By Claudia Farren, Communications Consultant
Do you live in Tallahassee or are you coming for a visit this spring or summer? The Museum of Florida History has two new exhibits, the Springs Eternal exhibit and The Lure of Florida Fishing that you won’t want to miss. Florida’s springs are suffering from pollution and loss of flow. John Moran’s exhibit, Springs Eternal, hopes to influence citizen behavior and public policy through his photographs of both pristine habitats and those that are not so pristine anymore. The Lure of Florida Fishing exhibit is a fun walk-through of sport fishing history in our state. Sport fishing has enticed fishermen and tourists to the Sunshine State since the nineteenth century. In 1885, tarpon were traditionally taken by harpoons. When an angler caught one on a rod and reel, the first “Florida fishing craze” was born.
Florida outdoor photographer, John Moran, has been photographing his favorite Florida springs for 30 years. Through his photographs presented at the R. A. Gray Building near the State Capitol, he has documented the progression of too many of our Florida springs as they have turned from pristine jewels to ones polluted by algae and mats of weeds. This process has been fed in large part by nitrogen, phosphorous and other nutrients contained in the run-off from storm drains, fertilized lawns and septic tanks. Some springs even suffer from a loss of flow due to overpumping from the underground water supply, made worse by a running drought in Southeast. Levy Blue Spring was closed to the public for Spring Break in 2012 due to low water levels. Convict Springs on the Suwannee River and Poe Springs on the Santa Fe also had record low flows in 2012. Moran says on one of his display boards, “This project is a visual celebration of the springs we were given, a meditation on the springs we could lose, and an invitation to the people of Florida to fall in love with our springs all over again, mindful that the choices we make today foretell the Florida of tomorrow.”
With his photos John Moran hopes to bring an understanding of why our springs are in decline and inspire all Floridians to find effective, timely solutions. Mr. Moran has partnered with Lesley Gamble and Rick Kilby to bring together scientists, hydrogeologists, cave divers, business owners, artists and advocates through the Springs Eternal Project to restore our springs and aquifer.
Pollution, groundwater over pumping and regulatory neglect are ruining our springs.
- Use less water in your daily life.
- Grow native and use less chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
- Visit a spring.
- Volunteer or donate.
- Contact your elected officials. Tell them you want clean water. Not green water. Ask for tighter controls on groundwater pumping, more effective curbs on nutrient pollution, and greater protection for sensitive land nearby.
6. Stay informed.
To see more of Mr. Moran’s photos of Florida’s beautiful springs and how you can become part of the solution explore SpringsEternalProject.org. The “Springs Eternal” exhibit was previously on display at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville. All photos are from the exhibit.
The Springs Eternal photographic exhibit is showing at the Museum of Florida History in the R. A. Gray Building, 500 S. Bronough Street, Tallahassee, FL. 850-245-6400. It runs through May 30, 2014.
Florida Wildlife Federation Clean Water Initiatives Florida Wildlife Federation’s Clean Water Policy and links to Clean Water related articles.
Floridians’ Clean Water Declaration Campaign The Floridians’ Clean Water Declaration is a positive vision to inspire people to work together to create a new water ethic, find solutions to Florida’s water quality and quantity problems and send a clear message to our water managers that the people of Florida demand clean water.
Florida’s Water and Land Legacy The campaign to protect Florida’s most cherished waters and natural areas. The Amendment gives Florida voters a direct opportunity to keep drinking water clean, protect our rivers, springs and beaches and restore natural treasures like the Everglades—without any increase in taxes.
Proposed Rule Would Close Gap in FL Water Protection March 27, 2014
The Obama administration has proposed a new rule to clarify which types of water have Clean Water Act protection.
Also showing at the Museum of Florida History . . .
Florida has a long history of lure making. Some lure makers formed large companies; others set up working space in their homes and made lures for their friends. Frank and Linda Carter of Tallahassee loaned their lure collection to the museum. It spans from 1908 thru the 1940s.
Throughout the spring and summer the Museum of History will host educational programs to accompany the fishing exhibit. The Joe Budd Aquatic Center will host a hands-on presentation, “Where Fishes Live: Habitat and Anatomy. Tom Knowles will lecture on the Long Key Fishing Camp that opened in 1908 and touted some of the “best fishing in the world.” Also scheduled is a cooking demonstration by Chef Justin Timinieri, of the Florida Department of Agriculture. Other speakers are renowned Florida fishing and outdoor writers Doug Kelly, Terry Tomalin, and Mark Sosin. Schedule of Events.
Come visit Tallahassee’s Museum of Florida History and learn why Florida is named the “Fishing Capital of the World.” The Lure of Fishing exhibit will be on display until August 26, 2014.
About the Museum of Florida History: The Museum of Florida History is part of the Florida Department of State’s Division of Cultural Affairs and is located in the R. A. Gray Building at 500 S Bronough Street, Tallahassee, FL. Hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Sunday and holidays, noon to 4:30 p.m. Website. Phone: 850-245-6400. Free parking is available in the garage next to the R. A. Gray building.