Rainbow Springs Aquatic Preserve Management Issues - Water Quality
Water quality is one of the primary issues of
importance for Rainbow Springs Aquatic Preserve.
Without adequate safeguards, historical land use
or changes in current land uses often lead to
degradation of water quality through increased
nutrient loads. The aquatic preserve has
experienced changes in water quality that have
negatively impacted the natural habitats and
wildlife, as well as decreased the aesthetic
benefit for public use. While much historic
water quality data exists, recent and current
research and monitoring for the Rainbow River is
being coordinated by SWFWMD and DEP for
Pollutant Load Reduction Goals (PLRG) and Total
Minimum Daily Load (TMDL) programs.
SWFWMD developed a SWIM plan
for the Rainbow River in 1989, and updated it in
1995 and 2004. These updates established a PLRG of
zero which means that the goal was to prevent
nutrient levels from increasing beyond current
levels. However, nitrate levels continue to increase
at the headspring from historic background levels of
0.1 mg/L to concentrations of >2.0 mg/L in 2013.
Aquatic preserve staff will continue the partnership
with appropriate entities to expand the water
quality knowledge base of the aquatic preserve and
the associated springshed through cooperative
efforts supplying staff time and equipment to
further research and to identify issues affecting
the aquatic preserve.
Rainbow Springs Aquatic
Preserve seeks to further develop and improve the
long-term water quality monitoring program to assist
with identifying and addressing these issues by:
- Conducting monthly water quality data
collection with YSI data sondes.
- Developing an annual report detailing
scientific results and recommendations regarding
the water quality of the aquatic preserve.
- Conducting bi-annual meetings with
appropriate entities SWFWMD, FWC's Invasive
Plant Management Section (IPMS) and DEP to
evaluate emerging trends in water quality
- Participating in public meetings to discuss
or present water quality data.
September 06, 2016
3900 Commonwealth Boulevard M.S. 235
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
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