Meeting Held to Discuss Restoration Plan for King’s Bay

May 27, 2014

 

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection invites local governments, scientists, environmentalists, agricultural producers and other interested parties to a restoration plan development workshop for King’s Bay and Crystal River.

WHAT:                Crystal River Basin Management Action Plan Technical Meeting

WHEN:                Wednesday, May 28

                            10:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.

WHERE:              City of Crystal River Conference Room at Crystal River City Hall

                            123 North West Highway 19

                            Crystal River, FL 34428

“DEP wants to develop restoration plans that respond to the specific needs of the water body and ensure the local public is engaged in these efforts,” said Tom Frick, director of the Division of Environmental Assessment and Restoration. “We have these meetings to solicit knowledge from stakeholders and residents to develop an appropriately targeted and effective restoration plan.”

Nitrogen occurs naturally in water and is necessary for healthy plant growth and wildlife. Excessive levels of nitrogen, however, can be detrimental and this pollutant is a significant factor in the current water quality issues in King’s Bay. DEP representatives will present preliminary results from the Nitrogen Source Inventory and Loading Tool (NSILT) used to estimate the amounts and sources of nitrogen reaching groundwater surrounding the springshed – groundwater which eventually discharges to the spring. DEP representatives and attendees will discuss the potential nitrogen sources to the groundwater such as septic tanks, wastewater plants, fertilizers and animal waste. The discussion between DEP representatives and participants should help the department incorporate local knowledge into the estimation tool and improve accuracy.

King’s Bay is the sixth largest spring system in Florida and is adjacent to the City of Crystal River. The spring system constitutes a vital cultural and economic resource for the state. King’s Bay is also the largest winter refuge for manatees on the Florida Gulf Coast and is considered a National Wildlife Refuge. It is a popular ecotourism destination for wildlife viewing, diving, snorkeling, fishing and boating. The system was designated an Outstanding Florida Water by the state of Florida.

These development meetings will be held monthly throughout the restoration plan process. For more information about DEP’s water quality protection and restoration programs, click here.

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