Members of the District’s Springs Team were among the collection of speakers at the recent Springs into Action workshop. The all-day event, hosted by the Hernando County Groundwater Guardian, aims to educate community leaders and other residents about issues surrounding area springs.
Some of the topics were springs protection, recreation and restoration. The District’s Springs Team leader Chris Anastasiou, discussed efforts, actions and strategies for springs protection. He highlighted some of the District’s projects that benefit springs:
- City of Crystal River to Duke Energy Reclaimed Water Project — This project benefits the Crystal River/Kings Bay springshed and water bodies by replacing 750,000 gallons per day of valuable groundwater with reclaimed water for industrial uses at the Duke Energy power plant.
- Three Sisters Springs Treatment Wetland Project — After the project, stormwater runoff will be diverted through the treatment wetland and many pollutants will be filtered out instead of entering Kings Bay.
- Kings Bay Revegetation Project – Special types of eelgrass are grown in mats and then transferred to Hunters Cove. Once established, the eelgrass will provide a food source for manatees and help improve habitat and water quality in Kings Bay.
Sky Notestein, senior environmental scientist, talked about the status of the springs. He discussed the aquatic plant communities that can be found at the springs and why they are important to the natural systems.
He also talked about the variety of fish, mammals, birds and reptiles that can be found in these systems. For example, Weeki Wachee has 33 documented species of fish, 35 documented species of birds and a variety of reptiles and mammals.
Notestein said a variety of factors such as recreation and development can affect the make-up of these systems.
For more information about the Springs Team and their work, visit WaterMatters.org/Springs.