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Posted on: January 24, 2017

Water Restoration Projects Bountiful At Fanning Springs Showcase

LIVE OAK, FLA, Jan. 24, 2017 – The Suwannee River Water Management District (District) hosted the Fanning Springs Restoration Showcase at Fanning Springs State Park to promote the numerous water restoration projects occurring throughout the springshed area.

“These projects illustrate the power of partnerships,” said Noah Valenstein, Executive Director for the District. “We face numerous challenges and threats to our resources, and collaboration is key to ensuring the long-term protection of our rivers, lakes and springs.”

The projects represent $14.1 million in grant funding provided by Governor Scott, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the District. An additional $3.1 million in funding is proposed for the area with the Fanning Springs Water Quality project. A total of seven projects were highlighted, including numerous agricultural cost-share projects.
 
“DEP is committed to partnering with the water management districts and local communities to ensure the long-term protection of our water resources,” said DEP Secretary Jon Steverson. “Thanks to the leadership of Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature, the state of Florida has provided record funding– nearly $135 million since 2013 – for Florida’s springs. I applaud the governing board of the Suwannee River Water Management District for their dedication to restoring Fanning Springs and the other springs in their district.” 

The projects provide numerous benefits to the area including a reduction of over 16,0000 pounds of nitrogen to the aquifer and an increase of 0.74 million gallons per day of aquifer recharge. Additionally, 1700 cubic yards of sediment was removed from critical water bodies, thereby improving the aesthetic, increasing water flow and enhancing water quality. 

“The health of our surrounding natural resources, water bodies and lands significantly benefit the quality of the springhead at the state park,” said Mark Abrizenski, park manager for Fanning Springs State Park. “These projects support the pristine waters of our springs which draw thousands of visitors per year.” 

Projects throughout the springshed also included 364 conversions from septic to sewer, allowing for waste water treatment options to improve water quality throughout the entire springshed water system.   

“Local communities and municipalities are the on-site eyes and ears needed to implement quality, impactful projects,” Darrell Smith, director of the division of agriculture and environmental projects for the District. “We encourage communities and municipalities to utilize our staff to submit project proposals year-round.”

The mission of the Suwannee River Water Management District is to protect and manage water resources using science-based solutions to support natural systems and the needs of the public. The District holds true to the belief of water for nature, water for people. Headquartered in Live Oak, Florida, the District serves 15 surrounding north-central Florida counties. 

For more information about the District, visit www.mysuwanneeriver.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter, search @SRWMD.
 
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