Maintenance of Two Current Spring Basin Working Groups and Establisthment of Two New Spring Basin Working Groups
   Carol Lippincott, Lippincott Consulting LLC.

Abstract: In 1999 the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) formed the Florida Springs Task Force to determine the status of Florida’s Springs and develop strategies for protection. The multi-agency task force created recommendations in the report, Florida’s Springs: Strategies for Protection & Restoration, November 2000. The report became the foundation for the Florida’s Springs Initiative; a comprehensive springs protection effort coordinated by DEP. The Florida Springs Initiative receives approximately 2 million dollars in annual funding from the Florida Legislature. Since 2000 the Florida Springs Initiative has implemented over 100 projects based on the recommendations from the 2000 Springs Report, including funding for six Spring Basin Working Groups Coordinators. The Working Group meetings have proven successful at coordinating a wide array of stakeholders to implement non-regulatory, springs protection projects. For example, the Ichetucknee Spring Basin Working Group has initiated enough local support for spring protection that the Rotary Club is now sponsoring the Ichetucknee Promise; a four step process citizens can take to protect Ichetucknee spring. Concurrently, Jackson Blue Spring Basin Working Group is coordinating a sinkhole clean-up amnesty program which allows landowners the opportunity to clean their sinkholes without regulatory consequences. In 2006 Florida’s Wildlife Legacy Initiative identified Spring and Spring Run habitat to be a priority for action. We began working with partners to identify and prioritize projects that could receive potential funding. Working Group coordination, specifically at Fanning/Manatee and Volusia Blue Springs, emerged at the top of the list and in 2007 State Wildlife Grants dedicated three years of funding for the project. The Legacy Initiative contracted with Lippincott Consulting, Inc to coordinate quarterly working group meetings within each spring basin. Coordination of the Working Groups will help establish local actions that protect and restore each spring while also enhancing the comprehensive springs protection framework founded by the Florida Springs Initiative. The Fanning/Manatee and Volusia Blue Spring Working Groups will pursue the successful performances of existing Working Groups and will also place an emphasis on the importance of fish and wildlife diversity in springs protection. Benefits of this cooperative effort include improving knowledge of threats associated with each spring basin, sharing resources such as funds and expertise. Most important, the Working Group meetings will provide a forum to identify and implement projects that maintain and/or restore ecological diversity to each spring and spring run.

Award Matching Funds Total
$158,750.00 $158,750.00 $317,500.00

Year Funded Starting Date Ending Date
2007 11/27/2007 11/15/2010

Location: Gilchrist, Jackson, Levy, Volusia and Wakulla Counties