Florida is going to spend nearly $37 million to help improve the water quality of several springs across the state. Last week, Governor Scott announced a list of the projects that will receive a combination of state and local funding. The projects range from the Panhandle to central Florida and include 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.
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. “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. last week. “Much more needs to be done, but these projects can pave the way to restoring some of our most iconic springs.”