Walking with the Alligators

Walking with the Alligators
A Florida Alligator

April 21, 2013

Silver Springs

Silver Springs Florida in 1886
Silver Springs Florida in 1886
This is the story of a magical place in Florida that has lost its way.
Once upon a time long, long ago, there was a destination here so revered, you were often, scarcely able to get in.
Tourists loved it, movie makers loved it, the whole world wanted to come see it.
Just hearing its name, Silver Springs, brought a smile to many people’s faces.
In fact, when I was in high school, I met a young man one summer at a local lake in northern Indiana, who also happened to be there on vacation.
It turned out that he was one of their very talented skiing performers, and that summer, he taught me to water ski.
But, that was so long ago.
Today, Silver Springs is badly run down and nearly unrecognizable, by those whose memories burn bright of more exciting times and the never to be forgotten glass bottom boat rides.
For years now the springs has been run and managed? by a California company, guess they didn’t think we could do it right?
But soon that will change and the state of Florida will take over the job, hopefully this will help.
Recently a Canadian Billionaire cattle rancher has shown great interest in setting up shop
just a few miles away and the negative impact from this would be two fold, tremendous water loss and harmful pollutants being introduced into the springs.
Neither would be good.
Water is a very precious commodity in Florida, because the whole state is a giant aquifer or sponge, everything that happens up above, travels down and affects the aquifer and all the living things here.
The many years of water abuse, in combination with this years severe drought, have resulted in an increase in the dreaded and dangerous sink holes which recently sadly, took a life.
We already have way too many places draining our aquifer dry, like the bottling companies, golf courses and huge farming industries, so this massive cattle ranch would be the final nail in the coffin for the springs.
Previous politicians have tried to protect the springs, and it helped somewhat, but current Governor Scott, has cut all of its lifelines, so it will now be up to the state to do the right thing, for one of Florida oldest and most treasured pieces of history.

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