The 2022 Springs Summit brought together seasoned experts and new advocates for a weekend of learning and networking. Thanks to everyone who attended, presented, and participated in such a great event. We look forward to keeping this momentum going.
Pre-summit outings on the waterways around Crystal River on Friday gave attendees the chance to get together for social time and inspiration.
Friday evening an audience gathered on the waterside lawn of Plantation Inn at sunset to watch Oscar Corral's award-winning documentary, "Fellowship of the Springs."
Volunteers Chelsey and Chris Stevens and Michael McGrath welcomed 200 attendees in for the 2022 Springs Summit panels and presentations.
Hover on video to play: Hosted at the Plantation Inn on Crystal River, the 2022 Summit got underway officially at 10am on Saturday April 9.
Every available seat was reserved days before the event began. Attendance for all panels and presentations was free thanks to sponsors, including the Florida Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
One of our goals for this year's summit was to bring more young springs advocates into the movement. Here Executive Director Ryan Smart answers questions during one of the panels.
There's no substitute for in-person conversations. John Jopling, president of Ichetucknee Alliance, presents a question for the panel of springs experts.
Hover on video to play: Communications expert Angela Bradbery led one of those most talked-about sessions of the day, "Communicating for Change." How do we move from awareness to action?
Our "Photography & Social Media" Panel: Kelly DelValle, Reme Vaught Hastings, John Moran, Michelle Colson (Mermaid Michi) and Mike Winkles.
The State of the Springs: A Panel Discussion on Springs Policy & Law. with Bill Kerr, Former SJRWMD Governing Board Chairman. Sen. David Simmons, former state senator and sponsor of the Springs & Aquifer Protection Act. Moderator Dr. Bob Palmer. Dr. Bob Knight, Director of the Florida Springs Institute. Doug MacLaughlin, FSC attorney, retired SFWMD attorney.
Erica Hernandez, Conservation Director for Alachua Conservation Trust gave an inside look at the land conservation projects that are ongoing to preserve land and protect water quality in the Santa Fe and Suwannee River basins.
"Raising Awareness" is different from inspiring people to take action. Communications expert Angela Bradbery discussed how to communicate springs conservation in ways that enact real change.
Hover on video to play: Presentations were designed for those new to the springs conservation movement as well as more experienced advocates. FSC executive director Ryan Smart presented "Springs Advocacy Boot Camp" to cover the basics.
Save the Springs, Save the Manatees, presented by Sara Gledhill, policy director at Florida Wildlife Federation and Ragan Whitlock from Center for Biological Diversity.
Group representatives had the chance to speak with State Representative Anna Eskamani.
State Representative Anna Eskamani, keynote speaker, and Kristin Rubin, president of Our Santa Fe River.
Rainbow River Conservation board member and photographer Linda Wilinski donated her time and talent to oversee the silent auction, which included her amazing manatee photo.
We closed out Saturday evening with a banquet to honor our volunteers, advocates, and organizations. John Moran, Rhonda Long, Brent Fannin
Advocates broke out into discussion groups with others from their area to make connections and identify common goals.
The Politics of Water. Big topic, a perfect end to the Summit.
Crystal River was a great backdrop to the weekend's activities. It's time now to let the inspiration, new connections, and ideas carry the movement forward!
A big 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 www.wildlifeflorida.org or call 813-358-8058.