Pictures: Waterkeepers Florida, Santa Fe River and springs 2024-02-08

We saw many springs, divers, entrances to two big sinkholes (Little and Big Awesome Sucks), many turtles, some alligators, a wood stork, a cattle egret, a hawk, a great blue heron, and some buzzards, as well as many gar and other fish, more cypress knees than you can count, and one very old cypress tree, just below some less than scary shoals.

Perhaps most importantly, nobody was in a hurry to get anywhere. Everybody paddles leisurely, took in the sights, and socialized.

At one of our Friday morning Waterkeepers Florida (WKFL) zoom calls, Jen Lomberk, the WKFL chair, asked Suwannee Riverkeeper to organize an outing while we would all be in Gainesville for an annual conference. The nearest Suwannee River Basin River is the Santa Fe, so I called on Doug Jipson of outfitter Rum 138 to shuttle us, and Merillee Malwitz-Jipson of Our Santa Fe River (OSFR) to guide us. See also the pictures Merrillee sent.

[Waterkeepers Florida, Santa Fe River, Rum Island to FL 47 2024-02-08]
Waterkeepers Florida, Santa Fe River, Rum Island to FL 47 2024-02-08

Waterkeepers Florida consists of all 15 Waterkeepers of Florida,
https://www.waterkeepersflorida.org

Waterkeeper is the generic name that includes Riverkeepers, all licensed by Waterkeeper Alliance. Suwannee Riverkeeper and St. Marys Riverkeeper are Waterkeepers of both Florida and Georgia.

Eleven WKFL members showed up (some with more than one representative), which is about the usual percentage for the annual gathering. Some of them had never seen a blue spring before. We went to Gilchrist Blue Spring, Devil’s Eye Spring, Ginnie Spring, and numerous more, between Rum Island and FL 47 Ramp in Gilchrist County Santa Fe River Park.

Actually, we were going to put in at Rum Island County Park, but it was mysteriously closed that morning. So we put in at Merrilee’s private river access.

When we got to Rum Island, the work at the park was obvious: the incredibly ostentatious orange barrier at the swimming area.

Here are some video snippets:
https://youtu.be/8lzYtVt60ZU?si=Z6Ec8LaVkmM7XmlG

There are many pictures below.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can help with clean, swimmable, fishable, drinkable, water in the 10,000-square-mile Suwannee River Basin in Florida and Georgia by becoming a WWALS member today!
https://wwals.net/donations/

Rum138

[Doug Jipson explains at Rum 138, 10:34:30, 29.8525087, -82.6743534]
Doug Jipson explains at Rum 138, 10:34:30, 29.8525087, -82.6743534

DBSG

[Drain bed and sculpture garden, 10:49:51, 29.8525912, -82.6745816]
Drain bed and sculpture garden, 10:49:51, 29.8525912, -82.6745816

BB

[Banners at Merrillee's private Santa Fe River access, 11:53:49, 29.8338170, -82.6744980]
Banners at Merrillee’s private Santa Fe River access, 11:53:49, 29.8338170, -82.6744980

NBB

[Waterkeepers Florida at Merrillee's private Santa Fe River access, 11:54:11, 29.8338170, -82.6744980]
Waterkeepers Florida at Merrillee’s private Santa Fe River access, 11:54:11, 29.8338170, -82.6744980

Embarking

[Movie: Merrillee's private Santa Fe River access, 11:54:23, 29.8338170, -82.6744980 (106M)]
Movie: Merrillee’s private Santa Fe River access, 11:54:23, (106M) 29.8338170, -82.6744980

WKFLSFR

[Waterkeepers Florida on the Santa Fe River, 12:08:00, 29.8335985, -82.6749379]
Waterkeepers Florida on the Santa Fe River, 12:08:00, 29.8335985, -82.6749379

MSpring

[Mermaid Spring, 12:10:40, 29.8339893, -82.6754650]
Mermaid Spring, 12:10:40, 29.8339893, -82.6754650

RIsland

[Movie: Rum Island, obstructed, SW Rum Island Terrace in the background, 29.8338, -82.6768 (22M)]
Movie: Rum Island, obstructed, SW Rum Island Terrace in the background, (22M) 29.8338000, -82.6768000

RINSB

[New swimming barrier at Rum Island County Park, 12:17:55, 29.8326064, -82.6780785]
New swimming barrier at Rum Island County Park, 12:17:55, 29.8326064, -82.6780785

GCBSSP

[Movie: Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park, 12:22:57, 29.8328409, -82.6810357 (28M)]
Movie: Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park, 12:22:57, (28M) 29.8328409, -82.6810357

GCBS

[Movie: Gilchrist Blue Spring, 12:26:45, 29.8300400, -82.6827766 (10M)]
Movie: Gilchrist Blue Spring, 12:26:45, (10M) 29.8300400, -82.6827766

TGCBS

[Turtles, 12:35:41, 29.8311317, -82.6818305]
Turtles, 12:35:41, 29.8311317, -82.6818305

GCBSWKFL

[Movie: Waterkeepers Florida at Gilchrist Blue Spring, 29.8300400, -82.6827766 (47M)]
Movie: Waterkeepers Florida at Gilchrist Blue Spring, (47M) 29.8300400, -82.6827766

WSiT

[Wood Stork in tree, 12:50:18, 29.8302884, -82.6827703]
Wood Stork in tree, 12:50:18, 29.8302884, -82.6827703

CE

[Cattle egret?, 12:53:40, 29.8307982, -82.6818489]
Cattle egret?, 12:53:40, 29.8307982, -82.6818489

FWCSFR

[Movie: FWC come to check on us, 29.8327930, -82.6835430 (23M)]
Movie: FWC come to check on us, (23M) 29.8327930, -82.6835430

GBH

[Great Blue Heron on tree above turtles, 13:04:04, 29.8330074, -82.6842083]
Great Blue Heron on tree above turtles, 13:04:04, 29.8330074, -82.6842083

GCBSPL

[Power Line at bottom of Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park, left bank, 13:11:08, 29.8336191, -82.6873627]
Power Line at bottom of Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park, left bank, 13:11:08, 29.8336191, -82.6873627

GSPP

[Ginnie Springs Private Park, 13:17:30, 29.8648510, -82.6856380]
Ginnie Springs Private Park, 13:17:30, 29.8648510, -82.6856380

DESRGSPP

[Devil's Ear Spring Run in Ginnie Springs Private Park, 13:25:58, 29.8353770, -82.6968420]
Devil’s Ear Spring Run in Ginnie Springs Private Park, 13:25:58, 29.8353770, -82.6968420

DESGSPP

[WKFL in Devil's Ear Spring, 13:30:18, 29.8344437, -82.6970834]
WKFL in Devil’s Ear Spring, 13:30:18, 29.8344437, -82.6970834

TDES

[Tubers in Devil's Ear Spring Run, 13:45:31, 29.8351768, -82.6967260]
Tubers in Devil’s Ear Spring Run, 13:45:31, 29.8351768, -82.6967260

JS

[July Spring, right bank, across from Devil's Ear Spring, 13:49:36, 29.8361560, -82.6964315]
July Spring, right bank, across from Devil’s Ear Spring, 13:49:36, 29.8361560, -82.6964315

GinnieSRun

[Ginnie Spring Run, 13:55:20, 29.8365, -82.6994]
Ginnie Spring Run, 13:55:20, 29.8365000, -82.6994000

GinnieS

[Movie: Divers in Ginnie Spring, 29.8363291, -82.6999564]
Movie: Divers in Ginnie Spring, 29.8363291, -82.6999564

HiT

[Movie: Hawk in tree, discovered by Abbie, 14:11:21, 29.8368469, -82.7000474 (39M)]
Movie: Hawk in tree, discovered by Abbie, 14:11:21, (39M) 29.8368469, -82.7000474

DSpring

[Dogwood Spring Run, 14:18:30, 29.8387521, -82.7019026]
Dogwood Spring Run, 14:18:30, 29.8387521, -82.7019026

WKFLDSpring

[Movie: Waterkeepers Florida at Dogwood Spring, 29.8387521, -82.7019026 (7.6M)]
Movie: Waterkeepers Florida at Dogwood Spring, (7.6M) 29.8387521, -82.7019026

GSRamp

[Ginnie Springs Ramp, 14:30:33, 29.8390337, -82.7025321]
Ginnie Springs Ramp, 14:30:33, 29.8390337, -82.7025321

GStents

[Tents and Tube Exit 300 feet, 14:32:56, 29.8388475, -82.7046797]
Tents and Tube Exit 300 feet, 14:32:56, 29.8388475, -82.7046797

GSTubeExit

[Tube Exit 300 feet, 14:33:02, 29.8388475, -82.7046797]
Tube Exit 300 feet, 14:33:02, 29.8388475, -82.7046797

GSBuzzards

[Buzzards, 14:34:29, 29.8394099, -82.7047127]
Buzzards, 14:34:29, 29.8394099, -82.7047127

GSTubeExit

[Movie: Last Tube Exit, Ginnie Springs Private Park, 14:37:55, 29.8411251, -82.7054466 (21M)]
Movie: Last Tube Exit, Ginnie Springs Private Park, 14:37:55, (21M) 29.8411251, -82.7054466

DeerS

[Deer Spring, 3rd mag., 14:42:53, 29.8412236, -82.7074337]
Deer Spring, 3rd mag., 14:42:53, 29.8412236, -82.7074337

FWGuage

[Fort White Gauge, 15:02:50, 29.8487177, -82.7144719]
Fort White Gauge, 15:02:50, 29.8487177, -82.7144719

SFRapids

[Rapids start at The Shoals, LLC, 7460 NE 55 Ave., 15:02:42, 29.8487177, -82.7144719]
Rapids start at The Shoals, LLC, 7460 NE 55 Ave., 15:02:42, 29.8487177, -82.7144719

VOCypress

[Very old cypress tree, right bank, below rapids, 15:07:41, 29.8510683, -82.7165948]
Very old cypress tree, right bank, below rapids, 15:07:41, 29.8510683, -82.7165948

BASuck

[Big Awesome Suck, 15:11:33, 29.8518095, -82.7187514]
Big Awesome Suck, 15:11:33, 29.8518095, -82.7187514

ASPL

[Awesome Suck Power Line, 15:19:34, 29.8537869, -82.7222865]
Awesome Suck Power Line, 15:19:34, 29.8537869, -82.7222865

SCRise

[Siphon Creek Rise, 1st mag., aka Whynameit Spring, 15:35:28, 29.8563411, -82.7329566]
Siphon Creek Rise, 1st mag., aka Whynameit Spring, 15:35:28, 29.8563411, -82.7329566

MFSpring

[Myrtles Fissure Spring, 2nd mag., 15:38:51, 29.8583230, -82.7337660]
Myrtles Fissure Spring, 2nd mag., 15:38:51, 29.8583230, -82.7337660

ISP

[Bend right around the illegible signpost, 15:41:30, 29.8597676, -82.7358181]
Bend right around the illegible signpost, 15:41:30, 29.8597676, -82.7358181

GWI

[Great white ibis, 15:44:25, 29.8612249, -82.7363801]
Great white ibis, 15:44:25, 29.8612249, -82.7363801

PDR

[Private deck and ramp, right bank, 15:50:34, 29.8652180, -82.7374598]
Private deck and ramp, right bank, 15:50:34, 29.8652180, -82.7374598

FL47Bridge

[FL 47 Bridge, 15:52:06, 29.8653496, -82.7382252]
FL 47 Bridge, 15:52:06, 29.8653496, -82.7382252

FL47Ramp

[Movie: FL 47 Ramp, aka Gilchrist County Santa Fe River Ramp, 15:52:06, 29.8653496, -82.7382252 (3.9M)]
Movie: FL 47 Ramp, aka Gilchrist County Santa Fe River Ramp, 15:52:06, (3.9M) 29.8653496, -82.7382252

SFPark

[Santa Fe Park, Gilchrist County, Florida, 15:57:18, 29.8643584, -82.7399489]
Santa Fe Park, Gilchrist County, Florida, 15:57:18, 29.8643584, -82.7399489

SFRFL47

[Santa Fe River from FL 47 bridge, 16:27:25, 29.8638734, -82.7406455]
Santa Fe River from FL 47 bridge, 16:27:25, 29.8638734, -82.7406455

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can help with clean, swimmable, fishable, drinkable, water in the 10,000-square-mile Suwannee River Basin in Florida and Georgia by becoming a WWALS member today!
https://wwals.net/donations/