Do freshwater springs exist in South Florida and Miami?
Written by Todd Garland
Yes and no. Freshwater springs may still exist in Miami, but they're probably not flowing. The Biscayne aquifer was once known for it's flowing submarine springs in the early 1900's. Ships would fill their tanks to get a freshwater supply from discernable flowing springs in the Biscayne Bay area.
The aquifer ( a source of drinking water for eastern Dade and Monroe counties) runs underneath the southeast Miami region from Coral Gables to Cutler Ridge. Flow was evident by early settlers and by scientists as early as 1967.
So what happened?
Increased population and the dredging of several canals has led to essentially "dead springs." Henry Flagler made several canals in the 1900's, which drained wetlands and stopped the flow of the springs.
Scientists now search for a discernable flow of springs in Biscayne Bay. This process is done by drilling deep wells at specific locations and searching for flow. Efforts are also being made to rejuvenate freshwater flow in the Biscayne aquifer.
So, do springs still exist in Biscayne Bay?
They may, but chances are they're probably covered in sand from no flow for nearly a century. But they may exist somewhere out in the bay and are just waiting to be discovered and that's something worth searching for. Freshwater springs in South Florida? Now that's exciting!