Vanishing Springs

Directed By
Klara Leslie Fletcher
Coming Soon
United States

The Florida you know is a lie. In contrast to what Americans have been told, Florida’s magic is not found in the giant mouse, the rolling green golf courses, or in the beachside palaces. The beauty and uniqueness of Florida is under our feet - the aquifer. This pure, crystal clear water is the life blood of our state and without it, life as we know it in the sunshine state would not exist. This life sustaining force is only seen where it bubbles up to the surface through Florida’s collection of 1,000 springs. These springs were originally what drew society to this land. Wealthy tourists in the 1900’s flooded the Florida springs seeking medicinal cures from its pristine waters. As springs became a popular tourist destination, spring houses were built around these pools of water. When this development began, the springs began flowing less and some eventually stopped altogether. People assumed this was the natural order of this wonder and moved on. Theme parks, golf courses and resorts were erected to entice tourists to visit Florida, the natural beauty of the state soon faded out of our memory. The springs of Florida now silently suffer from the effects of continued development in Florida. The current strain we are placing on the fragile ecosystem is choking the life out of our state. Overdevelopment is one of the leading forces that is damaging the springs. The once pure sources of water no longer boil up like a fountain the way they have for centuries. The water that the springs do produce is polluted by nitrates. This pollution fuels the growth of toxic algae blooms, which are taking over springs and the rivers they feed, thus putting our health at risk. Over 90% of our drinking water gushes out of these sapphire pools. These glorious reservoirs have begun to shrink. If something is not done soon, the springs will simply become part of Florida history. In southern Florida they already have. Springs once bubbled up all across the state. They were wiped out in South Florida decades ago by the ditching and draining of the landscape as well as over-pumping of the aquifer. This water was then sprayed on suburban lawns and farmers' fields, run through showers and flushed down toilets, turned into steam to crank turbines for electricity, or siphoned into plastic bottles for sale around the country. Because of poor use and neglect of our greatest resource, we will soon be without this supply of fresh water. Floridians regard their water supply as abundant and cheap, when the fact is it's neither. Until this attitude changes, the springs will not be rescued.

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