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How does state law address polluted springs?

Springs Water Quality Plans:

Florida's springs are suffering from nitrate pollution. 


The only regulatory tool the state has to reduce nitrates and restore springs to health are plans called

Basin Management Action Plans, or BMAPs.  

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is required by state law to write BMAPs that identify the sources of nitrate pollution and outline regulations and programs to reduce the nitrates coming from those sources. The BMAPs should contain viable plans to restore springs to health within a 20-year timeframe.

The Florida Springs Council is invested in making sure these BMAPs are sound and will succeed.

An essential part of that process is for our members to get involved as BMAPs are being rewritten for a 2025 update, and demand that DEP uphold its legal responsibility to create viable plans to restore polluted springs.

These are the 30 Outstanding Florida Springs

established by the 2016 Springs & Aquifer Protection Act.

24 of the 30 Outstanding Florida Springs are polluted by excessive nitrates and therefore require a BMAP to restore water quality:

Chassahowitzka Springs Group

Crystal River

DeLeon Spring

Devil’s Ear Spring

Falmouth Spring

Fanning Springs

Gemini Springs

Homasassa Spring Group

Hornsby Spring

Ichetucknee Spring Group

Jackson Blue Spring

Lafayette Blue Spring

Madison Blue Spring

Manatee Spring

Peacock Springs

Rainbow Spring Group

Rock Springs

Silver Springs

Troy Spring

Volusia Blue Spring

Wacissa Spring Group

Wakulla Spring

Weeki Wachee Springs Group

Wekiwa Spring

These 6 springs are currently meeting water quality standards and do not require a BMAP:

*Alexander Spring

*Columbia Spring

*Gainer Spring Group

*Poe Spring

*Silver Glen Springs

*Treehouse Spring

  • In 2018 the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) released 13 BMAPs covering the 24 impaired springs.

  • The plans were legally and scientifically inadequate, so we took DEP to court to force the agency to create BMAPs that comply with the law. In 2023 the 1st District Court of Appeals ruled in our favor

  • DEP is required to update the plans by July 2025. During this process, it's essential for springs advocates to be involved. FSC will keep members informed of meetings and opportunities to advocate for strong effective BMAPs - be sure you're signed up to receive news and updates:

See what an effective BMAP looks like; check out FSC’s Better-BMAP for the Santa Fe River Springs here:

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Learn more about BMAPs, Florida's Springs Restoration Plans and FSC's work to ensure they work.

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