Thrust Areas Ecosystem Water Institute Classification Level
Water, Land Use and Ecosystems Water and Climate Water and Society Water Resources Sustainability Springs Wetlands Watersheds Aquifers Lakes Coastal Zone  Water Institute Classification 1  Water Institute Classification 2  Water Institute Classification 3  Water Institute Classification 4
Ecosystem: Springs

Nowhere in the world are surface water and groundwater interactions more pronounced than in Florida. A highly permeable karst geology coupled with a vast and productive system of aquifers facilitates the movement of groundwater and its exchange with the surface water system. Florida, in fact, boasts the highest concentration of freshwater springs on the planet. These springs are natural treasures and part of Florida’s rich cultural heritage. They also are sentinels for the health of the Floridan Aquifer, from which the vast majority of Florida’s residents draw their drinking water. Florida’s springs serve as living laboratories in support of both basic and applied research and provide invaluable opportunities to understand more fully the complex biogeochemical, hydrologic, social and ecological processes that shape the world in which we live. Early work by H.T. Odum provided the basis for our current understanding of spring ecosystems and his integrative research approach laid a foundation for contemporary scientific investigations by researchers at the University of Florida. Our mission is to continue this legacy using springs as model systems, while providing the best possible science to support policy and management to sustain these valuable systems.

Springs Projects