe River to determine where the water was going. We learned that some of the water moves very fast through conduits (water filled caves)- it took only 12-13 days for some of the water and dye to travel 6 miles! This means that pollutants entering these sinkholes could quickly harm the springs. Click HERE to read the report.

 Evaluation of Nitrate Sources in Springs of the Santa Fe River Basin (2005) 

Geochemical and microbiological analysis methods were used to evaluate sources of nutrient enrichment, nutrient cycling, and groundwater residence times in two springs that discharge water from the karstic Upper Floridan aquifer to the Santa Fe River in northern Florida. Click HERE to read the results!