Expedition Explores Florida’s Springs

Light poor through a vent in the headspring of the Chassahowitzka River.

Florida is said to have the highest concentration of freshwater springs on Earth. The Florida Wildlife Corridor #Glades2Gulf Expedition is traversing springs country near the Gulf of Mexico and recently explored several of these wonderful windows into the underground aquifer.

Our first plunge was into the headspring of the Chassahowitzka River before following the river’s 5-mile journey downstream to the Gulf of Mexico. In 2013, the Southwest Florida Water Management District led a restoration of the headspring that pumped out truckloads of sediment and sand. Nearly 4 tons of nitrogen were removed. Though upper springs are clear, the spring runs and river are still challenged by toxic algae fed by nutrient-laden runoff from development in the springshed.

Light poor through a vent in one of the Chassahowitzka River springs. (Photo by Carlton Ward Jr / CarltonWard.com)
Expedition member Joe Guthrie dives through a tunnel in a Chassahowitzka spring.
Expedition member Joe Guthrie dives through a tunnel in a Chassahowitzka spring. (Photo by Carlton Ward Jr.)

A few miles inland, the crystal-clear Rainbow River flows from the headspring in Rainbow River State Park to meet the Withlacoochee River near the town of Dunnellon. —> Read More Here

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