Give Springs A Break 2019

Photo by Tessa Skiles

What stands out the most to me from this past weekend with the Florida Springs Institute at their annual Give Springs A Break retreat are the MANY incredible humans that I had the opportunity to get to know and spend time with. Coming from all different walks of life, each with their unique skill sets, these humans are true water protectors. And while they often make it look easy and fun - I know what we're up against. It often feels like the majority of the world either doesn't care about the severe state of our springs systems. Or worse, they care more about exploiting them in some way. Still, even in the face of years and years of extreme adversity - These water protectors CANNOT be stopped.

In this beautifully arranged event we heard from leading springs scientists, biologists, analysts, cave divers, chemists, freedivers, Florida's former State Senator, and many concerned young professionals -- All ready to do what ever it takes to protect our waters. Everyone showed up at the table setting differences aside to learn, inspire, and support one another to continue to do better.

The truth is that our springs - our aquifers - our waters are in a state of crisis. The truth is that every single one of us can do something about it. AND the truth is that it is not going to happen by standing idly by thinking that someone else is going to take care of it for you. We all must support one another in this fight for sustainably healthy waters.

Before I lay out some calls to action, I also want to be candid that even though this mission is extremely serious - I have never had so much fun with people learning how to save our springs. From the late night stories and night paddles down the spring run with fireflies lighting the way, to incredible workshops and early morning springs dips, s'mores around a campfire, SUP Yoga fun, and allll the unplanned magical moments in between - #GSAB19 was hands down one of the coolest events I&