As springs, rivers decline, 40-year-old law to protect them mostly goes unheeded
FALMOUTH -- The sign at Falmouth Springs near Live Oak describes it as a "jewel of the Suwannee" River and an example of Florida as it existed a century ago.
But the sometimes clear blue spring that flows about 100 yards before disappearing into a sinkhole wasn't flowing in May. Instead, the spring looked like a puddle of chocolate milk below an empty boardwalk and swimming platform.
Falmouth is one of several springs, streams and rivers in north central Florida that are drying up. Although the region is gripped in a historic drought, residents point to other water uses such as industry, farms and cities as contributing to decreasing spring flows.
Forty years ago the Legislature passed landmark legislation... Continued...