Fact Sheet 008-03

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Katz, B.G., and others, 2003, Florida Springs Interdisciplinary Science Study: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 008-03, 4 p.


The Florida Springs Interdisciplinary Science Study is an integrated U.S. Geological Survey science effort that builds on the knowledge of Federal, State, and local partners to address serious human health and ecological concerns that have arisen regarding Florida’s spring waters (Florida Springs Task Force, 2000). The steady increase in nitrate concentrations observed during the past 40 years threatens the aesthetic, cultural, and recreational value of these springs. The Upper Floridan aquifer, which supplies water to springs, is important not only for human consumption, but also for supporting critical ecological habitats for a variety of species. The USGS chose Manatee Springs as the location for this pilot study because of ongoing work being conducted by the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) and other scientific investigations supported by the State. The USGS work at this first magnitude spring will address the following objectives to build on existing work:

• Determine the major source(s) of nutrient enrichment;

• Develop baseline surveys of organisms that may be suitable for examining the ecological effects of nutrient enrichment in spring waters;

• Determine the occurrence of other contaminants of concern that could be associated with nutrient enrichment in spring waters (e.g. pharmaceuticals, pesticides and their degradates);

• Delineate areas most vulnerable to contamination based on geologic conditions and current land-use practices; and

• Assess how changing land-use practices have affected concentrations of nutrients and other contaminants in the spring.