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Posted on: February 8, 2022

DIVE IN TO PRESERVE OUR SPRINGS, IMPROVE WATER QUALITY

Woman paddling a kayak.

LIVE OAK, FLA., Feb. 08, 2022 – The Suwannee River Water Management District (District) is proud to announce the launch of the water quality campaign, Dive In. With an emphasis on raising awareness of the ways everyone can help protect the springs and water quality, Dive In brings educational resources and tools to the residents and businesses throughout the District’s 15-county region. 

Home to over 440 of the state’s freshwater springs, the Suwannee Valley is among the state’s most beautiful regions boasting the largest concentration of freshwater springs in North America and arguably, the world. Dive In is an initiative to preserve and protect those unique resources and empower the community to take ownership and pride in being stewards of the region’s natural resources. 

Florida’s springs are filled with natural beauty, surrounded by lush vegetation and home to some of the state’s most beloved wildlife. Florida families and visitors have long loved recreating at the springs, from paddling, to swimming and diving, the springs are a source for making memories with loved ones.  

A refreshing 70 – 75 degrees year-round, Florida’s springs are a window to the health of our groundwater. In fact, the springs play an important role in providing drinking water to our state. About 90 percent of Florida’s drinking water comes from the Florida Aquifer. On average, first magnitude springs produce about 64.6 million gallons of fresh water each day. 

Despite their wonder, springs in the Suwannee Valley face complex threats, including decreasing spring flows and excessive nutrients. In 2016, the Florida legislature identified 30 outstanding Florida Springs that require additional protections to ensure their conservation and restoration for future generations. Of those 30 springs, of which 14 are within the Suwannee Valley region. The District is committed to continuing the work with the state to protect the springs for generations to come.  

Throughout the duration of the initiative, the District will be providing informational resources, as well as hosting workshops, webinars, and events, to help the community connect, learn, and celebrate our water resources. A key component of Dive In is “The Plunge,” a three-step challenge to protect our springs. Residents and visitors alike are invited to take “The Plunge” and join the District in committing to protecting our springs. 

The Plunge consists of three easy steps to help make a lasting impact on our water resources: 

  1.  Learn More 
  2. Do Your Part 
  3. Share Your Pride 

“At the District, we are continually expanding the ways in which we work with our communities to protect our springs, and we look forward to engaging and educating the community we serve through this new initiative,” said Hugh Thomas, Executive Director of the District. “We can all agree that our springs are beautiful, and I think we all have our own special memories and experiences with them. Our goal is to keep the springs beautiful and healthy so that future generations can have their own experiences and memories for years to come.”  

Visit www.SpringsDiveIn.com to learn more about the campaign and what you can do to be part of protecting the region’s water resources.   

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.  

Funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the Suwannee River Water Management District through an agreement/contract with the Nonpoint Source Management Program of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection under a federal grant agreement, the Dive In campaign is a multi-media campaign for springs and resource awareness in the Suwannee Valley related to water quality. 

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

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