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Eco-tourism

Set 1 of 13
Crew Cleanup for Manatee Season Sep 11, 2018 - As we near manatee season, divers collected several bags of trash to make the area safer for the sea cows. The bags of debris that line the intracoastal pose a problem with the sea cows migrating here starting in November.
Barnett shares hope, urges activism for water resource protection Aug 8, 2018 - The water that connects us "needs us now," author Cynthia Barnett told the crowd gathered at South Walton High School on July 25.
Camping at Juniper Springs Feb 24, 2018 - Right on the edge of Ocala National Forest lies Juniper Springs; a beautiful recreational area that was helped shaped by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Filled with swimming, canoeing, and kayaking the springs is also home to the Historic Millhouse.
Waterways in peril: Silver and Rainbow rivers Oct 2, 2017 - A deadline is looming for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to finalize cleanup plans for the Silver and Rainbow rivers but an agency official and environmentalists alike say the plans will not be enough.
Set 2 of 13
Ailing Florida springs could be tapped further to fuel development May 23, 2017 - BROOKSVILLE ' Efforts by state officials to set a minimum flow for its iconic springs have stirred up a wave of public opposition. Opponents contend the state is willing to destroy its springs in order to justify continuing to provide water for new development.
Some of the best vacation lodging is inside Florida's state parks May 8, 2017 - I love state parks, but I'm not a big fan of camping so the perfect solution for me is a state park cabin. I've stayed in cabins in 11 parks, some more than once.
Fighting intensifies over Silver Springs and rancher's water permit Apr 12, 2017 - Advocates for Florida springs say the state is falsely blaming aquatic grass and weeds for shriveling Silver Springs as a way to grant water rights to a wealthy rancher
Springs & wildlife make this river a special kayak trail Feb 15, 2017 - We didn't care that we didn't spot the manatees that frequent the Chaz or the bald eagles we were told to watch for. Let's not be greedy: It is a splendid kayaking river for the scenery alone.
Set 3 of 13
Florida still bringing in a record number of tourists Nov 21, 2016 - JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Tourists continue to visit Florida in record numbers during a year that saw two hurricanes hit the state and federal officials warn away pregnant women from Miami due to the Zika virus.
Time for Action at Three Sisters Springs Nov 16, 2016 - Without action from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, this warm, welcome respite for manatees could be threatened by tourism
'Mermaids' make a splash at Aquarium of the Americas Nov 2, 2016 - Making a return to the majestic waters of the Aquarium of the Americas are the world-famous mermaids of the Weeki Wachee Springs State Park in Florida, one of the Sunshine State's oldest roadside attractions.
State grants will help springs: Marion County > $700K Oct 25, 2016 - The Florida DEP has awarded the St. Johns RWM District $1.5 million to help fund three springs restoration projects. Marion County will get $716,250 of that. The rest will go toward a Longwood Island Lake septic tank removal project.
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Set 4 of 13
 Gwen Graham: Politics shortchanges, endangers water, Florida's greatest treasure Jul 31, 2016 - On a Workday at Wakulla Springs in North Florida, I saw firsthand what our state's water policy, or lack thereof, has done to our most valuable resource. The crystal-clear springs I remembered from my childhood are dark. Algae chokes the water of its oxygen. The glass bottom boats rarely run.
Florida's algae problem stems from Lake Okeechobee pollution Jul 11, 2016 - A vast area drains into Lake Okeechobee, where water laden with phosphorus has fertilized the growth of horrific algae blooms that have been discharged to the ocean. The target phosphorus level for the lake is 105 metric tons a year. Last year, the lake received 450.
High Springs: Crystal clear immersion in a small-town oasis. Jun 1, 2016 - While it can take just a few hours to peruse the shops, it can take a full weekend to experience the parks, rivers, springs, and trails that surround the town.
Conservation area opens to public May 30, 2016 - State water and land regulators, along with environmental conservation representatives, officially opened the $11.5 million, 4,900-acre conservation land to the public on Friday, clearing the way for horseback riding, bike riding and trail hiking. About 100 people were in attendance.
Set 5 of 13
Mosquitoes Not Bugging Visitors at Madison Blue Springs May 26, 2016 - LEE, FL (WTXL) -- Despite the nationwide Zika scare, visitors at Madison Blue Springs State Park say mosquitoes have not been bothersome.
Jim Gross: River restoration would boost ecotourism May 24, 2016 - I understand this issue has been highly politicized for a long time. And yes, I am the executive director of Florida Defenders of the Environment, an organization dedicated to restoring the Ocklawaha River.
Jackson Blue Springs part of a 'restoration plan' from state agencies May 17, 2016 - Jackson Blue Springs draws in visitors both near and far. It is the main source of water for Merritt's Mill Pond. State agencies want to keep those bodies of waters clean with a restoration plan.
10 Springs in Florida For The Nature Lover to Visit May 16, 2016 - Florida has more than 700 natural freshwater springs, more than anywhere else on earth, with water so pristine that it is not uncommon to spot exotic fish and manatee floating nearby.
Set 6 of 13
Becoming Enchanted by the Springs Apr 29, 2016 - I find it difficult to explain the magic of our springs. You just have to see them or, better yet, swim in their crystal clear waters. Sometimes I tell people that it feels like flying, floating with nothing supporting me from above or below.
Scott Signs 'Legacy Florida' For Everglades, Springs – WUFT Apr 9, 2016 - The measure (HB 989), that was important of legislative leaders coupled with the support of conservationists, could yearly put aside greater than $250 million for restoration work. The cash can come from funds that voters designated in 2014.
Visit Florida's spending wrapped in secrecy Mar 28, 2016 - Visit Florida, a public-private group that will get $78 million in state money next year, says its spending is legal and crucial to its mission to boost tourism, which has helped set records each of the past five years, including more than 100 million visitors in 2015.
Ron Littlepage: Environmental issues put a hit on Florida tourism Mar 23, 2016 - Visit the Sunshine State. But you may not want to do it now. This is turning out to be a bad spring for tourists and the tourism dollars that help fuel our economy.

One person suggested this would be a better slogan: "What was once the sea trout and red fish capital of the world is now the dead fish capital."
Set 7 of 13
The Ultimate Central Florida Road Trip Is Right Here Feb 8, 2016 - Millions of people flock to Central Florida each year, and then never leave Disney property the entire time they're here. The middle of our state has some of the best attractions Florida has to offer, so all these folks are really missing out.
Palmer: We can fund operations of state parks without ruining them Nov 29, 2015 - Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Jim Steverson has come up with some elaborate and controversial methods for making state parks financially self-sustaining. He and his predecessor have proposed cattle leases, hunting, commercial RV parks
Editorial: Don'tlet forest land purchase fail Nov 13, 2015 - The proposed purchase of the 4,900-acre tract known as the Silver Springs Forest is an environmental and economic coup that cannot be allowed to fail.
Editorial: Kill hunting for cash in state parks Nov 10, 2015 - How many times does it have to be said: Florida's parks are no place for hunting. That should be obvious to anybody. Yet the Department of Environmental Protection has left hunting on the table as another moneymaking scheme in pursuit of the misguided goal that the parks system pays for itself.
Set 8 of 13
Manatee viewing center opens for the season on Sunday Oct 30, 2015 - When the Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center opens for the season on Sunday visitors will notice several improvements. The center, which attracts about 250,000 visitors a month, expanded its boardwalk, brought in new benches and upgraded the overflow parking lot.
Where there might be giants Oct 29, 2015 - Nothing says Florida like manatees, those lumbering sea creatures that manage to be reminiscent of both elephants and puppies. Because these aquatic mammals can't tolerate water temperatures below 68 degrees, in winter they head for inland springs and discharge canals near power plants to keep warm.
Manatee County Tourist Development Council supports ecotourism, arts, culture community Oct 23, 2015 - MANATEE - Europeans and other international travelers continue to boost tourism numbers in Manatee County. It's not only the area's beaches but evolving initiatives focused on arts, culture, Florida's other environmental assets and conservation that's bringing them here.
Top 10 Ways to Take in the Old Florida, New Vibe of West Volusia Oct 15, 2015 - WEST VOLUSIA, FL - When people think of Daytona Beach, the roar of engines and thundering surf most easily come to mind, but there's another side to Daytona that one might never discover.
Set 9 of 13
In Florida, fears grow that environmental damage will hurt tourism Sep 22, 2015 - Indeed, in Miami and around Florida, tourism is booming, in large part due to the state's famed beaches and its other outdoor attractions. In 2014, the state hosted an estimated 98 million visitors, who contributed $82 billion to the economy, according to Visit Florida. This year, that figure is expected to leap past 100 million for the first time.
Our opinion: The nature business Sep 9, 2015 - We'll admit, Tallahasseeans reflexively get a little nervous when Florida officials start talking about running state government like a business. It's not a business. There are things in state administration that business can help with, and certainly business efficiencies can improve public services.
Amendment 1 backers start new environmental political group Aug 13, 2015 - Florida's Water and Land Legacy, the group that sponsored Amendment 1 in the 2014 election, has shuttered its doors and relaunched as Florida Conservation Voters, which backers say will have a broader mission of political activism on environmental issues.
The Rivers & Beaches of Wakulla County Aug 13, 2015 - Situated on the Gulf Coast is one of Florida's best hidden treasures. The rivers and beaches of Wakulla County provide an abundance relaxing and adventurous activities, including boating, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, scalloping, and snorkeling
Set 10 of 13
Water giveaways: Something for nothing Jul 20, 2015 - The new Adena Golf and Country Club in Ocala is one of "Florida's best new golf courses" and that we are fortunate to have "another incredible golf course in the Ocala area." However, the new Adena golf course is a private club owned by Canadian billionaire Frank Stronach and will only be accessible to the privileged few.
Florida's state parks are under assault Jun 15, 2015 - Jon Steverson, who heads the state Department of Environmental Protection, thinks state parks should operate like a corner 7-Eleven and make enough money to pay for themselves. Cattle grazing, logging, farming. Whatever it takes to make money.
Protecting Our Water - What Amendment 1 funds can do for Northeast Florida Jun 8, 2015 - In November of 2014, Florida voters overwhelmingly said 'Yes' to a constitutional amendment that would provide dedicated funding to conserve critical lands and protect our water resources.
Folk Festival draws thousands to White Springs Jun 1, 2015 - The 63rd Annual Florida Folk Festival kicked off Friday afternoon, May 22, with the traditional sponsor's reception inside the Stephen Foster Museum, followed by opening night ceremonies at the amphitheater. This year, the weather cooperated nicely throughout the entire Memorial Day weekend.
Set 11 of 13
May 30th Statewide Events May 27, 2015 - SAVE THE DATE - MAY 30 - This is our last chance to convince our legislators to Finish the Job and Fund Water & Land Conservation. They return to Tallahassee for a 3-week special session on June 1. They will decide how to spend Amendment 1 funds, and they need to hear from you!
Help Blue Springs Become a State Park May 26, 2015 - Great news! It appears there is a good chance that Blue Springs in Gilchrist County on the Santa Fe River will become a state park. The date in Tallahassee is June 19, and the time to act is now.
DEP Says No 'Critical' Funding would Force State Parks To Close May 20, 2015 - Florida would be forced to close state parks without approval of a new state budget that provides for at least 'critical' spending, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
Florida budget battle could lead to state park closures May 19, 2015 - PINELLAS COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -
It was another typical day on Honeymoon Island, with people enjoying all the state park has to offer.But if a budget isn't reached among lawmakers in Tallahassee by the end of June, the place could be closed because the money will run out.
Set 12 of 13
Florida by Water: Tackle the 'Saltwater Appalachian Trail' May 18, 2015 - The Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail, or CT, is the state's longest sea kayaking trail. Referred to as the saltwater version of the Appalachian Trail, the 1,515-mile route is divided into 26 segments.
Gov. Scott: Florida Smashes All-Time Record Quarter for Tourism May 15, 2015 - Governor Rick Scott announced during a press conference at the Naples Zoo that Florida has set another record in tourism numbers by welcoming the highest amount of visitors of any quarter in the state's history.
Revised Figures Show Florida Welcomed 98.9 Million Visitors in 2014 May 1, 2015 - I am pleased to share that late yesterday Governor Scott announced our revised preliminary 2014 visitation figure of 98.9 million. This figure represents a 5.1 percent increase over the previous high of 97.3 million in 2013 and marks the second largest year-over-year visitor increase Florida has experienced in a decade.
4 Reasons to Celebrate the Florida Circumnavigational Paddling Trail Apr 29, 2015 - This weekend, paddlers will gather at Wekiva Springs State Park near Orlando to share their experiences on one of the longest designated water trails in the world. Measuring over 1,500 miles, the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail traces the entire perimeter of the Sunshine State, exposing paddlers to its wonderful diversity of wildlife and landforms, including manatees and 'gators, and salt marshes, mangroves and beaches.
Set 13 of 13
Squeezing the System: Bills Would Take Toll on State Parks Apr 29, 2015 - As outlined recently by the Tampa Bay Times, the Legislature is considering opening up public lands set aside for conservation to "low-impact" agriculture. The plan affects at least 1.2 million acres, or about 3 percent of Florida's total acreage.
Spring at Wekiwa Springs State Park Apr 4, 2015 - "It's truly a beautiful place to be", Michael Maier comments while sitting on the back bench of a canoe. "It's here along the Wekiva River, not far from civilization, where the real Florida awaits. Mary Weinaug with Wekiva Island calls this part of Seminole County a "cool eco destination that's right in your backyard."
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This website is not affiliated with any local, state or federal entity. We publicly support the Springs of Florida, the Florida Aquifer all Florida water ways. We want to share what we find and make it easier for others to find Florida Springs related information.