• Feds will label Marion County's Silver Springs as threatened

    Updated:

    MARION COUNTY, Fla. - The National Park Service plans to label Florida's iconic Silver Springs as threatened in an upcoming report on the country's natural landmarks.

    U.S. Department of the Interior spokesman Mike Litterst says it's the first time the park service has needed to call attention to the springs' decline.

    An inspector with the National Natural Landmarks program tells the Ocala Star-Banner that her findings of elevated levels of contaminants and depleted water flow in the springs won't be a surprise to local and state environmental regulators, water managers, geologists and engineers.

    Carolyn Davis says the designation as threatened "says you've got something very important, so let's see if we can turn this around."

    Budget cuts have made such inspections infrequent. Silver Springs had not been inspected since the early 1990s.

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