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Kings Bay Rotary’s “One Rake at a Time” community service project uncovered another spring vent in King’s Bay while removing Lyngbya on the last day of the year. Right at the end of one of the Hunters Spring’s canals, fresh clean water could be seen bubbling up through white sand where it had not been seen in years, according to Art Jones, pioneer of the project. Next to the sea wall more water could be seen gushing up where it had been uncovered in November.
The canals and springs around Hunters Spring are slowly coming back to life again as ton after ton of thick benthic mats of lyngbya are removed, slowing the internal eutrophication going on in parts of King’s Bay and cleaning the water of pollutants, Jones said.
With 2012 coming to a close, another 443 tons of noxious lyngbya algae have been removed since September, making a total of more than 548 tons taken out of King’s Bay since the project began in September 2011. Work has been going well, with cleanups taking place at Hunters Spring basin and canals, Indian River, Three Sisters Springs and canals, Ceder Cove, the northwest boat ramp, the Third Street Pier, Stoney Point, Palm Springs and other various sections of Crystal River and King’s Bay.
In the second year of the project the Rotary is averaging more than 7,383 pounds per day of polluting Lyngbya removed from the waters of King’s Bay. With the help of mechanical methods added to help volunteer muscle in restoring water quality, quantity, clarity along with improving fish, manatee and human habitat, things are slowly improving.
This year the Lyngbya harvester has also been used to harvest manatee food from Cooter Pond in Inverness to help feed the manatees in the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. Natural native submerged vegetation is lacking in the Homosassa River because of invasive Lyngbya and manatees are hurting for food there also. The Kings Bay Rotary hopes to be taking the One Rake project to the Homosassa River some time in 2013 and is now looking for more sponsors.
The next public cleanup will be from 1 to 3 p.m. Jan. 26, at Hunter Springs Park in Crystal River. College students and teachers who were here last year from Darton College in Georgia are coming back to kick-off the new year.
For more information contact Art Jones at MrAWJones@aol.com or follow the project on Facebook at “Save Kings Bay” Watch “One Rake at a Time” on TV every Sunday at noon on WYKE cable 16 to learn more. To see the project in action search YouTube for “SaveKingsBay.”