Rick Scott Announces Funding for Springs in North Florida

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: September 5, 2013 3:55 AM
Wekiwa Springs State Park

Credit: floridastateparks.org

Gov. Rick Scott announced Wednesday almost $37 million in additional funding for water quality and quantity improvements for springs across Northern Florida.

The funds come from a $10 million investment in the 2013 budget, more than $1 million from the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and the rest coming from local partners.

“Today, we’re announcing important steps we’re taking to protect and restore springs throughout the Sunshine State,” the governor said at a media event in Wekiwa Springs State Park in Apopka on Wednesday. “Florida’s springs are important to animal and plant life, and help support Florida’s booming tourism industry. This $10 million investment from the Florida Families First Budget will enable state and local partners to protect the quality and quantity of water that flows from our springs. Our commitment to Florida families means doing our part in supporting these natural treasures.”

The funding will go to Silver, Wekiwa, Rock, Ichetucknee, Rainbow, Chassahowitzka, Homosassa, Weeki Wachee, Jackson Blue and Williford Springs and springs near the Santa Fe and Suwannee Rivers and Kings Bay. Silver Springs near Ocala will get the bulk of the funding, getting $20.3 million followed by Ichetucknee with $4.6 million. The Wekiwa Springs group will receive $3.5 million. Kings Bay by Crystal River will get $2.9 million while the Suwanee River Springs will receive $1.9 million. Williford Spring is penciled in to receive $1.3 million while Jackson Blue Spring, which is also on the Panhandle, will get $1.2 million. Springs on the Spring Coast will receive $875,000.

“These projects will illustrate what can be accomplished when the state invests wisely to support and supplement department and water management district restoration programs,” said DEP Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr. on Wednesday. “Much more needs to be done, but these projects can pave the way to restoring some of our most iconic springs.”

Scott has increasingly turned to water management issues in recent weeks. Last month, he committed more than $130 million to waterways in South Florida. He has also filed suit against the state of Georgia regarding water quality in the Apalachicola region.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

Comments (5)

8:58AM SEP 8TH 2013
throwing a little money at springs to prove you care about florida is for the benefit of his re election. dismantling and not enforcing florida environmental laws should be the issue, which scott has made a priority from day one.
7:07AM SEP 5TH 2013
So nice to see Governor Scott coming around on water.
paul fair tax proud tea party heaven bound jones
1:29PM SEP 6TH 2013
Spending all of this money is a total waste we have the cleanest water air in the world also is the most in debt. We don't have this money out grandchildren will have nothing by the time we are done
9:02AM SEP 8TH 2013
yep let those grand kids drink salt water. that could be one of the insane comments i've ever seen posted. bet you think climate change is a hoax also. a little research on your part would be nice.
10:04AM SEP 7TH 2013
Governor Lord Voldemort Scott is not "coming around" on water, he is posturing with a meaningless in scale gesture. paul, typical tea bagger that has no clue as to the realities of water in Florida. thwe last 15 years of Republican rule have been a huge step baxkwards abd much of the current legislature and their supporters such as you are determined to make it worse.

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