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Wakulla Springs Alliance board votes not to challenge plan to restore water quality

Posted: 10:24 PM, Jul 13, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-13 22:35:29Z
Wakulla Spring

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) -- The Wakulla Springs Alliance board voted not to challenge the Florida Department of Environmental Protection plans to restore water quality.

While the group would've liked to see more steps taken, they feel the plan as is, will at least make a difference.

"I remember what the springs looked like when I first came to Tallahassee - Leon County. In the early 90's you could stand up on that dive tower and see all the way to the bottom of the spring," said Robert Deyle, Wakulla Springs Alliance member.

He attended the meeting Friday, where board members discussed whether or not to contest the Basin Management Action Plans.

In 2016, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection put the 20 year plan into action.

The goal is to reduce the amount of nitrate that flows into the springs. Deyle says nitrates from septic tank wastewater and fertilizers used in nearby cities, are affecting the water quality.

"Usually results in a proliferation of things we don't want like too much algae, too much exotic invasive plants. And that changes the food basin, so then that changes the animals and the fish," said Deyle. "And you end up with something you didn't want which is an altered ecosystem." 

Some board members feel the DEP's plan to restore water quality focuses too much on updating sewer systems, and not enough on preventing pollution from stormwater runoff.

But in the end, they voted to not challenge the state's plan.

"It is a step in the right direction and it's had a lot of study. And we think that in the course of the next 20 years, we will have chances to make corrections," said Sean McGlynn, Wakulla Springs Alliance President.

McGlynn says, the plan won't bring full restoration of the water, but it will help.

The hope is to continue improving the springs over the next 20 years for both residents and visitors to enjoy.