Suwannee Springs received some much needed attention recently during a restoration effort to clean out the spring vent and bring the spring back to a more natural state. Suwannee River Water Management District (District) staff combined forces with Karst Environmental Services, Inc. staff to have a dive crew manually remove rocks, debris and other litter from the spring.
According to District Public Use Coordinator Edwin McCook, the spring has never been cleaned, and over the years the constant build-up of debris has decreased the spring’s flow and negatively altered the environmental value.
During the two-day project, a variety of items were recovered from the spring, the majority of which were large rocks that had been placed in the spring by natural and human activity. These rocks are being saved for use in future restoration projects at the spring.
Pete Butt, co-owner of Karst Environmental Services, is a member of the dive crew that performed the cleaning. He explained that the purpose for cleaning out the spring was to remove as much debris as possible and to assess those materials for restoration purposes.
In addition, the cleaning has not only improved spring flow, but also the overall appearance of the spring.
“The water is much clearer now with a nice sandy bottom,” says Butt. “We were able to remove a lot of litter.”