Florida’s springs provide some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet. Floridians are fortunate to live in a state with these natural resources that provide habitat for many species and recreation opportunities for residents and visitors. Springs’ refreshing waters have fascinated visitors from around the world and attracted attention throughout our history. Because water is the foundation for life, it is important that we understand the consequences of our actions and the impacts on our water resources.
In the last two years, with the support of Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature, we have directed $10.4 million to restoration, outreach, monitoring and research in our springs – more than double the total amount of funding provided in the previous three fiscal years. Moreover, we’ve changed how that money gets spent, towards a more pro-active response to this crisis.
Letter to DEP Secretary Vinyard from Marion County Commissioner Scott McClain regarding visit to Silver Springs and attendance at the Total Maximum Daily Load Workshop.
TMDL – The Watershed Restoration Act of 1999 (s. 403.067, F. S.) directs the Department of Environmental Protection to scientifically evaluate the quality of Florida’s surface waters and promote the mechanisms necessary to clean up pollution. The Act was created specifically to implement the federal Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) program, which is a systematic approach to establishing how much pollution water bodies can assimilate while still meeting water quality standards. The Act directs the DEP to report to the Governor and legislature after five years on the implementation of the TMDL program and recommend statutory changes necessary to improve it.
BMAP – A BMAP is the “blueprint” for restoring impaired waters by reducing pollutant loadings to meet the allowable loadings established in a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). It represents a comprehensive set of strategies–permit limits on wastewater facilities, urban and agricultural best management practices, conservation programs, financial assistance and revenue generating activities, etc.–designed to implement the pollutant reductions established by the TMDL. These broad-based plans are developed with local stakeholders–they rely on local input and local commitment–and they are adopted by Secretarial Order to be enforceable.