Chief naturalist for Florida's State Park System for 20 years, Jim Stevenson will discuss the values of Wakulla Spring, the threats to those values and solutions to restore the ecology of this world class spring. Wakulla Springs is one of the largest in the world and the source of the Wakulla River. The spring is one of the foremost wildlife observation areas in Florida and attracts up to 200,000 visitors per year. The crystal clear water of the spring was a popular
set for filming movies from the 1940s to 1970s. The spring is threatened by nitrate pollution and pumping, most of which originates in Tallahassee and Leon County. We will learn of numerous projects that have been undertaken to restore the spring to its former natural condition. Tarzan would be proud of these accomplishments.
In addition to his service with Florida State Parks, Jim is the former Chairman of the Florida Springs Task Force, Director of the Governor's Florida Springs Protection Initiative, and Coordinator of the Wakulla Spring Basin Working Group. When Jim retired in 2003, after 38 years with the Department of Environmental Protection, in recognition of his longstanding stewardship of Florida's public lands, the Governor and Cabinet dedicated the Department of Environmental Protection's highest award the "Jim Stevenson Resource Manager of the Year Award" that is given annually to the most deserving state lands manager. Jim continues his springs protection work by serving on the Florida Springs Task Force and coordinating the Wakulla Springs Basin and the Ichetucknee Springs Basin working groups.