MADISON, FLA, JAN. 3, 2022 – The Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) has launched a pilot project in Madison County that will monitor algae in local springs. 

Launched in late December, the initial project at Madison Blue Spring, located on the Withlacoochee River, is expected to help the District develop a better understanding of the relationship between algae growth and spring flows. At this particular spring, District staff take measurements at 90 different points along the spring run to determine the abundance of algae (or lack thereof). 

If successful, the District plans to expand the program to other springs in Northeast Florida.  

Photo of Madison Blue Spring.

The spring will continue to be monitored in the months ahead and District staff will review findings to evaluate changes over time and how they relate to spring flows and other environmental variables.  

In the future, this information is expected to enhance the development of minimum flows and minimum water levels (MFLs). MFLs are a means to ensure water availability for the present and future, and to prevent significant harm to the area’s natural resources. Understanding the correlation of flows and algae development will help establish the necessary thresholds needed to maintain healthy ecosystems.   The project is expected to last through 2023 or until enough data have been collected to allow evaluation of relationships with spring flows. Madison Blue Spring boasts one of the first MFLs ever established in the District and is slated for re-evaluation in 2023. More information about the District’s MFL efforts can be found on its website.

The mission of the Suwannee River Water Management District is to protect and manage water resources using science-based solutions to support natural systems and the needs of the public. The District holds true to the belief of water for nature, water for people. Headquartered in Live Oak, Florida, the District serves 15 surrounding north-central Florida counties.