Florida’s artesian springs are one of the natural wonders of our nation. As unique as the geysers of Yellowstone and as mesmerizing as Vernal Falls in Yosemite, these blue jewels surrounding the north Florida landscape are considered a treasure by many who see them.
But today, the future of Florida’s springs is uncertain.
With flow levels declining and nitrate pollution on the rise, the springs today bear the scars of a profound struggle.
“Many springs that were formerly blue,
now have a greenish tint.
Algae has replaced native plant communities.
Flows are declining in numerous springs.
Some have stopped flowing altogether.”
-Robert Knight, Director, Florida Springs Institute.
–Silenced Springs, Moving From Tragedy to Hope.
Florida’s springs are much more than places for people to cool off in the summer.
In this documentary film, we delve into the essence of these natural pools -- educating viewers about what the springs
are, how they function, and why they are critical to the well-being and sustainability of Florida’s growing populations.
We explore how nature and industry can co-exist and thrive in north Florida, and what that partnership represents for the whole state.
The film investigates what some perceive to be a failure by government agencies that are tasked with protecting the springs, such as Florida's department of environmental protection and some of the state's water management districts.
How We Tell
Explica Media directed and produced the full length documentary independently. To tell the story, we sought out stakeholders in the world of the springs and shadowed them as they went about their springs-related business.
Among these are Thomas Greenhalgh, then a scientist with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection; Robert Knight, director of The Florida Springs Institute; Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, a fierce springs advocate leading the charge to save them; Captain Karen Chadwick, owner of North Star Charter Service, who is fighting to restore the Ocklawaha River.
In addition to the documentary, Explica Media produced an 8-minute 360 virtual reality video of the springs, Springs Joy, which won multiple film festivals around the world. That 360 film can be viewed with headsets, and immerses viewers in the natural world of springs.
Oscar Corral, a former investigative and political reporter turned Emmy award-winning filmmaker, produced and directed the film.
The story of the Florida springs and their future, is quickly evolving. We are fortunate to have a resource so rare and pristine, which has played such an important role in Florida’s culture and economy. Now is the time to explore through storytelling where the springs go from here. The story of the springs’ future is the story of Florida’s future.