The Santa Fe River, in northern Florida, is a 75-mile stretch of mostly slow-moving current interspersed with freshwater springs. Located in an area of sparse human population, it’s a biologically diverse watershed for wildlife and flora. Among many other species, bears, Florida panthers, manatees, and turtles rely on this watershed.
The Alachua Conservation Trust (ACT) is leading a phased initiative, called “Rise Up for the Santa Fe River,” to ultimately protect 818 acres of land and three freshwater springs along the river. Phase 1 of the campaign protected 254 acres in 2019.
In late 2021, Phase 2 was initiated with the purchase of 139 acres of Santa Fe River watershed. The area includes: Sawdust freshwater spring, the spring run, land surrounding Sawdust Spring, and one mile of riverbank on the Santa Fe.
Sawdust Spring is a 3rd magnitude spring, which discharges anywhere from .65 to 6.5 million gallons of freshwater per day. It can only be accessed from the Santa Fe River, via canoe or kayak.