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CRISPS Project News Release ,

Over the last several decades many Florida springs have experienced a reduction in discharge, increased nitrate concentrations, and increased occurrence of nuisance algae and invasive aquatic plants.

In 2014, the St. Johns River Water Management District engaged UF-IFAS and the UF Water Institute to collaborate and assist with interdisciplinary research and experimentation geared toward protection and restoration of Florida’s springs, a partnership called the Collaborative Research Initiative on Sustainability and Protection of Springs (CRISPS). The three-year investigation has now drawn to a close, and the final report has been published on the SJRWMD website.

CRISPS scientists studied drivers and impacts of nitrate loading to springs from the land surface through the aquifer system and within the spring river run. One of the major objectives of the project was to evaluate whether a reduction in nitrate concentration alone would be sufficient to restore the balance between nuisance algae and native submersed vascular plants in spring-fed rivers. Several lines of evidence developed by the team suggest that this is not the case, that a larger suite of pollutants and stressors must be considered to effectively manage spring ecosystems. In particular river velocity was found to be important, with high water velocities helping to reduce algal coverage.

If you’d like more information on the CRISPS project, you can click here to read an article published on featuring many scientists involved in the research.

To view the complete CRISPS Final Report, you may click here.