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State leaders working on plan to buy land, preserve water quality in Wakulla County

Posted at 6:27 PM, Mar 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-12 18:27:02-04
  • Leaders in Florida are working toward a plan to preserve fresh water in Wakulla County.
  • The move follows multiple meetings at the county level where neighbors voiced their concerns about water quality.
  • Watch the video above to see what's in the works.


After months of heated meetings and controversy over a piece of land owned by Southwest Georgia Oil Company we have updates. I'm Kenzie Krueger at the Wakulla Springs. We now have an idea of what could go to the this area that connects to one of the largest fresh water springs.

Neighbors across the county and state have been working to prevent a gas station from being built in an area that sits near one of the largest fresh water springs in the world. The land has underground caves that connect to the aquifer in the Wakulla Springs on the corner of State Road 367 and US 319.

After countless commission meetings and members of the community speaking out, there's a possible plan for the area. The move comes after the the Florida house and senate have proposed a $3.7 million budget to buy the land owned by the gas company, Southwest Georgia Oil and use it for preservation.

It's something Gil Damon, with a nonprofit known as the Down River Project that advocates for clean water, says he’s glad there’s progress being made. “We’ve got 225 acres that now we have the opportunity to purchase as a state to make sure that we protect this world renown resource forever.”

After growing up here and enjoying the water, Damon says he’s happy that people in the county worked together to push for a solution. “When we bring fisherman and hunters and cave divers and you know toddlers and people who just love and drink the water, when we bring those types of people together, we can really accomplish a lot.”

I reached out to the county for input and they said they will not commenting at this time.I also contacted Southwest Georgia company and I have not heard back.

The final budget is being voted on Friday. If it’s approved, it it will give almost $4 million for Conservation Florida to purchase the land. It all depends on if Gov. DeSantis signs off on it.