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Saturday sessions are at capacity, but Sunday sessions are open. Register on site Sunday morning beginning at 8:30.


Thank you for joining us at the 2022 Springs Summit!

Post your pictures and thoughts to social media with #springssummit



Juice, coffee, and water will be available



Magnolia Room


Casey Fitzgerald, Florida Springs Council President,

Former Assistant Director Water Resources Dept., SJRWMD


Magnolia Room


The State of the Springs:

Panel Discussion on

Springs Policy & Law

Bill Kerr: Former SJRWMD Governing Board Chairman


Dr. Bob Knight: Director of the Florida Springs Institute

Doug MacLaughlin: FSC attorney, retired SFWMD attorney

Sen. David Simmons: Former state senator, sponsor of Springs & Aquifer Protection Act

Moderated by Dr. Bob Palmer, retired, Staff Director for the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the U. S. House of Representatives

12PM - 1PM LUNCH on your own


Plantation Inn has 3 dining locations:  The West 82⁰ restaurant, the 19th Hole Sports Bar & Grill just inside the main building entrance near the manatee fountain, and the Tiki Bar, located near the pool, serving burgers, appetizers, and salads.

There is a KFC, Sonic, and Wendy's all one to one and a half miles from the Plantation Inn - drive to Hwy 19 and turn left.

There are a few small restaurants in and around the Winn Dixie shopping center, just across Hwy 19.


Magnolia Room

Springs Advocacy Boot Camp

Ryan Smart, Executive Director of the Florida Springs Council 

This session is designed to give you the background information you need to take your springs advocacy efforts to the next level. It features details on water laws and policies, how we got here, and how the system works.

You'll walk away more confident in your understanding of how waterways and our springs are or are not protected by current laws and agencies, and how advocates can best direct efforts to effect change. 


Sable Room

Springs Science Update

  • Dr. Bob Knight, Director of the Florida Springs Institute:  Springs Watch and citizen volunteer science

  • Greg Owen, Alachua County Environmental Protection Department – Status and results of mechanical aeration of spring flows to enhance algal grazing by snails

  • Dr. Rick Copeland, Aquiferwatch – Status and Results of Private Well Monitoring for Nitrate in the Lower Santa Fe River Springs Basin


Magnolia Room

Communicating for Change

Angela Bradbery, Public Interest Communications Expert

Angela worked as a newspaper reporter, then communications director at Public Citizen in Washington, D.C., and co-founded a nonprofit advocacy organization, Smokefree DC, helping to lead the successful communications campaign for a smoke-free workplace law in the District. She's now on faculty at the University of Florida.

Angela will cover the basics of communicating for change; do's and don'ts, how to lead people to care about your cause, effective strategies for communicating with the public for awareness and action. 


Sable Room

No Roads to Ruin

Cris Costello, Senior Organizing Manager, Sierra Club Florida

Michael McGrath, Organizing Representative, Sierra Club Florida 

The grassroots fight to stop the Northern Turnpike Extension toll road has reached a fevered pitch. Local residents in or near the proposed pathways; water, land, and wildlife conservation activists; defenders of farm and rural heritage, and the 116 partners in the No Roads to Ruin Coalition have come together to stop the destruction new toll roads would wreak on our precious springsheds and beyond. Citrus, Levy, Marion, and Sumter counties are all at risk of the sprawl that kills what we love about North Florida. The presentation and interactive discussion with attendees will explore the threats we must face together and how you can organize in your own community to stop these “roads to ruin.” 



Magnolia Room

Photography & Social Media

A rapid-fire set of 6-minute presentations touching on various topics in photography and social media, and their current and potential roles in springs conservation. Followed by Q&A.

  • John Moran, a nature photographer who has been documenting Florida's springs for decades, speaks of the power of images and storytelling in springs advocacy.

  • Kelly DelValle, curator of @thespringstate and originator of the Instagram geotag "Tag Responsibly, Keep the Spring State Wild" will speak on her experiences in photography and social media's impact on the springs conservation movement.

  • Reme Vaught Hastings, @sirenofthesprings, underwater photographer and model, provides some detailed pointers for in-water photography and editing apps.

  • Michelle Colson, also known as "Mermaid Michi" has used her social media platform for Advocacy and will speak on practical underwater tricks and tips as well as her experiences as an advocate.

  • Mike Winkles, PADI Course Director and avid freediver & paddleboarder, and will share his experiences from nearly 20 years of professional water based photography & videography.


Sable Room

Land Conservation for Springs Protection

Erica Hernandez, Conservation Director, Alachua Conservation Trust

Erica will talk about ACT's land conservation projects to protect water quality and quantity in the Santa Fe and Suwannee River basins. How they identify and prioritize potential projects, how they connect and work with private property owners, land acquisition and conservation easements, and details about the projects that are ongoing to preserve land in the Santa Fe and Suwannee areas. 


Magnolia Room

Manatees and Springs

Hosted by Save the Manatee Club

Save the Manatee and panelists will discuss the importance of springs as critical manatee habitat, ongoing and past efforts to ensure adequate sanctuaries and the nexus between water quality and endangered/threatened species protection. 

5:00PM Close of Saturday Sessions


Palm Room, 

Upstairs Main Building


The Florida Springs Council's banquet will feature a Mediterranean-themed pescatarian dinner, live music by Orlando musician Joe Lamy, a silent auction, awards, and keynote speaker, Florida House Representative Anna Eskamani. Come join the Fellowship! 




Juice, Coffee, Water, Tea available



Various Rooms

Regional Breakouts

We'll gather according to Springs Area:


  • Nature Coast, from Weeki Wachee to Rainbow: Magnolia Room​

  • St. John's River basin, from Wekiva to ONF: Sable Left

  • Santa Fe River, Suwannee River, and Panhandle: Sable Right

A chance to connect with others in your area to discuss common issues, common goals, and potential for working together.


Magnolia Room

Springs Advocacy in Action

A look at successful springs protection campaigns, and a discussion about how to keep the successes coming.

Burt Eno, Rainbow River Conservation

Margaret Spontak, Free the Ocklawaha River Coalition

Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, Our Santa Fe River

Cris Costello, Sierra Club Florida


Magnolia Room

The Politics of Water

"Whiskey's for Drinkin',

Water is for Fighting Over" 

We'll discuss the political arena where those fights for our water are happening.

Florida State House Representative Anna Eskamani

Bob Palmer, Florida Springs Council


Moderated by Ryan Smart, Director of Florida Springs Council

12:30PM Close of the 2022 Springs Summit


Thanks to Our Sponsors


This project is funded in part by a grant from the nonprofit Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida (FWFF) via proceeds from the ‘Protect Florida Springs’ license plate. Since its founding, the Foundation has raised and given away more than $43 million for conservation, outdoor recreation and youth programs and camps. For more information, please visit or call 813-358-8058.

Get up and Go Kayaking has long been a supporter of the Florida Springs Council and we thank them for their support once again for their part in making the Springs Summit 2022 a success. Book a clear kayak tour at one of their many locations across Florida at

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Hernando Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society
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