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1 FLORIDA SPRINGS By DIANA ALENICHEVA A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEG REE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2012
2 2012 Diana Alenicheva
3 To my husband Dr. Nikolay Kazakov
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS First of all, I wish to gratefully acknowledge my Graduate Advis o r Dr. Martha Monroe for her tim e, insight, guidance, patience and support. She gave me this amazing opportunity to underst an d and learn a branch of science I always dreamed of. I thank my committee members Dr. Susan Jacobson and Dr. Matthew Cohen for inspiring me with crucial ideas rela ted to social and ecological aspects of this work. I also appreciate contributions made by Ondine Wells, the Ichetucknee Spring Working Coordinator. This work would be impossible without five hundred twenty respondents from the Ichetucknee and Rainbow springsheds. My sincere gratitude goes to all these people who allowed me to brin g their opinions to light. Beyond the professional realm I am grateful to my family for their loyal support, endless patience and encouragement. No one could motivate me more confidently than my husband Dr. Nikolay Kazakov and my sons Sergey and Egor. I also thank my sisters Alex and Katherine, and my mom and grandma for supporting me when I was starting this long and unpredictable journey Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to my team from Ecological Horse have g otten to the point where to personal ly acknowledg e : Margarita Samburskaya, Ekaterina Shilova, Olesya Strelnikova, Yuliya Lavretskaya, Yuliy a Dzuba, Anastasia Veres, Sergey Sorokin, Pavel Burlak o v and Alexander Shilov. Your Commander will never forget your contribution s to our communi ty!
5 Support for this publication was provided (in part) by the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program. The statements and views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily express the views of the Program or its funders.
6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ................................ ................................ ........................... 12 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 13 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 15 Statement of Problem ................................ ................................ ............................. 17 Purpose and Objectives ................................ ................................ .......................... 20 Research Questions ................................ ................................ ............................... 20 Intended Outcomes of the Study ................................ ................................ ............ 21 2 LITERATUR E REVIEW ................................ ................................ .......................... 22 Public Environmental Perceptions and Attitudes Related to Local Natural Resources ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 22 Theories Connecting Values, Bel iefs, Norms and Attitudes ............................. 23 Theory of Planned Behavior and Self Efficacy ................................ ................. 24 Social Trust ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 26 Connectedness to Place and Place Based Theory ................................ .......... 28 Social Ecological Backgrounds of the Ichetucknee and Rainbow Spring Ecosystems ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 30 Ichetucknee Springs and River ................................ ................................ ......... 31 Rainbow Springs and River ................................ ................................ .............. 32 Land Use Practices and the Springs ................................ ................................ 33 3 METHODOLOGY ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 39 Study Populations ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 39 Data Collection Method ................................ ................................ ........................... 39 Sampling Design and Sample Size ................................ ................................ ......... 39 Survey Design and Implementation ................................ ................................ ........ 40 Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 42 4 RESULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 45 Respondent Background ................................ ................................ ........................ 45 Demographics of Respondents ................................ ................................ ........ 45 Participation in Activates Related to the Spring Ecosystems ............................ 46
7 ocal Springs and Perceptions of Ecosystem Quality ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 47 Visitation of the Local Springs during the Last Twelve Months ......................... 47 Effect of Geographical Proximity on Visitation ................................ .................. 48 ................................ ................. 49 Perceptions of Ecosystem Changes ................................ ................................ 50 Effect of Visiting and Education on Perceptions of Ecosystem Quality Changes ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 51 General Perceptions of the Springs and Related Iss ues ................................ ........ 52 ................................ .. 52 Effect of Geographical Proximity on Perceptions of the Springs a nd Values .... 53 Possible Effect of Visitation on Perceptions ................................ ..................... 54 Trust in Agencies and Sources of Information ................................ ........................ 55 ................................ .......................... 56 Intentions to Contribute to the Local Springs by Personal Actions .......................... 57 Intentions to Perform Personal Actions ................................ ............................ 57 Effect of Geographical Proximity on Intentions ................................ ................. 58 Ef fect of Demographics and Visitation on Intentions ................................ ........ 59 ................................ .... 60 Some Patterns of Household and Private Land Practices within the Springsheds 63 Household and Private Land Practices ................................ ............................ 63 Effect of Land Use Type on Perceptions ................................ .......................... 65 5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION ................................ ................................ ........ 84 Perception of the Spring Ecosystem Health and Changes ................................ ..... 84 .......... 86 Intentions and their Drivers ................................ ................................ ..................... 89 Effect of Distance: a Possible Sense of Place ................................ ........................ 92 Conclusion: Residents of the Springsheds as a Part of a Larger Social Ecological System ................................ ................................ ............................... 94 Possible Practical Implications ................................ ................................ ................ 96 Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 97 Recommendations for Practitioners and Agenci Protection, Restoration and Management ................................ ........................... 98 APPENDIX A PAPER COPY OF FIRST CONTACT LETTER (ICHETUCKNEE VERSION) ........ 99 B PAPER COPY OF COVER LETTER WITH INFORMED CONSENT (ICHETUCKNEE) ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 100 C PAPER COPY OF THE SURVEY INSTRUMENT (ICHETUCKNEE VERSION) .. 101 D ADDITIONAL COMMENTS PROVIDED BY PARTICIPANTS .............................. 109
8 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 123 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 130
9 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3 1 Distribution of the responses by strata of each springshed ................................ 44 3 2 Analysis of non response bias ................................ ................................ ............ 44 4 1 Demographic summary of total respondents of the Ichetucknee and the Rainbow springsheds ................................ ................................ ......................... 6 7 4 2 Distribution and types of organized activities connected to the springs/watershed that respondents of the Ichetucknee and the Rainbow springsheds participated in. ................................ ................................ ................ 68 4 3 Frequency distri bution of number of visits of local springs during the last twelve months ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 68 4 4 Mean rating for perceptions of the Ichetucknee and Rainbow ecosystem quality ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 68 4 5 Index of mean perception of the Ichetucknee and Rainbow changes that occurred in recent years ................................ ................................ ..................... 69 4 6 Mean responses for indices of perception of the Ichetu cknee and Rainbow springs ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 70 4 7 Mean responses to indices of perceived importance of the local springs in different contexts ................................ ................................ ................................ 71 4 8 Perceived importance of local springs in local and general contexts among respondents living in different proximities to the springs ................................ .... 71 4 9 Perceptions of local springs significantly diff erent between respondents living in different proximities to the springs ................................ ................................ .. 72 4 10 Correlation of visitation with some perceptions across three strata from the springs ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 73 4 11 Perception of trust in agency/group providing information on the local springs .. 74 4 12 Perceptions of trust in agency/group providing information about and making decisions related to the local springs ................................ ................................ .. 74 4 13 Mean ratings for usefulness of actions encouraging people to get concerned about the local springs indices ................................ ................................ ............ 75 4 14 Mean ratings for willingness to participate in local initiatives related to the spring protection indices ................................ ................................ ..................... 75
10 4 15 Effect of distance on inten tions ................................ ................................ ........... 76 4 16 Correlations of demographics and visitation with intentions to perform action. .. 77 4 17 Factors identified with fac tor analysis ................................ ................................ 78 4 18 Model of six predictors most effectively explaining variance of the factor of intention to help local springs by personal actions ................................ .............. 79 4 19 Summary of household and private land performed and intended behaviors of landowners residing in the Ichetucknee springshed ................................ ....... 80 4 20 Summary of household and priv ate land behaviors of landowners residing the Rainbow springshed ................................ ................................ ..................... 81 4 21 Significant differences in perceptions held by farmers and non farmers ............ 82
11 LIST OF FIGU RES Figure page 2 1 Ichetucknee springs and River ................................ ................................ ........... 35 2 2 Types of land us e in the Ichetucknee springshed ................................ ............... 36 2 3 Rainbow springs and Rive r ................................ ................................ ................. 37 2 4 Types of land use in the Rainbow springshed ................................ .................... 38 4 1 Distribution of recreational activities experienced by the respondents of Rainbow and Ichetucknee springsheds. ................................ ............................. 83
12 LIST OF ABBREVIATION S BMP Best M anagement P ractices EE&C Environmental Education and Communication ENGO Environmental Non Governmental Organization FDEP Florida Department of Environmental Protection SES Social Ecological System TPB Theory of Planned Behavior SWG Spring Working Group WMD Water Management District
13 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Gradua te School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science ASSES S FLORIDA SPRINGS By Diana Alenicheva May 2012 Chair: Martha Monroe Major: Interdisciplinary Ecology North Central Florida springs represent environmentally and economically significant natural resources with high aesthetic and recreational values. At the same time, the environmental quality of springs has been s eriously impaired in recent decades. For this reason Florida Department of Environmental Protection is working for while active ly engag ing local citizens in th is process E nvironmental education prog rams and communication campaigns require comprehensive information about existing attitudes, knowledge, behaviors, and intentions of the target audience for more effective outreach to target populations and overall success In addition, the level of trust in external agencies and organizations hel d by local residents can partially determine public support of environmental initiatives and decisions The study examined perceptions of natural, economic, and social aspects and environmental problems of the spr ings held by the residents living within the Ichetucknee and Rainbow springsheds of North Central Florida A mail survey was used to collect data for assess ing perceptions and behaviors of local residents. A stratified
14 random sample was drawn from three strata of successive distances from the springhead to ascertain if residential location affects visitation, perceptions, general results obtained from 518 respond ents ( 29% response rate ) show that : (1) more than a half of the respondents have experienced their local springs in the last year and were able to consistently evaluate the spring ecosystem qualities; ( 2 ) the majority of residents highly rate social cultur al and economic values of their local springs; ( 3 ) to perform personal actions at local level to protect local springs is partially determined by factors of direct experience, emotio nal connectedness, trust toward non governmental agents and self efficacy; ( 4 ) residents living close r to the local springs (five miles and less) value the springs to a greater extent more often engage in local volunteer actions and have a greater willingness to increase personal knowledge and share th eir knowledge with others than those living more than ten miles from the spring head Thus, the nearest residents could have a greater capacity to be environmental leaders and stewards of their local springs
15 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The more complex an eco logical system, the more uncertainties surround human interaction with the system (Gunderson & Holling, 200 1 ). Until recent ly a community living near, or within and interacting with a certain ecosystem in different direct and indirect ways, was often cons idered as a separate entity and not an integrative part of a larger system (Berkes et al., 2003 ; Chapin et al. 2009). As interconnections of social and ecological systems were examined insufficiently, environmental conservation, planning and restoration a ctivities usually suffered from a lack of understanding of the place and role of local societies in these processes. Currently, increasing local impacts on ecosystems generate a set of threats for the resilience and adaptability to changes, di minish natural resource productivity, deplete ecosystem services, and, therefore negatively influence local quality of life sometimes to a vast degree. This process refers to consideration s of interacti ons of a society and an ecosystem in a coupled socia l ecological system (SES) (Chapin et al., 2009; Kranzer, 2003). It distinguishes local communities as an inherent SES element that should be understood, supported and involved as a primary conservation agent In terms of functionality of a social ecologica l system, understanding a local human component impacting a certain ecosystem has a critical significance for effective conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use of natural resources and support of local social and economic well being (Chapin et al., 2 009). In the light of increasing environmental degradation of Flori da freshwater spring ecosystems, a plethora of efforts are dedicated to their environmental management, conservation, protection and restoration. In N orth C en tral Florida, the Ichetucknee a nd
16 Rainbow spring ecosystems are examples of long term conservation efforts such as protecting the head springs in state parks managed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection ( F DEP). Some land within the spring basins however, is under priva te ownership, making the cooperation of residents essential to providing system wide protection. The local citizens, especially those residing water recharging areas ( the spring basins or the springsheds ), should be informed and educated a bout the health of the springs, their protection, and watershed friendly personal and household behaviors ( F DEP, 200 2 ). In addition, t heir increased understanding may be needed to develop appropriate policies that will take into account the social ecologic al drivers affecting the spring ecosystems. Many successful environmental actions depend on comprehen sive, well developed and narrowly targeted environmental educational and communication (EE&C) strategies (Jacobson, 2009 ; Monroe 200 5 ). When targeting a va riety of local stakeholders and sharing a conservation agenda, such strategies have an ultimate long changes in local behaviors are expected to contribute to environment al health of the spring water shed s (Colver son, 2011; F DEP 200 7 ; Ichetucknee, 2011 ; Rainbow, 2011). Experts agree that, taken together, EE&C strategies should concentrate on fostering public awareness about environmental issues, promoting feasible behavior changes and creating an atmo sphere that can contribute to discussions and agreement on environmental decisions ( Walker & Daniels, 200 4 ; Jacobson, 2009 ; Monroe, 200 5 ). At that, these strategies should be targeted while considering existing public values and attitudes (Jacobson, 2009).
17 For N orth Central Florida springs, achieving these goals require s an understanding of how individuals and groups living near the spring s perceive these ecosystems and related issues. As perceptions underlie attitudes and intentions, understanding residen willing to support different initiatives or perform individual pro environmental actions. Geographical dimensions of the springsheds suggest that w hile everyone living in the basin can contribute to the water quality in the springs, those residing farther from the spring may have less direct experience with and connection to the springs ecosystems, fewer concern s regarding the springs, and reduced willingness to take responsible action Statement of Problem There are more than seven hundred springs in Florida the largest concentration of freshwater springs on Earth ( F DEP, 2007) that provide the population of the state with a variety of ecosystem services and outstanding natural, recreational and economic benefits (Bonn & Bell, 2003). B eing one of the most attractive and valuable ecosystems in the State of Florida, freshwater springs attract millions of visitors from all over the world. Unique nature and recreational opportunities provide visitors with activities which include, but are not limited to: swimming, scuba diving, camping, picnicking, boating, cave diving and wildlife observation. T hese activities, in conjunction with the outstanding quality of spring water, wonderful landscapes and abund ant wildlife, have created the famous reputation of the Florida springs as exceptional natural gem s A stable flow of visitors travel to the region and spend money locally. At the same time, local residents also spend time and money on spring based recreat ional activities (Bonn 2004)
18 On the ecological side, t he spring ecosystems provide natural habitats, water and food for a plethora of animals and vegetation (Stamm, 2008). The d iversity of spring organisms include s a long list of species of mammals, fis h, reptiles, amphibians, birds, invertebrates and plants. By supporting this biodiversity, Florida springs affect the conditions of both aquatic and surrounding terrestrial ecosystems. The w ell being of those ecosystems, in turn, contributes to the ecologi cal balance of a larger region including Florida watershed and wildlife depending on water resources Springs, in general, are resilient to many natural and anthropogenic factors affecting them. However, w ith a growing population and increasing human impac ts, the spring ecosystems are experienc ing inevitable negative changes because of growing demands for water and extensive land use changes in the springshed s Each year more land within sprin g sheds is altered, affecting the quality and quantity of water fl owing to the springs. A special concern for Florid a researchers and environmental managers is a statewide trend of increasing nitrate concentrations in the water from wastewater, fertilizers, and stormwater in the springsheds (FDEP, 2005) In the case of I chetucknee Springs, for examp le, inorganic fertilizers come into the springs throughout the basin sometimes miles away from the headspring through groundwater and contribute up to 51% of nitrate loading in the springs (Katz et al. 2009). Increasing nutrien t concentrations originated as a by product of human and animal waste can come rapidly and directly to the springs through groundwater from sinkholes and are thought to be a significant contributing factor to algal growth in the head springs and river (Kat z et al. 2009 )
19 According to F DEP ( 2007) there is a strong need to increase public awareness about protection and restoration of the springs. Of special concern are the people living within spring basins which sometimes extend more than ten miles from sp ring s Personal behaviors of these residents can both help and impair the springs. In recognition of the importance of multiple stakeholder collaboration at local level, F DEP started a forum for exchanging information and assist ing with community education through the establishment of mutual understanding among scientists and interested citizens with the development of Spring Working Groups (FDEP, 2007) However, most of the people residing in springsheds are not engaged in continuous discourse with the ag As a result public perceptions and behaviors related to the local springs, rivers and groundwater are largely unknown. Despite the large number of recent, statewide educational public programs to attract attention to the spring s is sues ( F DEP 200 2 ; FDEP 200 5 ; FDEP 20 07 ) no one has measur ed public perceptions of the springs or public intentions to perform personal actions supporting local springs The large size of the springsheds may pose a problem when communicating with and educa ting local residents about their possible impacts on local springs. Additionally, this lack of knowledge could diminish effectiveness of diverse information dissemination and activities targeting the springshed residents. C lues intentions to pa rticipate in or support protection and restoration of the springs may help predict potential success or failure of FDEP initiatives In this case, an exploratory approach can be useful (De Vaus, 2001). The results may offer some hints to environmental ed ucational/communicational specialists about specific public perceptions to appeal to in order to successfully target residents of North Central
20 Florida to protect and restor e one of the most valuable Floridian natural gems freshwater springs. Purpose and Objectives This study aims to reveal and analyze the perceptions of the Ichetucknee and Rainbow springs ecosystems in N orth C entral Florida held by residents and the variables which influence their related behaviors. This information will help to better u environmentally or abstain from certain behaviors to being and increase opportunities to involve the local public in the process of collabo rative spring protection and restoration. The objectives of the study are as follows: To identify and measure specific perceptions of, and attitudes toward the natural, economic and social aspects of spring ecosystems, their protection and restoration. To analyze whether these perceptions correlate with actual behavior in regards to the springs or, at least, with willingness to support or perform pro environmental behaviors. T o provide the FDEP with a list of recommendations for better targeting the local public with conservation communication interventions to engage them in the Research Questions The following research questions are addressed in this study: 1. How does the public residing in the springsheds perceive the spring ecosystem health and changes ? 2. How does the local public perceive natural, economic and social aspects and environmental problems of the ir springs? 3. Which perceptions are efficient predictors of willingness to perform or support pro environmental beha viors in for springs?
21 4. Do perceptions and intentions to act pro environmentally as related to their springs significantly change with the distance from the spring s length of residency, or visitation ? Intended Outcomes of the Study This study ha s both scientific and practical outcomes. On the scientific level this study aims to identify which factors might influence the s intentions to perform pro environmental behavior s to enhance the spring ecosystems. The study appl ies several models a nd theories to explain a structure of shaping pro environmental intentions and behaviors. At the practical level the results of this work provide education and communication specialists with information on local stakeholder perceptions for more effective p lanning and successful implementation of the Ichetucknee and Rainbow springs watershed outreach projects.
22 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW The first part of t his chapter provides an insight into theoretical foundation of typical constructs to be measured for natural resources and related pro environmental behaviors. The second part of the chapter describes existing social ecological backgrounds of the Ichetucknee and Rainbow springsheds. P ublic Environmental Percept ions and Attitudes Related to Local Natural Resources The way people perceive natural resources and environmental issues is thought to partly determine their willingness to act pro environmentally Although environmental perception is often defined by spec ialists differently most in environmental psychology identif y it as a multiple dimension al phenomenon based on information transacting from surrounding environment to an individual through the senses (Alexander & Fairbridge ; 1999, Ittelson, 1973 ). This pe rception is thought to be a part of an individual cognitive system of personal beliefs, values, norms connected to attribute s of natural environment ( Ittelson, 1973 ; Stern, 2000) Environmental attitudes, on the other hand, have their basis in this complex (Stern et al., 1999 ) and refer to attitudes toward an object of environment and attitudes toward environmental behaviors ( Ajzen & Fishbein 1980 ; Kaiser et al., 1999) Many researcher s however, often combine environmental perceptions and attitudes while measuring human environment cognitive relations and public opinions in field ( Duda & Young 1995; Jacobson et al., 200 3 ; Oli et al., 1994 ) E environmental perceptions is considered to be important for environmental planning and management Of course perceptions are not the only
23 element that affects actions. P environmental activities can be sustained or restricted by external factors. Many studies have been conducted both in different contexts measu ring public perceptions, knowledge and attitudes toward natural resources and the local environment (Humphries & Kainer, 2006 ; Karppinen, 2005; Kaufmann et al., 2009 ; McDuff et al. 2008 ; Pita et al., 2010; Rishi et al., 200 8 ). These studies suggest cognit ive connections between human perceptions of local ecosystems, related issues and pro environmental awareness. Most results indicate that the perceptions of natural resources: (1) determine intentions to perform pro environmental behavior (Karppinen, 2005; Kaufmann et al., 2009); (2) are affected by economic and social factors (Byrd et al., 2009 ; Pita et al., 2010); and (3) might be supported or limited by proximity to and direct experience with a certain natural resource/ecosystem (Brody et al., 2004 ; Gosl ing & Williams, 2010). A t heoretical foundation is needed to follow these patterns in perception intention behavior relations and understand the perceptions that could be factors driving behaviors. Theories Connecting Values, Beliefs, Norms and Attitudes According to the Value Belief Norm Theory (Stern, 2000), values are stable central elements of personality and underpin beliefs about relationships between human and nature and their consequences, the importance of environmental well being for society and individuals, personal responsibility for taking appropriate actions, and several other factors These beliefs are likely to activate personal pro environmental norms leading to a predisposition toward a pro environmental behavior. This predisposition can be
24 natural resources and issues in particular. According to Stern and Dietz (199 4 ), environmental attitudes have their bases in three possible sets of values: egoistic, soci al altruistic, or biospheric. Whereas all these intention to seek and accept information about specific aspects of environmental issues. nvironment and specific natural issues are thought to be a powerful predictor of pro environmental behavior (Kaiser et al., 2009 ). However, t norms connected to both enviro nment or specific natural resources and more common subjects. Vaske & Donnelly (1999) suggest a similar cognitive model connecting attitudes to fundamental values through values orientations as basic belief patterns. According to them, this perceptional h ierarchy predicts an individual intention to perform voting behavior related to wildland preservation. In their model they explain a driving nature of biocentric/ anthropocentric value orientations accounting for more positive attitudes toward the environm pro environmental initiatives. Theory of Planned Behavior and Self Efficacy Although measuring attitudes toward environment and natural resources partially explain s whether an individual is likely to participate in or support environmental activities, there are several factors which may support or restrict this potential. Another important factor is how an individual considers pro environmental behavior itself.
25 Bandura (1977) explor ed cogni ability to perform specific actions that he called self efficacy. Self efficacy can be understood in terms of how a person perceives herself to be successful and whether she can produc e in t en d ed outcomes wh ile performing a targeted behavior. Bandura (1977) also implied self efficacy would be an important contributor to action and determinant of behavioral choice. Therefore, this capacity and outcome expectancy play a significant role in understanding drivers of personal pro environmental intentions and actions. Ajzen (1991) in his Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) has developed this construct further. He suggest ed behavioral intention, which is formed by an attit ude toward the specific behavior, subjective norm and perceived behavioral control (an individual's perceived ease or difficulty of pe rforming a particular behavior) Attitude toward behavior represents positive or negative evaluation of the particular beh avior by a person and is originated from an individual behavioral belief about possible outcomes producing by the behavior. belief influenced by opinions held by signif icant others. Finally, perceived behavioral control affects behavior. It is different from actual behavioral control, when a person has real barriers for executing this behavior. Severa l studies have shown that TPB provides explanation of pro environmental behavioral intentions toward protection of natural resources (Karppinen, 2005; Kaufmann et al., 2009). Therefore, attitudes toward a subject and attitudes toward a
26 specific behavior as well as attitudes toward and perceptions of are likely to influence the behavior itself Bernath and Roschewitz (200 8 ) have demonstrated that two TPB variables attitude toward a beha vior, and subjective norm willingness to pay for recreational benefits of public forests. Social Trust Although pro environmental behaviors are often demonstrated by individuals, participation in relevant pro envir onmental activities in regarding local natural resources requires collaboration between different groups of people ( Folke et al., 2009 ). The more pro active component of the public at a local level is engaged in various kinds of interactions with the large social system at multiple levels. These interactions typically are both horizontal (among similar groups of people) and vertical (between the groups and external agencies) ( Pretty, 2003; Pretty & Smith, 2004) in a heterogeneous society including, but not limited to local and federal governments, environmental NGOs, scientific organizations and universities, etc. All these linkages create a social network which allows different groups of stakeholders to collaborate with each other, and which should be cons idered as a powerful tool in formulating, bringing to public attention planning for, and resolving environmental problems. These outcomes to be realized, however, there must be an existing degree of trust. A level of social trust precondition s : (1) people information provided by different sources on a specific environmental issue; and (2) the degree to which environmental initiatives suggested by agencies or organizations would
27 be put in practice and adopted by a targe t audience (Chapin et al., 2009, Otsrom & Walker, 2003, Reed 2008). Thus, u environmental actions or perform desirable behaviors should also take into account a level of trust toward groups and agencies pr oviding information about local environmental issues and managing and protecting the ecosystems. Trust is thought to determine both effectiveness of cooperation among citizens and potential willingness to cooperate with government agencies and non governme ntal organizations Shindler et al. (2009) have wildfire and fire prevention. According to them, trust, or distrust toward the agency could determine the degree of co operation between the agency and public. In addition, Wright and Shindler (20 01 agencies which provide information on local natural resource issues and solutions. In their empirical study Sieg rist et al. (2005 ) considered both general and specific trusts as factors significantly influencing perceptions of risk and benefits of a new vulnerable to another based Siegrist et al., 2005, p. 147 ), and social trust as responsibility for making decisions and taking actions related to the management of technology, the en ( Siegrist et al., 2000, p. 354 depends on a level of their trust in other people or/and organization, and that social trust would incli ne them to perceive more benefits than risks of a new activity of entity. In
28 addition, they explained that similar values of d ifferent groups of people evoke trust. diffe rent stakeholders is one of the components that would increase cooperative behavior when dealing with social dilemmas. C onnectedness to Place and Place Based Theory People living near special natural areas may be connected to that place in a meaningful way The concept of sense of place assumes that an individual develop s emotional bonds with a particular place and its natural features. This connectedness is considered by environmental psycholog ists as a factor affecting individual perceptions and attitudes related to local environment. The role of place in forming and affecting specific perceptions among has been explored more precisely with focusing on time and space as a form of geographic discounting which predispos es specific environmental values ( Hann on 1994) This concept assumes people, animals and plants may prefer to distance themselves from objects they fear and place themselves closer to objects, or places they like. In their place based theory Norton and Hannon ( 1997 ) proposed environmental ev aluation strength of environmental appreciation is accounted from the home perspective across both time and space According to this theory, geographical distance to a certain natural resource and amount of time spent in the location intensify specific environmental values while developing a full sense of place S tudies have examined connectedness to place from emotional perspective. An was conside red by Mayer and Frantz
29 (2004) as a significant predictor of environmental behavior, environmental concern and participation. A connectedness to place has been shown as a significant predictor of behavioral intention to protect native vegetation by local A ustralian farmers (Gosling & Williams, 2010). According to the authors, emotional connections to place and nature are significant factors triggering environmentally oriented actions. Moreover, their attachment to local place and nature is greater than the economic value of extract ing benefits. This means that when making a choice in terms of natural resource management, some residents may prefer to save local biodiversity instead of intensive harvesting. The authors suggest that this connectedness to place increased environmental concerns and, therefore, positively influenced intentions to perform more pro environmental actions. A few studies have explored the phenomenon of domicile. L ength of residence (McDuff et al., 2008) w as associated with local residen Basin (Florida) and environmental attitudes toward local based environmental management. Brody et al. (2004) reveal ed that watersheds in San Antonio, TX affect ed their perceptions of issu es connected to the watersheds. The closer the respondents lived to a creek, the more knowledge and suggest ed that proximity has important implications for natural resource policies and public education in terms of community based watershed management planning (Brody et al. 2004). Finally, a study of Alaskan local communities ( Brown et al., 200 2 ) examining environmental valuation as a function of distance, provided moderate support for differe ntiation of environmental values h e ld by residents at spatial and temporal scales.
30 They found some relationships exist ing between selected ecosystem values (aesthetical, recreational, economic and some others) and point of residence and considered their f indings to be applicable to land management planning At the same time the authors suggested considering local environmental values in a more complex context in addition to testing a factor of geographical distance. Overall, the described theoretical fou ndation suggests complex measurement of public perceptions of the springs, including specific values, beliefs, attitudes, as well as public direct experience Such a measurement could reveal factors that influence environm ental actions. If perceptions vary for different groups across the springsheds, educating strategies could be tailored to meet their needs with a greater efficiency. This study could provide a basis for developing EE&C strategies and targeting information needs of sub audiences. Given the interconnected and complex springs ecosystems, varying perceptions and needs are likely. Social Ecological Backgrounds of the Ichetucknee and Rainbow Spring Ecosystems From a perspective of Social E cological S ystem s (SES ) (Chapin et al., 2009; Kranzer, 2003), spring ecosystems in Florida represent a balance in which the human domain depends on the nature and vice versa; both determine the overall well being of the watershed. Geological and terrestrial features directly co nnect springs ecosystems to surrounding and remote watersheds and groundwater, caves, agricultural lands and public lands. A springshed or spring basin is the area of land that collects rain water that then seeps into the soil or flows across the surface t o a sinkhole or swallet and underground to the aquifer (Stamm, 2008) Thus, springs, eve n if located in relative
31 wilderness, are significantly depending of different intensive human activities within the springsheds. Ichetucknee Springs and River The Ichet ucknee River begins at the Ichetucknee Head Spring and flows 5 miles to the Santa Fe River along the border of Columbia and Suwannee C ounties in North Central Florida (Figure 2 1, A). There are nine large springs forming Ichetucknee Springs Group along the river. The Ichetucknee springshed is approximately 370 square miles located mostly in Columbia County (Figure 2 1, B). The Ichetucknee River contributes close to 233 million gallons of spring water each day to the Santa Fe River, which ultimately flows in to the Suwannee River (Ichetucknee, 2011). The Ichetucknee Spring system became a state park in 1970 and was declared a National Natural Landmark by the U. S. Department of the Interior in 1972 (Stamm, 2008). make them an source of economic benefits for the local region. There are approximately 200,000 visitors per year to the Ichetucknee Springs State Park both from Florida and out of state. Nearly 7 million people have visited the park since 1970. Most of vi sitors tube or canoe the Ichetucknee River. In 2003 tourism revenues generated about $23 million per year for the local economy (Bonn and Bell, 2003). The two dominant land use categories within the Ichetucknee basin are pine plantations (31%), and forest (24%). About 20% of the basin area is made up of improved pasture and grasslands, and 8% is row crops or in other agricultural use (Figure 2 2). About 10% of the basin is within urban areas; the largest urban area is Lake City, with a population of approxi mately 12,000 (Katz et al. 2009; USCB, 2010).
3 2 The most sensitive area of the basin is known as Ichetucknee Trace a dry valley running north and east of Ichetucknee Springs and marking the route of a major underground channel supplyi ng the springs with cl ear water It contains 2193 private land parcels that vary from urban to primarily rural ( FDEP, 20 07 ). Dozens of water quality and hydrological studies have been conducted in the basin since 2000. They included groundwater and spring water monitoring, un derwater cave exploration and aquatic invertebrate surveys. Fact sheets about the Ichetucknee FDEP 20 07 ; Ichetucknee, 2011) indicate the following problems: declining water quality, declining vertebrate and invertebrate freshwater animals, increasing nitrate concentrations, increasing pesticides and algae bloom smothering native eelgrass and creating floating mats. This algal bloom affects the ecological balance of the springs and river ( Heffernan et al., 20 10 ) and significantly degrades their aesthetical attractiveness ( Tolbert, 2010 ). Rainbow Springs and River Rainbow Springs (Marion County, Florida) are the source of the Rainbow River and qualify as one of the largest flows in Florida. An average of 450 m illion gallons per day surges from the Floridian Aquifer into Rainbow River Much of the spring water comes from rain falling on approximately 700 square miles of land in western Marion, eastern Levy and southern Alachua Counties (Figure 2 3 A, B). About 40% of the Rainbow basin is primarily agricultural land with different types of use (Figure 2 4.). There are approximately 200 equine farms largely located in western Marion County (SWFWMD, 2004), and 11% of the land is used for horse pastures or producing hay. Large acreage of the basin is devoted to silviculture.
33 Overall, the Rainbow springshed contains 13,110 land parcels (FDEP, 2009). Williston (total population is 2,297) is the only sizable community in the springs basin, with the City of Dunnellon (t otal population is 1,898) just south of the basin. However, housing developments within the springshed have been increasing in recent decades with centers of development in the immediate locality of the Rainbow springs and river. These houses extend from n ear the headwaters to the edge of the water along the western banks of the river. Near Dunnellon, suburban development surrounds the river. Today, residential communities are considered to contribut e a significant impact on the springs by inappropriate lan d management practices (SWFWMD, 2004). One of the major threats to the Rainbow springs and river is increased nutrient pollution and pressure on the ecosystem caused by recreation (Rainbow, 2011). The nutrients include phosphates and nitrates from fertiliz er application and human and animal waste. Improper treatment of residential septic systems or centralized systems may also load serious amount of nitrates. Although nitrates have dramatically increased in the last several years, in spite of all these poll utants, the ecosystem is considered to be quite healthy (Rainbow, 2011). However, the newest housing development may augment anthropogenic pressure in the nearest future. Land Use Practices and the Springs Local threats to the quality and quantity of wate r in Florida's aquifer and to the spring ecosystems coming from the springsheds can be described as: (1) the physical damage people cause in and around the springs and downstream spring run; (2) the human produced contaminants carried into the aquifer; (3) the amount of water people take out of the aquifer.
34 Florida DEP suggest s that individuals become personal stewards to protect the springs and contribute to their overall environmental health Th is means individuals can rsonal actions even though they do not live next to the springs. Behaviors related to spring ecosystems can be subdivided into the following categories (FDEP & FDCA, 2002): Increasing personal knowledge on springs and springshed advocacy for rising public awareness and providing foundation for greater public stewardship; Building and strengthening links between springshed residents and external organizations and agencies for better collaborating and networking; Educating about and promoting specific land ma nagement practices that would maintain and restore springs through healthier groundwater. The last category covers household and business behaviors and specifically relates to water consumption for home, technical, agricultural and business needs, wastewa ter management, home and animal waste management, vegetation management and pesticide and fertilizer use for lawn and agricultural purposes. Best management practices (BMP) are developed for each of these categories and each type of landownership. Introduc ing BMP is a stepwise process requiring, among other things, collaboration with local residents and understanding their current behaviors and opinions. A ppropriate practices that improve groundwater health within springsheds should be addressed in accordan ce with current situations and community needs (FDEP, 2002). As a separate subcategory, land management practices of farmer s represent an opportunity for collaborating and providing environmental quality incentives based on technical, educational and fina ncial assistance These landowners have markedly different opportunities and challenges than other private and commercial landowners a nd are targeted with distinct actions (FDEP & FDCA, 2002).
35 Figure 2 1. Ichetucknee springs and River. A) Location of the Ichetucknee River in northern Florida. B) Location of the Ichetucknee springshed and the Ichetucknee Springs Group on the Ichetucknee River. ( Source: Ichetucknee 2011, Florida springs, n.d. )
36 Figure 2 2. Types of land use in the Ichetucknee springsh ed ( Ichetucknee 2011 Florida springs, n.d )
37 B Figure 2 3 Rainbow springs and Rive r A) Location of the Rainbow River in Florida. B) Location of the Rainbow Springs Group on the Rainbow and the Rainbow springshed. ( Source: Rainbow 2011, Florida spring s, n.d.)
38 Figure 2 4. Types of land use in the Rainbow springshed (SWFWMD 2004 )
39 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY This chapter describes the study process. It covers the study populations, sample design and process, a post mail survey as the data collection meth od and its implementation. Response rate and non response bias analysis are addressed at the end of th is chapter. Study Populations The target populations for the study were the private landowners residing in the Ichetucknee springshed (parts of Columbia a nd Suwannee c ounties, Florida) and the Rainbow springshed (parts of Marion and Levy counties, Florida). Private l andowners were chosen for the following reasons : r esident ial land uses and practices, as well as personal behaviors contribute to the health o f the local springs and, therefore, are of interest for EE&C planning ; the study indented to reveal a possible perceptional connection between people and nature of place they live in depending on domicile. Data Collection Method Mailed surveys were used t o obtain information to answer the research questions. This method enabled us to collect data from a large sample within limited time and financial resources and to generalize to the target population. This strategy is also most appropriate for reaching th e greatest number of rural landowners efficiently (Groves et al., 2009 ; Salant & Dillman, 1994). Sampling Design and Sample Size The geographical delineations of each springshed were used as a geographical frame (Groves et al., 2009) for selecting the sa mples. An independent, random, stratified sampling of 900 residents for each springshed was drawn to statistically compare the springsheds ( Agresti & Finlay 2004 ; Groves et al., 2009) and ensure
40 significant numbers for rigorous statistical analysis for the population of the springsheds, assuming a response rate of 33%. Because geographical proximity to the springs m ay be one of the factors s perceptions and intentions, f or each springshed three proximity strata were used: from zero to five miles from the head springs, from five to ten miles, and from ten to fifteen miles, randomly sel ecting 300 addresses in each stratum for each springshed Information about each sampled unit (household parcel) was obtained from online GIS maps of the Columbia, Suwannee, Marion and Levy County Property Appraisers. Only owners having the permanent maili ng addresses at their properties were included. No association was made between the names, addresses and the responses. Survey Design and Implementation The questionnaire was developed by reviewing other studies measuring similar concepts under appropriate theoretical assumptions. Expert opinions were used to insure content validity of the instruments as a measure of appropriateness of items and indexes (Groves et al., 2009). The coordinators of the Ichetucknee and Rainbow Spring Working Groups, and FDEP st aff revised the survey items several times in the course of its development to avoid inaccuracy and ambiguity. The survey also was reviewed by two environmental education and communication experts, one social researcher, and one spring ecosystem science e xpert. Before implementing the main data collection stage, a pilot test was conducted with twenty two local residents from Alachua County, Florida. Alachua County partially overlaps with the Rainbow springshed, and there are several other spring ecosystem s
41 within the County, but this county was outside the sample frame. This allowed these residents to be valid representatives of the target population. The questionnaire had four main sections: 1. Three categorical the local spring ecosystem during the last twelve months; one scale question of six items about perceptions of existing conditions of the ecosystem features; and one scale question of five items about perceptions of possible ecosystem changes. 2. Sixteen sc ale questions about general perceptions of natural, social and economic values of the spring ecosystem; risk of natural deterioration; fourteen items about perceptions of possible threats to the springs; two questions with eighteen response items about tru st in (a) sources providing information on the springs, and (b) group and agencies making decisions about the springs; one question of eight Five point bipolar Likert scale statements with strongly disagree and strongly agree as the end points were used to measure perception s option was included to separate respondents who do not prefer a side from people formed judgment. 3. water use, chemical use, treatment of pet and/or farm animal waste; seven items ion through neighborhood advocacy, volunteer work, collaboration with local groups and politicians; and one question of eight items asked about a personal watershed. 4. Seven dem ographic questions at the end of the survey were included to better understand the respondents: number of years lived in the location, type of residence, amount of land owned, level of education, age, and gender. A space on the last page of the survey was provided for writing additional comments related to the topic of the research. The survey was distributed through the U.S. Postal Service utilizing the reduced ( Salant & Dillman, 1994 ). This process included: (a) mailing an initial letter that briefly describes the research goals, its importance for local residents, and asking the respondents to voluntary participate in the study; (b) mailing the questionnaires along with a cover letter with informed consent information (according to
42 appro ved IRB protocol # 2011 U 0917 ) ; (c) mailing a postcard thanking those who responded and reminding those who did not to complete the survey as soon as possible; (d) a second mailing of the questionnaire and cover letter to all non respondents. The letters were addressed to the property owner(s) and asked that the adult resident with the next birthday complete the questionnaire to randomize The data were collected in the time period from November, 2011 to January, 2012 in Columbia, Suwa nnee, Marion and Levy Counties, Florida. All returned questionnaires with bad addresses were resent to another property owner in the vicinity. The overall response rate for the two springsheds is 29% (n = 51 8 ) with 26 3 (out of 900) returned questionnaires from the Ichetucknee springshed and 25 5 (out of 900) from Rainbow Fourteen questionnaires were excluded from the analysis because of missing information. The distribution of the responses varied acro ss the springsheds (Table 3 1.) No non response bias was suggested when comparing results of key items from the first 10% of the returned surveys to the last 10%. The variable s compared for significant differences wer e several demographic and key perception al variables (Table 3 2 ) This does not tell us about t hose who did not send a survey, but suggests that if those who required three reminders could have been non respondents, they are no t significantly different from those who were first to respond. Data Analysis Raw data were entered using Microsoft Excel so ftware, checked, cleaned from errors and then imported into Minitab 16.0 software package for statistical analyses.
43 Preliminary analysis included reports on frequency distribution, central tendencies and descriptive statistics. Sets of responses and catego ries of indexes were checked for reliability with Independent two sample two tailed t tests were conducted to identify significant differences between perceptions of the springs by springshed and by distance from spring strata. Significant differences were determined using alpha levels of 0.05. One Way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was performed to identify significant differences in mean scores between categorized background information variables and perceptions for the populations of the three strata. Ninety five percent confidence intervals were used to report F values. hoc tests were performed to identify significant differences in mean scores between populations of three strata and for scaled background v ariables and perceptions ( Agresti & Finlay 2004) between perceptions, background and willingness to perform personal behaviors related to the springs as a dependent variable. Level of significa nce w as established at alpha = .05 and alpha = .01. Based on a correlation matrix, a principal component analysis was conducted to group perceptional variables into composite variables that appeared to affect intentions to act pro envi ronmentally. An exploratory factor analysis with a varimax rotation was used to identify additional factors associating with intentions. Stepwise regression exploratory helped identify variables that explain variability of the willingness to participate i n pro environmental activities.
44 Table 3 1. Distribution of the responses by strata of each springshed Area Ichetucknee, n = 263 Rainbow, n=255 A (0 5 Ml) 42.9% 39.1% B (5 10 Ml) 30.3% 31.9% C (10 15 Ml) 26.4% 29.0% Table 3 2. Analysis of non response bias Variables First 10%, n = 50 Last 10%, n = 50 Significance (2 tailed) Mean SD Mean SD t df p Age 1.96 0.64 2.04 0.76 0.57 95 0.568 Education 3.46 1.15 3.36 1.12 0.44 97 0.660 Type of residence 4.47 0.98 4.35 0.97 0.62 95 0.536 Years lived lo cally 3.53 1.14 3.35 1.05 0.83 95 0.409 Visitation of the local springs during the last 12 months 0.68 0.47 0.68 0.47 0.00 98 1.000 Perceptions of ecosystems changes 2.78 0.65 2.93 0.88 0.75 49 0.458 Importance of the springs index 3.58 0.62 3.57 0.50 0.10 92 0.919 Economic value of the springs 4.51 0.92 4.51 0.82 0.01 91 0.996 Usefulness of actions index 3.35 0.68 3.29 0.65 0.45 87 0.655 Intention index 2.30 0.87 2.19 0.96 0.93 89 0.355
45 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS This chapter includes data analysis and explanation of participant background, household behaviors, and the effect of geograp hical proximity and direct experience on perceptions of the springs. Respondent Background Demographics of Respondents Based on demographic characteristics, the respondents represent the general population of the Ichetucknee and Rainbow springsheds quite well. Gender and age of the respondents are quite similar in both of the springsheds and gender distribution is not significantly different from census data from these Florida C ounties (Table 4 1.) ( US CB 2010 ). According to US census data, Columbia and S population is 48.2% and 49.6% female respectively (49.8% was obtained from the Ichetucknee survey). For Marion and Levy Counties, the population is 52.0% and 50.8% female respectively (55.5% was obtained from the Rainbow survey). Age dist ribution is skewed toward age group of 50 69 (more than half for both of the springsheds). This could be due to differences in urban and rural housing patterns of the areas, as the older population accounts for a larger proportion of the total U.S. populat ion living in non metropolitan or rural areas (CRS report to Congress, 2007). Significant differences were found between the Ichetucknee and the Rainbow populations for the number of years lived locally, F ( 1, 485) = 7.49, p < .01, with Rainbow respondents living in their homes for fewer years (23.6% in Rainbow are newcomers;
46 16.8% of respondents from Ichetucknee are newcomers). This may be due to the new suburban subdivisions built along the Rainbow River. This could also explain significant differences tha t occur in acreage F ( 1, 485) = 28.67, p < .001, with more Rainbow respondents living on smaller lots in suburban areas than Ichetucknee respondents. About one fifth of the Rainbow respondents ( 22.1% ) have less than one acre, and 9.5% of the Ichetucknee resp ondents have less than one acre; 11.1% of Rainbow respondents report suburban residents versus 4.6% of Ichetucknee respondents F ( 1, 484) = 7.92, p < .01 general population residing these counties ( USCB, 2010 ). The percentage of respondents who completed a bachelor's degree or higher is 39.7% for the Ichetucknee respondents whereas census data (2010) indicate 14.9% for Columbia and 10.2% for Suwannee Counties. As for the Ra inbow location, the 42.4% of the respondents report but the census data indicate 17.1% and 12.2% for Marion and Levy Counties. Participation in Activates Related to the Spring Ecosystems A similar number of responde nts from both samples participated in organized activities connected to the springs or watersheds : 16.8% from Ichetucknee and 17.5% from Rainbow respondents (Table 4 2.) Of these individuals, most do so as volunteers and with families. Beyond this relative ly small portion of the respondents participating in organized actions, about a dozen of the respondents from both of the springsheds provided additional information about their volunteer activity with inmates, friends and neighbors. Some of those living n ear the springs regularly pick up trash left by river visitors,
47 educate their children while visiting the springs and the rivers, share knowledge and concerns about the springs with neighbors and friends, landscape with native plants, and engage in many ot her inspiring pro environmental actions. Two of the Ichetucknee respondents living near the Ichetucknee r iver commented: Participant 11: I snorkel both rivers [Ichetucknee and Santa Fe] a lot. I usually get 3 bags of trash a day during the summer. Bush an d Miller beer drinkers litter the most. Bush about 50%, Miller about 25% and 25% mixed brands and other trash. I even pulled a TV out of the Santa Fe once. Participant 56: I have not participated in any organized cleanup, I have picked trash and things fr om the water in fishing time, plastic bottles and such while boating. Quality Visitation of the Local Springs during the Last Twelve Months More than half of the Ichetucknee responde nts ( 67.3% ) have visited the Ichetucknee springs during the last twelve months but significantly more of Rainbow respondents ( 75.4% ) visited their springs during the same period of time F ( 1, 501) = 4.02, p = .045 In addition, local residents of Rainbow sp ringshed visit their local springs more often (Table 4 3.) Both populations engage in similar recreational opportunities at their springs and rivers (Figure 4 1.) These activities include wildlife observation, swimming, picnicking, kayaking and tubing in both locations. However, kayaking is more popular among local residents on the Rainbow River, whereas tubing is most popular on the Ichetucknee. Comments from respondents indicate that they partake in a number of activities that were not listed in the surv ey such as: fishing, boating, pontoon boating, walking, meditation, celebration of family events, showing the springs to visitors, sport activities
48 in the spring state parks. Several respondents emphasized that as they live on the river and appreciate thi s unique opportunity to explore all possible recreational ac tivities as often as possible. Effect of Geographical Proximity on Visitation One way ANOVA was applied to the combined data from both of the springsheds to understand an effect of geographical di direct experience with their local springs to compare respondents living from zero to five (A stratum), from five to ten (B stratum) and from ten to fifteen (C stratum) miles away from the head springs. There a re significant differences in visitation of the local springs during the last twelve months among three groups residing in the springsheds in different proximities to the springs, F (2, 501) = 6.93, p = .01. Tukey post hoc comparisons of the three strata i ndicate that significantly more respondents living from zero to five ( M = 0.78, SD = 0.41) and from five to ten ( M = 0.72, SD = 0.45) miles from the local springs have visited these natural places during the last twelv e months compar ed to those living from ten to fifteen miles ( M = 0.60, SD = 0.49). This suggest s that those living closer to the local springs visit them more frequently. With increase of geographical distance, fewer people residing in the springsheds visit the springs. The number of visits al so varies by geographical proximities, F (2, 359) = 8.98, p < 0.01. Tukey post hoc comparisons revealed significant differences in A ( M = 1.96, SD = 0.91) versus B ( M = 1.71, SD = 0.85) and C ( M = 1.49, SD = 0.75) strata. This suggests that the closest resi dents visit the springs more frequently (about four six times during the last year) than those living from ten to fifteen miles from the springs
49 tering an index conditions listed in Table 4 4. In general, both of the populations perceive the quality of their local spring to be a bit above average, but not excellen t. The highest rated condition was clearness of water in both springs and the lowest was diversity of aquatic animals including fish and turtles among Ichetucknee respondents and conditions of land adjacent to the springs among the Rainbow respondents. The latter could be explained by recent land development around the Rainbow River. However, the Rainbow respondents who visited the springs and river during the last twelve months perceive the overall ecosystem quality to be healthier than the recent visitors from the Ichetucknee perceive their springs and river conditions, t(349) = 2.95, p < .0 1 Significant differences occurred for each item except for the condition of land adjacent to the springs. That could mean that land around the Rainbow Springs is perc eived to be in poorer health than the aquatic system. These perceptions may reflect the real ecological conditions of the springs. Although few comparisons of these two ecosystems exist, some sources describe the Rainbow springs to be quite healthy (Rainbo w, 2011), whereas others suggest that the Ichetucknee springs have been losing their natural attractiveness due to negative ecosystem changes ( Tolbert, 2010 ). Among those respondents who provided additional comments on their visit to the spring ecosystems, 32 respondents (of total 127 comments submitted) used the words l springs and its surroundings.
50 Perceptions of Ecosystem Changes The majority of the respondents who visited the springs in the last 12 month s also indicated perceived ecosystem changes that occurred in the recent years (Table 4 5.). As sugges ted by total mean perception of ecosystem change, both the Ichetucknee ( M = 2.80, SD = 0.81) and the Rainbow ( M = 2.91, SD = 0.87) respondents consider the ecosystem changes in recent years to be negative. These respondents think that algae have increased, water clarity and health of aquatic plants have declined, and the diversit ies of aquatic and terrestrial animals ha ve decreased. Table 4 5 illustrates means of the responses for the se perceptions Algae bloom was recognized as an evidence of negative ecos ystem changes by 39.7% of Ichetucknee and 37.2% of Rainbow respondents. These findings are strongly supported by the additional comments provided by many respondents, especially by those residing in the springsheds for more than ten years. M any of the comm entators, especially those living in the Ichetucknee location for 15 and more years, describe d the conditions of the springs and river as declining in the last several years. A respondent who lived in the Ichetucknee springshed 30 years ago, left the locat ion and came back 10 years ago offered the following recollection : Participant 3: It was just a local area [and] outside visitors had not yet discovered springs [were] nothing as I remembered gr disturbed [by the] development along [the] river. It has been my opinion that when I speak about what will happen if care is not
51 Another person describing her/himself as a life long details on her/his perceptions of the spring ecosystem changes in recent years: Participant 30: The water was much clearer in the 70s and 80s. It was more beautiful as far as cypress trees and birch and hickory trees. There are hardly any fire flies, crickets or frogs. Fish, manatee and snails are virtually nonexistent compared to my childhood. We camped all up and down the river from the head springs to the mouth, sometimes weeks at a time. The river has deteriorated greatly. You could ca tch brim with a cane pole and bread. There were gators and snakes, coons, etc. Otter were abundant. Flowers were very present. The trees seem bare and some just gone. Once beautiful woody plants are not pretty or are gone. The river is nothing like it was 25 years ago and longer. I have enjoyed this river for 49 years and my parents for 78 and 80 years. Please help our river. These water bottling and cement plants I have watched the tops of the tree like go away. Deer are now leaving. Seven comments expre ss a concern about decreasing water flow in the Ichetucknee River, such as the following comments: Participant 6: My biggest concern[s are] the low level of water in the river and the large amount of traffic during the summer. Participant 27: I have lived in this area all my life and when I was younger, I frequently went to the springs in the area. But even then I could see them changing with overuse and water levels dropping. However, about half of respondents who visited the springs possess neutral opini ons about ecosystem changes. This could be explained by fewer numbers of visits, insufficient environmental knowledge, and other factors not allowing them to form any opinions about ecosystem changes. For instance, some of the respondents might visit the s prings and not the river. Finally, about 18% consider the changes to be positive. Effect of Visiting and Education on Perceptions of Ecosystem Quality Changes Number of visits to the local springs during the last twelve months, r (305) = .22, p < 001, a nd level of education, r (301) = .20, p < .01 significantly correlate with the perceptions of ecosystems changes. That could mean that the respondents visiting the
52 local springs mor e frequently (from four to six times and more during the last year) perce ive the ecosystem changes more negatively because of many observations and understanding the ecosystems through direct experience. Respondents with more understand ecosy stem processes they could monitor while visiting the springs if the ecosystems decline General Perceptions of the Springs and Related Issues All the respondents completed the section on general values of the local springs, related issues and the perceptions of the ways they could be helpful in protecting the health of the springs. M = 4.86, SD = 0.46) and personal pride of having the springs nearby ( M = 4.78, SD = 0.52) were found to be the strongest perceptions shared by the respondents from the both springsheds (Table 4 6). Social cultural perceptions are also shared by many from both of the springsheds. The respondents consider the local springs to be a part of their cultural heritage ( M = 4.61, SD = 0.79), believe that their communities appreciate the springs ( M = 4.55, SD = 0.80) and feel closeness to nature ( M = 4.50, SD = 0.82). Many of the respondents believe that more deterioration will take place in t he future ( M = 4.28, SD = 0.91). However, significantly less, t (713) = 12.13, p < 0.001 think that the local springs have been deteriorating for many years ( M = 3.36, SD = 1.24). Both the Ichetucknee and the Rainbow springs are valued by the respondents a s an important economic resource for their communities ( M = 4.52, SD = 0.86). However, independent t test assuming equal variances revealed a significant difference between
53 the populations of the springsheds in the perception of the springs as a source of economic benefits for local residents, t(443)= 3.62, p < 0.01. The Ichetucknee residents significantly higher perceive this economic value of the springs for local residents. In general, the respondents from the both springsheds agreed that they can impro M = 4.30, SD = 0.87), but are not as confident they have skills to perform personal protective behaviors ( M = 3.62, SD = 1.09). Finally, the respondents rather disagreed that their personal actions will n ot make any difference for the springs ( M = 2.21, SD = 1.26) and revealed a stronger M = 1.68, SD = 1.04). The respondents also indicated perceived importance of the local springs in global ) was used to evaluate perceived importance of the local springs for global and local environments, for society in general, for local society, and at personal level. The majority of the respondents share strong values about the importance of the s prings, and there is no significant differences between the two populations, t (473) = 1.10, p = .27. For these respondents, the springs are most important in the local natural and social contexts, and less so in the global sense (Table 4 7). The highest rated perceived values relate to local ecosystems ( M = 3.75, SD = 0.49) and future generations of people ( M = 3.75, SD = 0.48), whereas the lowest rated ones related to the country ( M = 3.34, SD = 0.76) and global environment ( M = 3.31, SD = 0.77). Effect of Geographical Proximity on Perceptions of the Springs and Values One way ANOVA was applied to data compiled from both of the springsheds in order to test differences in perceptions of the springs, their social, natural and economic
54 values and related b ehaviors between three strata of respondents living in different geographical proximities to the local springs (Tables 4 8, 4 9). S everal perceptions significantly varied with the distance Tukey post hoc comparisons identif ied that for six variables resp ondents living closer to the springs (0 5 and 5 10 miles) indicated higher values in comparison with those living farther away (10 15 miles). The closer respondents express significantly higher perceive d importance of the springs for local nature (all plan ts and animals living in and around the springs), F (2, 484) = 3.78, p = .024, and for local community, F (2, 482) = 3.37, p = .035. The same is also true for perception of the springs in cultural context, F (2, 482) = 3.21, p = .041, and three perceptions r elated to personal actions and outcome expectancy. T he closest respondents (from zero to five miles) reported significantly stronger perceptions on three other variables than the other two strata These variables are: perceived personal importance of the local springs for the respondents, F (2, 483) = 7.55, p < .001; personal pride F (2, 477) = 5.62, p < .01 and the perceived economic value of the springs for a local community, F (2, 470) = 3.36, p = .036. At the same time, there were no significant differenc es for perceptions related to larger contexts such as global environment, future generations of people and country level (Table 4 8). As well, perceptions of environmental risk, feeling of closeness to nature, and the perception of having skills are not si gnificantly different for all the respondents based on their proximity to the local springs (Table 4 9). Possible Effect of Visitation on Perceptions As mentioned above, visitation changed significantly with the distance from the springs, F (2, 501) = 6.93, p = .01) (page 4 8 ) with higher level s of visitation among the respondents living closer to the springs (A and B strata) compared to those living from
55 ten to fifteen miles away (C stratum). As some of the perceptions change with distance, one could suppos e this is due to levels of direct experience with the springs. To examine possible relation ship between visitation of the springs and the perceptions changing between the strata, a correlation matrix was used for the three strata (Table 4 10). The finding s revealed that increased visitation may have some effect on the change in perceptions over distance or, perhaps higher perceptions of the However, a significant correlat ion was not found for all of all the variable s tested. For instance, the perception s of cultural value and ecosystems do not correlate with visitation at all, and the perception of economic value correlates with visita tion for population of B stratum only. Therefore, visitation alone is not responsibl e for the different perceptions of people living closer in comparison with those farther away from the springs. In other words, people who live closest probably value the s prings because they are there not just because they visit. Therefore, a sense of place may be created by either living nearby, or by visiting more often. Th is is supported by the additional analysis indicating that frequency of visitation positiv ely corr elat ed with the total mean of perceived importance of the springs, r (355) = .16, p < .001, feeling of closeness to nature r (353) = .20, p < .001, perception of having skills to protect the springs, r (309) = .15, p = .01 and the perception of making a diffe rence by personal actions r (335) = .14, p = .01. Trust in Agencies and Sources of Information The respondents from the both springsheds indicated varying levels of trust toward sources providing information on the local springs (Table 4 11). N o significant differences exist between the Ichetucknee and R ainbow respondents.
56 Respondents have greater trust in local sources of information and personal experience. The most trusted sources of information are the Ichetucknee and Rainbow Springs State Parks ( M = 4.3 6, SD = 0.88), Spring Working Groups established by FDEP ( M = 4.24, SD = 0.94), personal experience ( M = 4.12, SD = 0.94), scientists ( M = 4.08, SD = 1.08) and Florida DEP ( M = 4.01, SD = 1.19). Mass media were the least trusted sources: newspapers ( M = 3. 54, SD = 1.17) and TV and radio ( M = 3.11, SD = 1.19). Another item asked respondents to indicate their level of agreement with the as applied for the following agencies and groups: Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Water Management Districts (WMD), Environmental Non Governmental Organizations Spring Working Groups, and scientists. The most trusted decision maker is Spring Wo rking Groups ( M = 4.24, SD = 0.94), and the least trusted is WMD ( M = 3.75, SD = 1.29). This is important to note that even though SWGs do not make real decisions about the springs, it seems that the respondents believe they do In addition, there is a sig nificant and positive correlation ( r >0.50) between trust in agency/group as a reliable source of information and considering the agency/group to be a good decision maker (Table 4 12). This could mean that those agencies or groups who are trusted as decisio n makers are also expected to provide trustworthy information on the springs. An index of seven items was used to measure potential support for specific actions related to the protecting local springs (Cronbach ). These actions embrace a
57 wide spectrum of education and legislative initiatives. The respondents were asked to rate the usefulness of each action to encourage people to be more concerned about the Ichetucknee/Rainbow springs (Table 4 13). There we re no significant differences between the respondents from the two springsheds, t (476) = .53, p = .595. In general, the respondents considered all of the actions to be moderately or very useful. The findings suggest the respondents consider educating peo ple ( M = 3.36, SD = 0.66), supporting volunteers ( M = 3.36, SD = 0.66), and punishing violators to be the most useful actions to make people more concerned about the local springs. Organizing local events, public trips to the springs, and including public opinions in environmental planning were seen as less useful for building public awareness. Finally, the respondents consider paying for spring protection to be the least useful to build concern about the springs in comparison with other actions ( M = 2.79, SD = 1.04). Intentions to Contribute to the Local Springs by Personal Actions Intentions to Perform Personal Actions = 0.88). The respondents rated their willingness to perform the following behaviors: acquiring knowledge, neighborhood advocacy, participating in volunteer work and collaborating with external actors and agencies (Table 4 1 4 ). Those who already perform a behavior indicated this separately. springsheds, t (467) = .42, p = .674. Actions such as increasing knowledge ( M = 3.15, SD = 0.88) and sharing knowledge with others ( M = 2.81, SD = 1.01) were more popular than others. Despite claiming to already have knowledge of the springs, respondents are still willing to learn
58 additional comments. Participant 13: Water conservation issues and education have to be a strong focus throughout elementary and high school years I think controlling population growth around the river and springs and educating people on how harmful the use of lawn and agric ultural fertilizers are big steps to protecting the springs. At the same time, fewer respondents want to participate in volunteer work or contact external actors or agencies. Among those who already perform some of these actions, sharing knowledge with nei ghbors and friends appears to be the most popular (14.4%). The least popular is contacting with elected officials. Some of the o lder respondents wr o te they would like to, or used to do volunteer work to help the springs, but now they are not able to. Sever al respondents emphasized other concerns related to personal protective actions. It appears that some people are frustrated by deterioration of local environment an apparent lack of interest of local authorities This might negatively influence their willi ngness to act. Several of those indicated slight or no willingness to act. Participant 12: Only we, the local residents, mourn this [deterioration of local environment]... Our little groups are powerless in reality. We need a big voice and some sort of le verage to change anything. Participant 47: We live on a county road littered with trash have asked the local authorities for no litter signs. After 20 years [we] finally got one. Participant 102 : nature of or protection of our springs and rivers. Effect of Geographical Proximity on Intentions One way ANOVA was applied to data compiled from both of the springsheds in order to tes t possible differences in the intentions to perform personal actions between
59 the three strata of respondents living in different geographical proximities to the local springs (Table 4 15). T wo intentions significantly chang ed through the strata. Tukey pos t hoc comparisons identif ied that respondents living closer to the springs (0 5 and 5 10 miles) indicated a greater intention to increase their knowledge on the local springs compar ed to those living farther away (10 15 miles). R espondent s living in closes t to the springs also have a significantly greater intention to share their knowledge with others in comparison with those living more than five miles away from the springs. In general, it seems that the actions requiring only pe rsonal activity and no cont act with external groups and agents (NGOs, officials, municipalities) are more popular among the all the respondents and also significantly greater for those nearest to the springs. At the same time, all the springshed residents share the same lack of inte ntion to attend meetings or contact external agents. This suggests some actions are more and less likely among which stratum populations. For instance, the nearest residents may be more effectively targeted with educational actions. Effect of Demographics and Visitation on Intentions Six demographic variables, visitation and frequency of visitation were analyzed to find any associations with the intentions (Table 4 16). Direct experience (both fact of visiting the springs and frequency of visitation) signi ficantly correlate with several types of intentions. It suggests that the respondents personally experiencing the springs are more willing to perform some personal actions to help the springs. G ender, amount of land and type of residency have no correlati on with the intentions Education has significant positive correlations with all the intentions except neighborhood advocacy. At the same time, education was found to negatively correlate
60 with length of residency, r(477) = .22, p < .001 ; length of reside ncy and age are found to negatively correlate with all types of the intentions except neighborhood advocacy and contacting officials (only for length of residency). It appears that of these respondents younger people may have more educat ion, are newer to t he region and more willing to actively perform personal actions Some of the older respondents who have lived in the location longer, r(477) = .12, p = .011, may not be capable of performing the actions because of their age. R espondents of all ages, howe ver, have indicated willingness to share their knowledge with others. This would be appropriate action for those with physical limitations. This is supported by this comment from an older respondent : Participant 116: Wish I was able to do more for the ra inbow springs! Unfortunately I am handicapped O2 dependent and very limited in activity level. Thank you for requesting my response, wish it was more diversified account of activity. Help the Springs To determine the number of perc eptions that underlie the intentions to perform personal actions, an exploratory factor analysis with a varimax rotation was applied to a ll the items that significantly correlate with intentions. T h e analysis in dentified three latent fac tors (Table 4 associa ted with each factors. All item to total correlation for each factor exceeded 0.40. Four items related to perceived behavioral control, self efficacy and attitude toward b ehavior formed a factor 17). Three perceptions connected with personal pride, attitude toward future health of the springs and feeling of closeness to nature formed a f ( Factor 2 in Table 4 17). Finally, trust toward environmental NGOs and scientists as
61 making right decisions and environmental NGOs as providing reliable information on the gov (Factor 3 in Table 4 17) T rust in FDEP and WMD were not associated with variability in intentions and, therefore, were excluded from the analysis. Trust toward SWGs significantly correlated with the intentions, but was identified by fact or analysis as loading on more than one factor, and therefore was discarded. A Perception of Protective (Factor 4 in Table 4 17). Direct experience with the spring through visit ing and the demographics were also tested for association with the intentions. A model was developed to predict who might be most likely to intend to contribute to springs health by personal actions. Stepwise regression was applied with the criteria of fo rward selection and T he final model was based on the parsimonious principle of minimizing possible number of variables significantly explaining variability of the dependent variable without notably increa sing the residual sum of squares (McLeod, 1993). The final model uses the best subset of six predictors ( S = 0.700, = 6.2 ) and explains up to 40 % of the variance in the intention and consists of four composite and two independent variables (T able 4 1 8 ). increasing after adding each of the six predictors is also presented in Table 4 1 8. P erception of personal behavior was found to be the most significant factor explaining up to 26 % of variance in the intention The second significant predictor is education level explaining about 5% of the variance, followed closely by springs visitation at 4%.
62 Trust in non governmental agents factor, emotional connectedness factor and the potential support of pro environmental actions add f rom 4% to 0.7% to the model. Level of education can be significant because of the amount and quality of information available to some respondents. As education was found to significantly increase the perceptions of negative ecosystem changes, it is not surprisingly it also partially accounts for the intentions. Although the mean of the ecosystem change factor was not found to significantly correlate with mean of the intention factor, r = .114, p = .051, one could expect that more educated respondents p erceive human ecosystem relations differently. On the other hand education could have a mediating effect for other variables (Baron & Kenny, 1986) not influencing intentions directly, but rather enhancing other supportive factors such as possessing more k nowledge on environmental issues, understanding personal capacity to perform actions, and other factors not examined in this study. allows observations of the ecosystems. The number of visits also correlated significantly with the intention index r = .187, p = .001, but did not fit into the best subset of variables for the final model. Visitation could stimulate or increase connectedness to the local place and nature. This assumption can be supported by the presence of the factor of emotional connectedness in the model. Finally, the factor of perception of pro environmental actions indicates that people would not be inclined to perform pro environmental actions if they think little wi ll come of their actions a phenomenon known as outcome expectancy (Bandura, 1977).
63 Although this factor is responsible for less than one percent of the variance in the model, its presence seems to be meaningful here. Some Patterns of Household and Priva te Land Practices within the Springsheds Household and Private Land Practices By completing the household and land practices profile consisting of 16 items, the respondents indicated the type of practices they currently conduct and would or o conduct at their residences. The practices are presented in five categories: water consumption and septic system (five items), lawn chemical use (two items), waste management (three items), vegetation management (three items), and farm management (three items). Those respondents to whom a technique did not apply were not included into the analysis of the technique; as a result, only 138 responses were included in the farm management category. In Tables 4 19 and 4 20 the respondents (n) from each springsh ed were analyzed from three different perspectives: (1) respondents using the technique now; (2) respondents not using the technique now an d not willing to ; (3) respondents (n 1 ) not using the technique now, but willing to apply it from a little to a great extent. The descriptive summary suggests the techniques related to water consumption and septic system s are quite similar between the two springsheds. The most popular techniques are conservation of water at home and checking and maintaining septic system; the least popular are using barrels to collect rain water and applying advanced nitrogen removing system. Significantly more Ichetucknee respondents use barrels to collect rain water than Rain bow respondents, t (364) = 2.21, p = .028 About 40% of each pop ulation does not wish to use rain barrels or advanced septic systems Nine respondents indicated in additional comments that they do not
64 know what an advanced system is and would like to know more about it. One respondent with high willingness to protect l ocal nature indicted he would like to use the In the waste management category, the proper disposal of hazardous household waste is the most popular activity. The majority of the respondents apply it now (81.9% in the Ichetucknee and 85.5% in the Rainbow), and a majority of those who do not would like to apply this technique to a great extent (61.9% in the Ichetucknee and 71.4% in the Rainbow). More Rainbow respondents clean up pet waste t (325) = 3.15 p < .0 1, and landscape with native plants t (426) = 2.63 p = .0 1, than Ichetucknee respondents. Reducing or avoiding lawn chemical use by private landowners appears to be quite popular for bot h of the springsheds. Significantly more Rainbow respondents would like to reduce or avoid using both pesticides, t (137) = 2.20 p = .0 3, and fertilizers t (138) = 2.23 p = .0 27 on their land than Ichetucknee respondents. Conserving water appears to b e the most popular among those with farms and using treated water for crop irrigation is the least popular. Although an independent t test did not reveal significant differences between the two springsheds on treating farm animal waste, the frequency distr ibution suggests that more respondents from Ichetucknee would not like to apply this technique at all ( 41.8 % versus 28.3% of Rainbow respondents ). Those who would like to apply it ( 47.6 %), however, are willing to do it to a great extent (versus 17.4% of R ainbow respondents ).
65 In general, the household and land behavior patterns are similar for both of the springsheds. The few differences probably reflect land use variations in the region. Significantly larger numbers of small residences in Rainbow ( 22.1% of residences of less than one acre in the Rainbow springshed versus 9.5% of the same of the Ichetucknee ) along with prevalence of suburbia ( 11.1% of the Rainbow versus 4.6% of the Ichetucknee ) might partially explain the difference in pet waste cleaning and native plant landscaping. One might suppose that social norms in suburban developments might expose residents to new behaviors or encourage them to follow developing norms. Effect of Land Use Type on Perceptions A total of 138 respondents from both of the springsheds indicated that two farm techniques (conservation of water on farm and cleaning up farm animal waste) apply to them. Their responses were compared to remaining respondents, the non farmer group, in order to find out whether type of land use cor relates with perceptions of the local springs and related issues. The farmer group had si gnificantly larger acreage, t (176) = 10.31, p < .001 (six fifteen acres compared to one five acres indicated by the non farmers). In addition, s ignificantly more r espondents indicated their residence t ype to be rural t (331) = 5.81, p < .00 1 ) than the non farmer group, confirming their self identification. variables (Table 4 21). According to the finding s, the farmers indicated a greater willingness to know more about their local springs and consider ed themselves to have more skills for protecting the springs than the non farmer respondents. At the same time, however, the farmers have sign ificantly lower levels of trust toward the agencies
66 and organizations that typically provide information on the local springs: Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Water Management District, Ichetucknee/Rainbow Springs State Parks and E nvironmen tal NGOs. This lack of trust may make communicating the information more challenging when dealing with the farmer community
67 Table 4 1. Demographic summary of total respondents of the Ichetucknee and the Rainbow springsheds Ichetucknee (n=254) Columbia / Suwannee counties census data, 2010 Rainbow (n=248) Marion / Levy counties census data, 2010 Age 18 49 50 69 >70 20.3 % 57% 22.7% Persons 65 years and over 19.9% / 23.9% 19.4% 54.7% 25.9% Persons 65 years and over 32% / 24.6% Gender Female Male 49.8% 50.2% 48.2 % / 49.6% 55.5% 44.5% 52% / 50.8% Education H.S. or less Some college Bachelor's degree or higher 33.3% 26.9% 39.7% 14.9% / 10.2% 25.8% 31.8% 42.4% 17.1% / 12.2% Lived locally* Less than a year 1 5 years 6 10 years 11 29 years More than 20 years 1.2% 15.6% 28.4% 26.7% 28.0% 1.2% 21.4% 31.7% 29.2% 16.5% Acreage* Less than one Acre 1 5 Acres 6 10 Acres 11 15 Acres 15 20 Acres More than 20 Acres 9.5% 49.6% 18.6% 3.7% 7% 11.6% 22.1% 57.4% 10.7% 2.9% 2.9% 4.1% Type of residence* Urban Suburba n Rural 5.4% 4.6% 90% 4.9% 11.1% 84% Denotes significant difference between the populations of the springsheds at = .01 level Percentages were recalculated for population over 18 years old
68 Table 4 2. Distribution and types of organized activitie s connected to the springs/watershed that respondents of the Ichetucknee and the Rainbow springsheds participated in. Ichetucknee* (n=42) Rainbow* (n=43) As an Employee of a Governmental Agency 23.8% 20.9% As an Employee of a Non Governmental Agency 7. 1% 7.0% As an Employee or an Owner of a Commercial Company/Local Business 21.4% 16.3% As a Scientist/Researcher or Student 14.3% 11.6% As a Member of an Environmental Organization 26.2% 20.95 As a Volunteer 64.3% 67.4% As a Family Member 47.6% 58.1% Sum of the percentages for each springshed is not equal to 100% as some respondents indicated up to five types of activities. Table 4 3. Frequency distribution of number of visits of local springs during the last twelve months Number of visits, % Iche tucknee, n=172 Rainbow, n=188 1 to 3 times 58.1% 46.8% 4 to 6 times 17.4% 19.1% More than 6 times 24.4% 34.0% Table 4 4. Mean rating for perceptions of the Ichetucknee and Rainbow ecosystem quality (Scale: 1 = poor to 5 = excellent). Summary items fo r rating ecosystem quality Ichetucknee Rainbow N Mean SD N Mean SD Clearness of water** 170 3.93 1.02 186 4.18 0.82 Condition of water plants** 169 3.50 0.95 184 3.75 0.87 Diversity of aquatic animals (including fish and turtles)** 167 3.37 0.92 185 3 .68 0.90 Diversity of terrestrial animals (including birds) ** 168 3.41 0.84 185 3.69 0.91 Condition of land adjacent to the springs 168 3.42 0.84 183 3.49 0.85 Condition of vegetation surrounding the springs* 167 3.47 0.88 184 3.65 0.82 Significant difference between the springsheds at = .05 level ** Significant difference between the springsheds at = .01 level
69 Table 4 5. Index of mean perception of the Ichetucknee and Rainbow changes that occurred in recent years (Scale: 1 = strongly disagree t o 5 = strongly agree). Summary wording of statements Ichetucknee Rainbow Mean SD Percentage disagreed and strongly disagreed Mean SD Percentage disagreed and strongly disagreed Algae has reduced 2.69 0.97 39.7% (n=146) 2.89 1.18 37.2% (n=145) Aquatic animals have become more diverse 2.70 0.79 37.1% (n=143) 2.90 0.95 28.6% (n=147) Water has become clearer 2.75 0.90 34% (n=150) 2.88 1.02 28.3% (n=152) Aquatic plants have become healthier 2.90 0.99 32.7% (n=150) 2.95 1.05 29.3% (n=147) Terrestr ial animals have become more diverse 2.86 0.81 29.6% (n=142) 2.97 0.90 25.7% (n=144)
70 Table 4 6. Mean responses for indices of perception of the Ichetucknee and Rainbow springs (Scale: 1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree). Summary wording of p erceptional variables about the springs Ichetucknee Rainbow Mean SD Percentage of agreed and strongly agreed Mea n SD Percentage of agreed and strongly agreed It is important for me to know that these springs will stay healthy for many years 4.86 0.44 9 7.1% (n=243) 4.86 0.47 97.2% (n=237) I am proud that I have a natural place like the Springs nearby 4.78 0.50 95.9% (n=241) 4.78 0.54 96.2% (n=237) The springs are a part of our cultural heritage 4.62 0.74 90.4% (n=239) 4.60 0.83 89.7% (n=233) The sprin gs are an important economic resource for our community 4.57 0.84 89.1% (n=238) 4.48 0.87 88.4% (n=233) People in our community appreciate the natural environment at the springs 4.54 0.89 92.5% (n=239) 4.56 0.77 91.4% (n=232) I often feel close to nature 4.44 0.84 84.5% (n=245) 4.56 0.80 88.5% (n=234) I can improve the health of the springs with my actions 4.34 0.81 85.2% (n=236) 4.27 0.92 76.8% (n=220) There will be more deterioration of our local environment in the future 4.24 0.97 83.6% (n=219) 4.32 0.85 87.3% (n=221) I have the skills to contribute to protecting the springs 3.66 1.09 57.1% (n=212) 3.58 1.09 52.8% (n=199) An important value of the springs is to generate money for the local residents* 3.63 1.31 60.8% (n=232) 3.18 1.38 47.5% (n=223) The condition of the springs has not deteriorated for many years 2.61 1.23 27.9% (n=208) 2.65 1.24 23.0% (n=183) My actions will not make a difference in natural environment of the springs 2.15 1.18 14.5% (n=234) 2.30 1.34 20.5% (n=219) To protect th concern, not mine 1.66 1.05 7.3% (n=245) 1.71 1.02 5.6% (n=233) *Significant difference between the populations of the springsheds at = .01 level
71 Table 4 7. Mean responses to indices of perceived importance of the local springs in different contexts (Scale: from 1 = not important at all to 4 = very important). Summary wording for items N Mean SD Percentage of respondents rated very im portant For all plant and animals living in and around the springs 465 3.75 0.49 77.4% For future generation of people 464 3.75 0.48 76.7% For my community 463 3.73 0.53 75.8% For me personally 464 3.530 0.704 63.6% For my family/close friends 462 3. 526 0.670 61.3% For our country 461 3.336 0.762 49.7% For the global environment 461 3.306 0.769 46.9% Table 4 8 Perceived importance of local springs in local and general contexts among respondents living in different proximities to the springs (A = 0 5 miles, B = 5 10 miles, C = 10 15 miles) for both springsheds combined. Scale: from 1 = not important at all to 4 = very important. Perceived importance of the springs Overall mean A mean B mean C mean F value (ANOVA) p value Tukey Post Hoc For all pl ants and animals living in and around the springs 3.75 3.82 3.73 3.68 3.78 0.024* A>C For future generation of people 3.75 3.81 3.71 3.72 2.26 0.105 A, B, C For my community 3.73 3.80 3.71 3.65 3.37 0.035* A>C For me personally 3.53 3.69 3.45 3.43 7.55 0.001** A>B,C For my family/close friends 3.53 3.65 3.43 3.50 4.93 0.008** A>B For our country 3.34 3.37 3.27 3.43 1.53 0.218 A, B, C For the global environment 3.31 3.39 3.35 3.21 2.35 0.097 A, B, C Denotes significant difference at = .05 level ** Denotes significant difference at = .01 level
72 Table 4 9 Perceptions of local springs significantly different between respondents living in different proximities to the springs (Scale: 1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree). Perceptional statements Overall mean A mean B mean C mean F value (ANOVA) p value Tukey Post Hoc I am proud that I have a natural place like the Springs nearby 4.78 4.88 4.74 4.69 5.62 0.004** A>B,C The springs are a part of our cultural heritage 4.62 4.71 4.57 4.5 0 3.21 0.041* A>C The springs are an important economic resource for our community 4.57 4.64 4.46 4.42 3.36 0.036* A>B,C People in our community appreciate the natural environment at the springs 4.54 4.64 4.47 4.50 2.28 0.104 A, B, C I often feel close to nature 4.44 4.60 4.40 4.46 2.80 0.062 A, B, C I can improve the health of the springs with my actions 4.34 4.42 4.27 4.18 3.00 0.050* A>C There will be more deterioration of our local environment in the future 4.24 4.33 4.17 4.33 1.40 0.247 A, B, C I have the skills to contribute to protecting the springs 3.66 3.76 3.53 3.51 2.51 0.083 A, B, C An important value of the springs is to generate money for the local residents* 3.63 3.54 3.38 3.24 1.91 0.150 A, B, C The condition of the springs has no t deteriorated for many years 2.61 2.640 2.61 2.63 0.02 0.979 A, B, C My actions will not make a difference in natural environment of the springs 2.15 2.11 2.18 2.43 3.30 0.038* C>A concern, not mine 1.66 1.55 1.73 1.84 3.25 0.040 C>A Denotes significant difference at = .05 level ** Denotes significant difference at = .01 level
73 Table 4 10. Correlation of visitation with some perceptions across three strata from the springs Variables Correlation with vis itation of the local springs during the last twelve months A B C r coeff p value r coeff p value r coeff p value Importance of the springs for the local ecosystems 0.114 0.111 0.100 0.225 0.013 0.879 Importance of the springs for the local community 0.066 0.360 0.197 0.016* 0.220 0.010* Importance of the springs for the person 0.255 0.000** 0.442 0.000** 0.383 0.000** Summary wording for perceptional statements The springs are a part of our cultural heritage 0.093 0.200 0.099 0.233 0.016 0.851 The springs are an important economic resource for our community 0.020 0.784 0.168 0.042* 0.109 0.219 I am proud that I have a natural place like the springs nearby 0.045 0.534 0.258 0.002** 0.341 0.000** I can improve the health of the springs wit h my actions 0.157 0.031* 0.212 0.013* 0.196 0.025* My actions will not make a difference in natural environment of the springs 0.146 0.046* 0.237 0.005** 0.095 0.286 To protect the springs is mine 0.155 0.031* 0.339 0.000** 0.185 0.032* Denotes significance at p = .05 level ** Denotes significance at = .01 level
74 Table 4 11. Perception of trust in agency/group providing information on the local springs (Scale: 1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree). Source of information N Mean SD Percentage of agreed and strongly agreed The Springs State Park 461 4.36 0.88 87.2% Springs Working Groups 440 4.24 0.94 82.7% Personal Experience 453 4.12 0.94 79.6% Scientists 433 4.08 1.08 77.1% Florida Department of Environmental Protection 463 4.01 1.19 77.5% Websites 440 3.82 1.07 70.6% Environmental Non Governmental Organizations 429 3.82 1.22 69.2% Local Water Management District 445 3.75 1.29 68.8% Brochures and Newsletters 454 3.72 1.11 66.8% Relatives/F riends 445 3.54 1.07 52.6% Newspapers and Magazines 453 3.47 1.17 61.5% TV and Radio Programs 442 3.11 1.19 46.3% Table 4 12. Perceptions of trust in agency/group providing information about and making decisions related to the local springs (Scale: 1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree). Agency/Group Trusted as a source of information Trusted as a decision maker Correlation between two types of trust Mean SD n Mean SD n Correlation coefficien t 2 tailed p value SWGs 4.241 0.94 440 3.934 1.11 3 77 0.553 <0.01 Scientists 4.081 1.08 433 3.556 1.16 360 0.655 <0.01 FDEP 4.011 1.19 463 3.308 1.28 380 0.573 <0.01 Env. NGOs 3.816 1.22 429 3.450 1.28 359 0.647 <0.01 WMD 3.746 1.29 445 3.161 1.28 379 0.572 <0.01
75 Table 4 13. Mean ratings for usefuln ess of actions encouraging people to get concerned about the local springs indices (Scale: 1 = not useful at all 4 = very useful). Summary wording for items Mean SD n Percentage of rating Educating people about ways to protect the springs 3. 64 0.66 474 72.8% Supporting volunteers who help the springs 3.59 0.67 473 68.3% Punishing those who impair the springs 3.58 0.79 475 73.1% Developing environmental programs at local schools about the springs 3.53 0.77 475 66.9% Providing information about the springs to the public 3.49 0.72 477 61.0% Organizing local events to celebrate the springs 3.29 0.87 468 51.7% Including public opinions in environmental planning 3.27 0.84 469 48.6% Organizing public trips to the springs 3.11 0.93 470 42.6 % Paying people and organizations who protect the springs 2.79 1.04 465 31.2% Table 4 14. Mean ratings for willingness to participate in local initiatives related to the spring protection indices (Scale: 1 = not at all; 4 = to a great extent). Actions Mean SD N Percentage of Percentage of Increase knowledge of the springs 3.15 0.88 466 39.5% 10.4% Share knowledge on the springs with neighbors and friends 2.81 1.01 466 28.1% 14.4% Participate in volunteer work 2.24 1.10 468 15.4% 3.8% Meet with local environmental groups 2.11 1.04 463 11.7% 1.5% Attend a city hall meeting or other municipal meeting 2.07 1.09 469 13.4% 3.2% Write, call or send e mails to an elected official 2.07 1.10 466 13.9% 3.0%
76 Table 4 15. Eff ect of distance on intentions Summary wording for intention Overall mean A mean B mean C mean F value (ANOVA) p value Tukey Post Hoc Increase knowledge of the springs 3.152 3.28 3.12 3.00 3.95 0.020* A>C Share knowledge on the springs with neighbors and friends 2.813 3.00 2.74 2.62 6.15 0.002** A>B, C Participate in volunteer work 2.24 2.38 2.20 2.08 2.82 0.061 A, B, C Meet with local environmental groups 2.11 2.18 2.14 2.00 1.21 0.298 A, B, C Attend a city hall meeting or other municipal meeting 2.07 2.15 2.01 1.95 1.32 0.268 A, B, C Write, call or send e mails to an elected official 2.07 2.10 2.01 2.00 0.37 0.690 A, B, C Denotes significance at .05 level ** Denotes significance = .01 level
77 Table 4 16. Correlations of demographics and visitation with intentions to perform action. Direct experience and demographics Increase knowledge of the springs Share knowledge on the springs with othe rs Participate in volunteer work Meet with local environmental groups Attend a city hall or other meetings Write, call or send e mails to an elected official Visiting the springs Correlation Coefficient Sig. (2 tailed) N .367** <.001 465 .397** <.001 465 .375** <.001 467 .341** <.001 462 .303** <.001 468 .239** <.001 465 Frequency of visitation Correlation Coefficient Sig. (2 tailed) N .137* .012 335 .151** .01 335 .200** <.001 336 .096 .080 331 .145** .01 337 .182** <.01 334 Length of re sidency Correlation Coefficient Sig. (2 tailed) N .159* .012 460 .081 .082 460 .149* <.01 462 .141* <.01 457 .120** .01 463 .067 <.152 460 Type of residency Correlation Coefficient Sig. (2 tailed) N .016 .731 460 .011 .731 460 .020 .674 462 .030 .516 457 .010 .829 463 .027 .559 460 Amount of land Correlation Coefficient Sig. (2 tailed) N .003 .943 461 .025 .592 461 .016 .739 463 .013 .788 458 .066 .155 464 .036 .439 461 Education Correlation Coefficient Sig. (2 tailed) N .130** .01 458 .064 .174 458 .234** <.001 460 .185** <.001 457 .170** <.001 461 .173** <.001 458 Age Correlation Coefficient Sig. (2 tailed) N .091* .050 462 .082 .077 462 .214** <.001 464 .124** <.001 459 .104* .024 465 .163** <.001 462 Gender Correlation Coefficient Sig. (2 tailed) N .029 .532 461 .045 .337 461 .004 .936 463 .014 .769 458 .059 .203 464 .002 .958 461 Denotes significance at .05 level ** Denotes significance = .01 level
78 Table 4 17. Factors identified with factor analysis Factor Summary wording of variables 1. Perception of personal behavior I can improve the health of the springs with my actions. I have the skill s to contribute to protecting the springs. My actions will not make a difference in natural environment of the springs. 2. Emotional connectedness I am proud that I have a natural place like the Ichetucknee Springs nearby. It is important for me to know that these springs will stay healthy for many years. I often feel close to nature. 3. Trust toward non governmental agents Scientists usually make right decisions about the local springs. Environm ental NGOs usually make right decisions about the local springs. I think I can get trustworthy information about the local springs from Environmental NGOs 4. Perception of pro environmental action s Organizing public trips to the springs would be useful for encouraging people to be more concerned about the springs Including public opinions in environmental planning would be useful for encouraging people to be more concerned about the springs Supporting volunteers who help the springs would be useful for e ncouraging people to be more concerned about the s prings Organizing local events to celebrate the springs would be useful for encouraging people to be more concerned about the s prings Developing environmental programs at local schools about the springs wou ld be useful for encouraging people to be more concerned about the springs Paying people and organizations that protect the springs would be useful for encouraging people to be more concerned about the springs Punishing those who impair the springs would b e useful for encouraging people to be more concerned about the springs
79 Table 4 1 8 Model of six predictors (constant = 1.9222; R 2 = .40; R 2 (adj) = .39) most effectively explaining variance of the factor of intention to help local springs by personal ac tions Predictor t value; p value Regression Coefficient v ariance after adding each factor (%) 1. Perception of personal behavior 4.99; < .001 0.287 25.77 2. Education 5.03; < .001 0.171 30. 46 3. Visitation 4.81; < .001 0.467 34.46 4. Trust toward non governmental agents 2.56; .011 0.103 37.15 5. Emotional connectedness 2.33; .020 0.260 38.58 6. Perception of protective actions 2.03; .043 0.178 39.15 Total R 2 (adj) 39.15
80 Table 4 1 9 Summary of household and private land performed and intended behaviors of landowners residing in the Ichetucknee springshed Household/private land techniques n (to whom technique applies) Percentage of applying Percentage of not willing to apply Willingness to apply (Scale 1 = very lit tle to 3= to a great extend ) Mean SD n 1 Water consumption and septic system Check and maintain septic system 229 77.3% 2.6% 2.348 0.57 46 39.1% Conserve water at home 239 76.6% 0.4% 2.135 0.53 52 21.2% Reduce or avoid irrigat ion for the lawn 207 75.8% 2.4% 2.378 0.68 45 48.9% Use a low flow toilet 231 66.7% 10.0% 2.222 0.69 54 37% Use a rain barrel to collect water 191 23.0% 39.3% 2.061 0.70 66 27.3% Use advanced nitrogen removing septic system 155 14.8% 41.9% 2.098 0. 57 61 21.3% Waste management Properly dispose of hazardous household waste 237 81.9% 0.4% 2.595 0.54 42 61.9% Compost kitchen waste 211 47.4% 20.9% 1.940 0.69 67 20.9% Clean up pet waste** 167 43.7% 25.7% 1.765 0.76 51 19.6% Vegetation management Lan dscape with native plants** 217 60.8% 5.1% 2.181 0.68 72 33.3% Apply compost to fertilize plants 201 48.8% 18.4% 1.939 0.68 66 19.7% Chemical Use Reduce or avoid fertilizer use 197 65.0% 5.6% 1.983 0.69 58 22.4% Reduce or avoid pesticide use 204 64.7% 4.4% 1.984 0.75 63 27% Farm management Conserve water on the farm 71 70.4% 0.0% 2.381 0.67 21 47.6% Treat farm animal waste 55 20.0% 41.8% 2.190 0.87 21 47.6% Use treated w astewater for crop irrigation 51 11.8% 51.0% 2.167 0.71 18 33.3% Denotes significant difference between the springsheds for techniques applied at = .05 level ** Denotes significant difference for techniques applied at = .01 level Denote s significant difference for willingness to apply at =.05 level
81 Table 4 20 Summary of household and private land behaviors of landowners residing the Rainbow springshed Household/private land techniques n (to whom technique applies) Percen tage of applying Percentage of not willing to apply Willingness to apply (Scale 1 = very little to 3= to a great extend ) Mean SD n 1 Water consumption and septic system Check and maintain septic system 202 79.2% 2.5% 2.359 0.74 39 51.3% Conserve water at home 235 77.9% 0.9% 2.216 0.64 51 33.3% Reduce or avoid irrigation for the lawn 212 74.1% 2.8% 2.292 0.58 48 35.4% Use a low flow toilet 234 73.5% 7.7% 2.273 0.73 44 43.2% Use advanced nitrogen removing septic system 143 15.4% 42.0% 2.095 0.73 63 31.7% Use a rain barrel to collect water* 183 14.2% 43.2% 2.244 0.72 78 41% Waste management Properly dispose of hazardous household waste 235 85.5% 0.4% 2.657 0.59 35 71.4% Clean up pet waste** 161 60.9% 15.5% 2.026 0.82 38 34.2% Compost kitchen waste 213 45.1% 25.8% 2.000 0.74 60 26.7% Vegetation management Landscape with native plants** 226 73.9% 4.4% 2.200 0.67 50 34% Apply compost to fertilize plants 194 50.0% 21.1% 2.182 0.77 55 40% Chemical Use Reduce or avoid pe sticide use 211 68.7% 1.9% 2.203 0.69 64 35.9% Reduce or avoid fertilizer use 215 60.9% 3.3% 2.177 0.66 79 31.6% Farm management Conserve water on the farm 54 64.8% 3.7% 2.278 0.67 18 38.9% Treat farm animal waste 46 28.3% 21.7% 1.870 0.69 23 17.4% Use treated wastewater for crop irrigation 44 4.5% 61.4% 2.200 0.86 18 38.9% Denotes significant difference between the springsheds for techniques applied at = .05 level ** Denotes significant difference for techniques applied at = .01 level Denotes significant difference for willingness to apply at =.05 level
82 Table 4 2 1 Significant differences in perceptions held by farmers and non farmers Summary wording for perceptional variables Farmers, n = 138 Non farmers, n = 37 4 Significance (2 tailed) Mean SD Mean SD t df p I would like to know more about the springs 4.136 0.99 3.89 0.97 2.40 238 0.017 I have the skills to contribute to protecting the springs 3.84 1.06 3.54 1.10 2.48 209 0.014 I could get trustworthy info rmation about the springs from Florida Department of Environmental Protections 3.80 1.26 4.10 1.14 2.30 205 0.023 I could get trustworthy information about the springs from Local Water management District 3.55 1.27 3.83 1.20 2.07 207 0.039 I could get trustworthy information about the springs from environmental NGOs 3.58 1.31 3.91 1.61 2.37 186 0.019 I could get trustworthy information about the springs from the Spring State Park 4.22 0.96 4.42 0.82 2.09 195 0.038
83 Figure 4 1. Distribution of r ecreational activities experienced by the respondents of Rainbow (n = 188) and Ichetucknee (n = 172) springsheds.
84 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION AND CONCL USION This chapter includes a discussion of the results described in Chapter 4 and conclusions. It is divided into the four sections according to the research questions defined in Chapter 1; each will include both discussion and conclusion: 1. How does the public residing in the springsheds perceive the spring ecosystem health and changes? 2. How does the local public perceive natural, economic and social aspects and environmental problems of their springs? 3. Which of the perceptions are efficient predictors of willingness to perform or support pro environmental behaviors in regard to the springs? 4. Do perceptions and inte ntions to act pro environmentally as related to their springs Possible practical implications of the study, limitations and a list of recommendations for environmental practitioners are de scri bed at the end of the chapter Perception of the Spring Ecosystem Health and Changes More than a half of the respondents residing in each of the two springsheds visits their local springs and rivers and experiences a diversity of recreational activitie s. These experiences allow residents to form opinions about the quality and health of the ecosystems. T he Ichetucknee respondents rated their local springs to be significantly less healthy c ompared to th For instance, the Ra inbow respondents suppose the water clarity in the Rainbow springs and river is between above average and excellent, whereas the Ichetucknee respondents indicated the ecosystem quality to be slightly less than above average. The majority in the both spring sheds concurred that the overall quality of the springs is above average however
85 Those living near the Ichetucknee and Rainbow rivers take an advantage of experiencing these rivers more often. The respondents use both diverse water recreational activiti es and enjoy adjacent land, especially in the state parks and the integral part of their lives. Participant 24: from Pinellas Coun The more people visit the springs, the more they may believe the ecosystem is decline Direct experience might make local residents more concerned about t hese changes. In general, perceptions of declining ecosystem quality were associated with both numbers of visits during the last twelve months and level of education. About a dozen of additional comments expressed strong opinions about the fact that the sp ring ecosystems are degrading. Participant 30: The water was much clearer in the 70s and 80s. It was more beautiful as far as cypress trees and birch and hickory trees. There are hardly any fireflies, crickets or frogs. Fish, manatee and snails are virtual ly nonexistent compared to my childhood. We camped all up and down the river from the head springs to the mouth, sometimes weeks at a time. The river has deteriorated greatly. You and snakes, present. The trees seem bare and some just gone. Once beautiful woody plants are not pretty or are gone. The river is nothing like it was 25 years ago and longer. However, it should be noted that about ha lf of respondents who visited the springs less frequently possess neutral opinions about ecosystem changes, and about 18% consider the change to be positive. In addition, some of local residents indicate that they feel their springs are very important, bu t cannot afford to visit the state park. One of the respondents living locally for at least eleven years revealed this.
86 Participant 32: springs as there were seven of us. They wanted $5 a head just to drive to the north entrance to see what it was like. As we are poor Finally, respondents tend to believe their personal experi ence is a very reliable source of information on the springs. This confirms the important role of direct experience in better understanding and forming opinions about the environment (Kaplan & Kaplan, 1989). It seems from this study that the Ichetucknee and Rainbow springs are very beneficial place for local residents. I t appears that p ersonal experience with the spring ecosystems allows some local residents form ing stable opinions about present conditions and no tic ing ecosystem changes Through visiting the springs people get a plenty of various emotions from recreation and information from observation s o f both natural components of the springs and the ecosystem functioning as a whole. This may establish experiential bonds between people and the ecosystems and influence the ir understanding and perception of local envi ronment. At the same time, if the negative changes that respondents indicate actually correspond with real ecological declines, local residents may be a good source of information about springs health Perception of the Personal Behaviors and Related Issues In terms of general perceptions, our results revealed the springs are highly valued by man y residents. First of all, virtually all the respondents are proud of having the spring nearby. Pride is a very strong emotion and is often associated with personal norms (Schwartz, 2007). One respondent explained this in her/his own words. Participant 90 : We are very proud of Rainbow Springs and always take our out of town visitors to enjoy the park. Many of them return on their own to re enjoy!...The draw for this community is the natural beauty and
87 serenity of the area surrounding Rainbow Springs. I fe el its protection is important for that purpose alone! The r espondents also appreciate the economic values of the springs and the Ichetucknee respondents hold a significantly greater economic value of their springs compared to the Rainbow respondents Thi s finding could reflect a real situation and be explained by small businesses providing tube and kayak rentals contributing to local economic well being in Columbia and Suwannee Counties (Ichetucknee, 2011; Stamm, 2008) Another specific finding is an ove rall perception of individual efficacy regarding possible personal actions. In general, about 80% of the respondents from the both of the springsheds think they can improve the springs with their actions, but less than 50% of the respondents believe they h ave skills to protect the springs. When considering personal intention to act pro age, heavy work load, lack of sk ills, and hopelessness. The best illustration of the latter is this very strong comment provided by a respondent who has been living on the Rainbow River for a long time. Participant 117: I have loved the Rainbow River since I first saw it in 1989. I have made it a part of my life and the life of my family. I have watched a community who is supposed to care about this river give in to greed and financial exploitation by hypocritically saying they throng of newly constructed homes within a mile and a half of the springhead. Another person emphasized the impacts of development around the Rainbow springs by saying: "The damage is done, what is the point now?" Finally, o ne more respondent feels herself/himself being overwhelmed with threats impacting the springs.
88 Participant 47: Where was your concern for the springs when a cement plant was allowed to be built so near the south end of the state park? Will your concerns stop the water bottling plant from lowering our water tables? Will the dung of 5,000 cows affect our rivers? In general, the perceptions held by the respondents suggest they high ly value the springs in social, natural and economic contexts. The respondents also consider the springs to be more important at local level: for local communities, local ecosystems and, finally, for themselves They are also concerned with a presen t and possible future degradation of the springs. In addition, although many of the respondents perceive their behaviors could potentially affect the springs health, there could be a lack of real skills for personal protective actions. Th is is a both challenge and opportunity for environmental educational programs since improving skills is a major objective Taking into account many of high values of the springs that already exist among local residents, edu cators may make a step further in developing appropriate programs that would appreciate these values and explain demonstrate, and support people in help ing the springs. This requires even more successful collaboration between external specialists and local public than it is needed for merely Findings about trustworthy sources of springs information suggest that in the springsheds the respondents tend to trust those who are perceived to be i n charge of same time water management districts are among the least trusted sources that could mean some of their actions would not considered as reliable by public. Trust in a group or agency can be a great factor determining success of environmental management and protection (Ostrom & Walker, 2003; Pretty, 2003). In terms of confidence in making good decisions, water management districts are the least
89 trusted when co mpared to spring working groups, environmental non governmental organizations, scientists and Florida Department of Environmental Protection. High correlation coefficients (r > .50) suggest that people who believe that these groups and agencies make good d ecisions also consider them to be a trustful source of information. This finding could have an important implication for planning environmental educational and communication campaigns aimed at the springshed residents, because understanding how the audienc e perceive s trustworthiness suggest beneficial collaborations with key partners (Pretty & Smith, 2004) Farmers (n=138) are significantly less trusting of information from the agencies that typically provide it: springs state parks, FDEP, water management district and environmental NGOs in comparison with non farmers At the same time, these respondents would like to know more about the springs and believe they have skills to protect the springs. Because local farmers are one of the important stakeholders f or spring protection and restoration (Ichetucknee, 2011; Rainbow, 2011), this finding points out a possible stumbling block. The insufficient level of trust in information provided by these organizations will diminish chances of effective communication and collaboration. Clearly, a trusted source of information must be found and invited to create a partnership in order to reach and engage the farming community. Intentions and t heir Drivers The types of actions that respondents intend to perform related to t he springs are diverse, and the most popular are increasing their knowledge and sharing it with others. Fewer people would very much like to participate in volunteer work, contact such external agents as elected officials and environmental groups. Our anal ysis also revealed that the distance from the hone to the springs and several demographics were
90 linked to intentions. Those living closest to the springs possess the strongest willingness to increase personal knowledge on the springs and advocate for the s prings At the same time, other intentions like collaborating with external agents and volunteering are similar among the respondents living in closer to and farther from the springs It is said that intentions to act are based on very complicated percept ional systems and can be supported or restricted by many factors (Ajzen, 19 91 ). The regression model explaining up to 40% of variability in the intentions was based on the best subset of factors associating with intentions in order to follow the parsimonio us principle of minimizing possible number of variables explaining the depending variables ( McLeod, 1993 ). The final model suggests the most important factor include s attitude toward behavior and efficacy explain ing up to 26 % of variance in the respondent conduct personal actions to help the springs This is logical and refers to an important role of these perceptions in forming explicit intentions to act pro environmentally. Attitude toward behavior, subjective norms, and perceived behavio ral control (also known as self efficacy) are considered to be significant factors influencing personal intentions to act (Ajzen, 19 91 ; Bandura, 197 7 ; Ajzen & Fishbein 1980). Other, less significant factors in shaping intentions are visiting the springs, trust in non governmental organizations and scientists, emotional connectedness to the springs and nature and outcome expectancy from protective actions. Direct experience with local nature is one of the most important factors forming stable perceptional b onds between people and environment and affecting environment preferences (Kaplan & Kaplan, 1989). Trust toward non governmental organizations and scientists is an important component of the model because the groups, among those listed, is the
91 venue that i s most accessible to most residents. Intentions may be discussed and tested at environmental meetings and through volunteer work, implying collaboration with these organizations and groups. This means that a higher level of trust and involvement with these organizations might help increase intentions to act. Emotional connectedness is also suggested by some authors as a significant factor associat ed with sense of place and possibly triggering environmentally oriented actions at local level (Gosling & Willia ms, 2010). One more factor, education level, is the second significant predictor of the intention, but it could be a mediating effect of other variables in the model (Baron & Kenny, 1986). In other words, education may not influence intentions directly, bu t rather determine other supportive factors such as possessing more knowledge on environmental issues, understanding personal capacity to perform actions, and factors not examined by this study such as income In general, respondents who believe in their own efficacy, trust in actions and information provided by ENGOs and scientists on the springs (Pretty, 2003), feel an emotional connection to local nature (Perrin & Benassi 2009), and perceive the usefulness of different protective actions are likely to possess a greater capacity to also relates to personal experience and understanding the spring ecosystems and current personal actions. It should be noted, however, the intention to act pro environmentally does not necessarily translate into actual behavior due to a set of other factors existing beyond the scope of this study. Evidence of this is the fact that only about 10% of the respondents report performing actual pro environmental a ctions.
92 E ven though distance from the springs correlated with intentions, it may have a mediating effect on environmental perceptions through direct experience and sense of place (Norton and Hannon 1997). In this case, these local based values ap pear to influence intentions to know more about the springs and to disseminate their knowledge at local levels. Effect of Distance: a Possible Sense of Place In this study we compared perceptions of responde nts from three strata in five mile intervals from the headsprings. Simple random sampling was conducted independently for each stratum in each of the springsheds. The impact of living near the springs was significant in several areas. Most of the differen ces occur between residents living from zero to five miles from the springs and those living from ten to fifteen miles. The residents living closest to the springs place a higher value on the social and economic importance of the springs for local communit ies and significantly higher value the springs at the personal level. One might suggest that residents living near the springs visit them more often and, therefore, perceive them differently. Indeed, proximity to the springs correlates with nu mber of visits. However, visitation alone does not explain these perceptional differences, so we suggest that for some the differences might be based on a sense of place and emotional connectedness to this spot, especially for those who do not visit the sp rings. For instance, pride in having the springs nearby is significantly stronge r for the closest residents. No differences among strata occur for demographics variables, however, such as the type of residence length of residence age and gender This fin ding supports an assumption that the factor of geographical proximity sometimes prevails over socio
93 perceptions of local water resources (Brody et al., 2004). It also appears that a possibl e personal connection to the springs gradually changes within a relatively short distance from the springs. These findings suggest an existence of personal connection to the place and could be explained by both emotional (Perrin & Benassi, 2009) and experi ential (Brody et al., 2004) relationships of the residents to places within ten miles from their home. Perceptions of efficacy for improving springs health might also be linked to connectedness to the local nature and place. As those living far away from t he springs may be less likely to consider them to be an inherent part of their life, they may not believe their actions make sense and they can help the springs with their personal actions. In addition, those living closer to the springs may know someone w ho is more active and may be aware of their successes. This is one of the important issues when dealing with the public across relatively small springsheds. This perceptional difference partially explained by proximity to the springs could be considered a based environmental planning and EE&C strategies. This means that the communities influencing the ecosystem by personal and collective actions vary in their perceptions in accordance with personal, experien tial and geographical connection to this ecosystem. This notion is echoed by the comments from those living closest to the springs According to the comments, some of the nearest respondents organize trips with families, friend or neighbors to pick litter left by river visitors; share knowledge and concerns about the springs with neighbors and friends; educate their children and grandchildren; and landscape with native plants. At least 15 comments from this closest stratum are about
94 personal, self organized volunteer activities. It suggests the sense of place and closeness to nature may motivate these people to undertake their own efforts to help the springs. It could suggest that there is potential capacity for this portion of public to be engaged at more o rganized levels, either independently, or with guidance and help from NGOs or agency professionals. Norton and Hannon ( 1997) propose that locally developed environmental values and cultural practices give rise to local ethics regarding the place held by its residents. This challenges environmental managers to develop local based environmental plans appreciating and using place specific environmental valu es with extraordinary educationa l efforts. The results of our study suggest that conservation of freshwater springs of North Central Florida may be such a case. Conclusion: Residents of the Springsheds as a Part of a L arger Social Ecological System People play a significant role in the h ealth of local ecosystems through their personal actions and their ability to successfully collaborate w ith agencies and organizations the world over (Berkes et al., 2003; Chapin et al. 2009; Ostrom & Walker, 2003). Moving people toward action and enhancin g their capacity are two extremely important objectives for environmental education and communication (EE&C) programs that target these local audiences ( Jacobson, 2009; Monroe 2005) Understanding existing perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors is essential to the development of effective EE&C programs. As with many other sensitive social ecological systems, Florida springs are dependent on people residing in the springsheds in many direct and indirect ways. The public residing in the Ichetucknee and Rainbow springsheds are one of the key
95 2010; Ichetucknee, 2011; Rainbow, 2011). perceptions of the ir local spring ecosystems, their behaviors related to the springs and watersheds, and to what extent they are willing to adopt pro environmental actions at local level This study has begun to understand some of the social ecological relation ship s existin g between spring ecosystems of North Central Florida and people residing in the springsheds. Although these relation ship s were thought to be anything but simple, our study provides information to demonstrate more specifics of the social ecological system. This can help in planning environmental education and communication interventions, as well as guide agencies and groups practicing collaborative approaches with residential communities. Our findings suggest that the respondents of the two springsheds have fairly consistent perceptional and behavioral patterns with some significant trends in environmental valuation of the local springs which correlate with personal experience and proximity to the springs. The study results cannot explain the plethora of the relationships in the system, but we are able to shed some light on how the springshed residents experience, feel residents perceive the springs as these respondents. Howe ver, we believe the findings illustrate a possible unique connection between some residents and their springs. Thus, springshed residents represent a heterogeneous public possessing diverse experience, perceptions and intentions related to the local spring ecosystems and hav e
96 environmental actions to protect the springs, and have insights to better target educati on and communication campaigns. In the light of this fact, an advantageous role of environmental education is obvious. As the local residents are willing to know more about their local springs, there is an opportunity to develop well planned well targeted EE&C strategies that would appreciate Possible Practical Implications This study has several practical implications for environmental education, communication, planning and future research. Envi ronmental education and communication program planning should take into account existing local values and levels of trust toward both external sources of information and agents. Because many respondents trust the state parks and springs working groups, the y might coordinate an outreach campaign for non farmer residents. Partnering with water management districts may help improve trust in this agency. Additional partnerships with the Farm Bureau or Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services may help rea ch farmers. Active residents living near the springs and those visiting the springs also have a capacity to help spring researchers by participation in volunteer public monitoring. The survey instrument used in this study could be implemented regularly to monitor changes in local perceptions in a longitudinal study using springsheds as units of analysis. We believe this survey instrument has external validity because it revealed several significant differences between the two springsheds that likely reflec t real conditions such as ecosystem quality, economic situation and site population
97 background. This instrument may be used for examining public perceptions of other springs in Florida, as well. The importance of proximity revealed by this study suggests that the impact of a natural area that can be identified and frequently visited may be significant in other locations. The role of local public in supporting these ecosystems may be part of a feedback system that enables them to be influenced, directly an d indirectly, by the health of this ecosystem. For some people, visiting the springs helped cement their concern, yet for others knowing the springs are a nearby asset may have been enough to spark concern and willingness to act. The relationship between t he strength of pe rceptions and environmental protection, planning and management of natural resources at local scales. Limitations By using a mailed survey we attempted to reach springshed private landowners. The random sampling procedure and the overall response rate rece ived from the Ichetucknee and the Rainbow springsheds allow us to generalize to the whole springshed populations. Although analysis of the first and last 10% of the responses suggests no non response bias we did not have resources to contact actual non re spondents. Therefore the respondents in the study could be more concerned about the springs than non respondents. The respondents have a greater level of education than the resident population as determined by the US Census and the results could miss tho
98 possibly have less concern about the springs. This may not be a fatal flaw, however, as respondents are often those who have strongly positive and negative opinions. People who ha ve less formed opinions may be less informative more guessing or satisficing in their answers and consequently produc ing a response bias (Groves et al. 2009 Converse, 1964 ) This in turn, would increase non sampling error of the survey (Groves et al. 2009 ). Recommendations for Practitioners and Agencies Working on Florida Protection, Restoration and Management 1. residents living closest to the springs and frequent state park visitors. The program may use short questionnaires that participants complete periodically (if living nearby). The questionnaires can include several rating scales of ecosystem qualities and should be easy to read and simple to use. People of differ ent ages and capabilities may be involved. Springs researchers will be able to obtain important observations made by participants, and residents and visitors will enhance their environmental skills, personal experience and, possibly, their self esteem. 2. L cultural values of the springs instead of overwhelming people by describing threats to springs health (Colverson, 2011, Rainbow, 2011, Rainbow Fact Sheet, 2010). Guilt and increasing pr essure may not be the best strategies when dealing with the residents and just may make them feel more frustrated and helpless. The campaign should take use the most trusted sources of information for each audience. Develop partnerships with trusted source s of information among the farming community. 3. Encourage low income residents living near the springs to enter the spring state parks for free several times a year. In addition to creating a sense of neighborly community, increasing visits could build a sen se of place that could support pro environmental actions through enhancing their familiarity with the ecosystems. Use the opportunity to reinforce the unique wonders of the springs, the extent of the springshed, and the types of impacts people are having.
99 APPENDIX A PAPER COPY OF FIRST CONTACT LETTER (ICHE TUCKNEE VERSION)
100 APPENDIX B PAPER COPY OF COVER LETTER WITH INFORMED CONSENT (ICHETUCKNEE )
101 APPENDIX C PAPER COPY OF THE SU RVEY INSTRUMENT (ICH ETUCKNEE VERSION)
109 APPENDIX C ADDITIONAL COM MENTS PROVIDED BY PA RTICIPANTS 1. I strongly oppose any commercial use, other than recreational of the river, particularly any businesses that would have any kind of runoff into the river. 2. Me and my family moved to Fort White because of the spring. We are really water people and have traveled to many rivers. And, truly the Ichetucknee is the most that people would not pee in the water. 3. When growing up in Columbia county, the springs were an activity we looked forward to. At this time it was just a local area outside visitors had not yet discovered the springs. It was a lovely, wonderful place. I understand why the need to have it under State park. And the need to control t he amount of people to use the springs. As a young married adult I moved to NC coast. The 30+ years I lived there, I saw firsthand what overdevelopment did to the outer banks. I came back to this area 10 years ago, and went to springs it was nothing as I r emembered growing up. When the cement plant in the area was developed I was very disturbed as development was along river. It has been my opinion that when I 4. I would like to see s tricter laws enforced about the speed of boats on the rivers. is devastating. I was able to witness a family of manatees on the river last year and it was the most peace ful, heartwarming moment. Days later news of a baby manatee being hit by a boat propeller made me sick. We need to protect our rivers and the innocent wildlife that live there. 5. 6. My biggest concern is th e low level of water in the river and the large amount of traffic during the summer. The low level allows people walk down the river causing damage. And the large amount of traffic increases the amount of damage. 7. I would like to see the springs be prese rved, promoted, and protected. It is a valuable resource for this area and for the state of Florida and should be protected. 8. Visits to the springs are pleasant, workers there are generally amiable. Water is really always clear. Algae/grass appears to be in generally good condition. However, I remember as a child ~10 years old of the high diversity of aquatic and terrestrial species present it appears now to be ~ 20% of what it was a few our government is too involved in following the ////// of teenagers than to address serious environmental issues. With this changes things will continue to get worse.
110 9. I have been visiting the springs and the river since 1989 and have been a resident within waling dist ance to the river for past 6 years. The water and aquatic plant life has severely deteriorated over the years and algae bloom has increased. There is always trash in the river following holiday weekends int eh summer. I have at times actually witnessed per sons discarding trash from their tubes, but for the most part dramatically over the past 10 years, in my opinion. 10. I will volunteer for any educational programs for children and adults. I am a great teacher. Please save our natural resources. Please make them better now. all of us. 11. I swim in the Ichetucknee most days weather permitting. The water is the lowest this year. At the mouth where it enters the Santa Fe it is only inches deep in some spots. Also this past summer the manatees gathered at the mouth every day. This was the first summer they stayed all year. I snorkel both rivers a lot. I usually get 3 bags of trash a day d uring the summer. Bush and Miller beer drinkers litter the most. Bush about 50%, Miller about 25%, and 25% mixed brands and other trash. I even pulled a TV out of the Santa Fe once. 12. Ichetucknee springs state park is also rich in local history believed to be one of the sites of one of the first Spanish missions with about 300 Indians buried there that died from encountering Europeans. Also people really need to understand the crust topography and how water makes through it from the surface on down how important sand hill areas are to water and the plant that are associated with them that help to clean the water. For history ask Sam Cole (park ranger) to do his Ichetucknee time machine tour. 13. Water conservation issues and education has to be a strong focus throughout the adults there who enjoy loud partying and loud motors. The children will most likely follow suit as adults. The cities north of us who require more and mor e water have no idea what is happening here. In one year I have witnessed the spring I visit most often, along my access point, go from flowing into the river clearly, to looking like a stagnant hole. Only we, the local residents, mourn this. Jax residents and state officials have political pressures of all types who have monumental clout. We have none of that. Our little groups are powerless in reality. We need a big voice and some sort of leverage to change anything. 14. I hope you can use this data for a useful report that will help our natural resources and not just for a grade to graduate and then just throw away the data. My best to you. 15. The Santa Fe and Ichetucknee Rivers are as important resource as the basin and they all need preservation in water quality to provide habitat and diversity that is unique to this area. 16. I have heard that vegetation growth in the springs and river has become too much. I think this due to limiting visitors and not allowing too many in the water which will help to rid t he area of overgrowth.
111 17. Great place to relax, swim, picnic. 18. It should be protected and not shut down no matter what. In needs to be around for the next generations to come. Also prices to get in probably need to be a little lower. 19. One big problem is pine straw spray weed killer. They spray all the pines around me if you ///// By you will all the dead weeds? And one of the locals worked for a /////// camp in Alachua and pumped chemicals in a sink hole?? P.S. I am Indian. 20. I feel that the springs are a n important natural and recreational resource. I do agree that certain measures are necessary in order to protect and preserve the springs. However, I feel that any such measure needs to take into account local usage and enjoyment of this resource. The spr ings and surrounding areas should be guarded and preserved by local stewards and involvement, not by a far reaching federal agency or law or regulation. Such measures are too broad to be directed in a proper and effective way. Local initiatives with local support and local understanding will always be far more effective in receiving support and participation. 21. the spring water to South Florida!!! 22. I applaud young people learning about our environment and helping it. Now a I approach the end of my life, my generation looks to yours, the heroes of tomorrow, to do better than we ever did. Thank you for what you are attempting to do. May God bless you. 23. On my property I have cypress trees are having a harder time than they should. We have not had a major storm drop enough water in the last 3 years at least. More straws in the same glass (people) increases suction liquid level in glass lowers. I have not used grass seed for my lawn. Use very little fertilizer, my grass is very drought tolerant. I planted pine trees to fill in gaps in previous plantings and have 10 acres planted pines. Dumping of trash is the major issue! 24. and job to move here. We love our spring at the entrance to ISSP. Ride our golf cart over ther e many times year round. They should open the South end for camping. 25. not be careless with our natural gifts on the other hand we should not discourage growth both resid ential and commercial. 26. From what I have seen at different locations and care given to our river and basins, it will take a lot more than there is paper to tell. Considerations and respect for survey being conducted is a start. We, as a community have a major job in restoring, keeping, and appreciating our heritage for our future generations.
112 27. I have lived in this area all my life and when I was younger, I frequently went to the springs in the area. But even then I could see them changing with overuse a n water levels dropping. I have grandchildren who are now beginning to also visit the 28. As long at commercial interests hold too much sway at City Hall not much will change to protect the en vironment. 29. I really think that politicians have a great impact on our natural resources. Why do sale? What the average person thinks about the spring has little impact on what county and state go vernment mandate a homeowner has to be aware of fertilizers and whatever but when big SUGAR wants to be in charge of the Everglades all is good with Tallahassee just so the money keeps flowing. 30. The water was much clearer in the 70s and 80s. It was more beautiful as far as cypress trees and birch and hickory trees. There are hardly any fire flies, crickets or frogs. Fish, manatee and snails are virtually nonexistent compared to my childhood. We camped all up and down the river from the head spri ngs to the mouth, sometimes weeks at a time. The river has deteriorated greatly. You could catch brim with a cane pole and bread. There were gators and snakes, coons, etc. Otter were abundant. Flowers were very present. The trees seem bare and some just go ne. Once beautiful woody plants are not pretty or are gone. The river is nothing like it was 25 years ago and longer. I have enjoyed this river for 49 years and my parents for 78 and 80 years. Please help our river. These water bottling and cement plants I have watched the tops of the tree like go away. Deer are now leaving. I am a life after living around everywhere we live where we dated. The river needs help. The yucky stuff from water runoff is killing everything as are the cement plant and water plant. Thank you I think you are a great person for trying to bring my opinion to light. 31. There is no wa y we should allow the Jacksonville elective authority to use clean pure spring water to cool their generators when they can use water out of the Saint Johns River, or the Atlantic Ocean, or any cement company who can use water out of the St. Johns river al so. 32. I went to south entrance with my family from Connecticut who wanted to see the springs as there were seven of us. They wanted $5 a head just to drive to the So I hav nice. Thank you. 33. The whole basin needs protection. Anderson Columbia Kirby Pit Mine was very bad for the environment of the springs. I think this was known for a long time befor e they shut down the mine.
113 34. It would have been great if Suwannee river water management could have worked with the St John water management and stopped Jacksonville from taking so much water from the aquifer to cool electric generators. The Jacksonville area dumb as burning corn for fuel. 35. I have gone to most of the swimming hole around Gilchrest, Columbia, Levy and some of others county surrounding the Suwannee river. And if more people pick up after themselves after enjoying the waterway and parks, yes it would be helpful. With all the lowlaying areas around the rivers and springs when it floods the water has not much place to go. The water rises and makes a big mess for those who do quality of the water you notice more between different season of the year. Fall and winter the water is changing. 36. I enjoy the natural beauty of the s prings and its surroundings. Since I have purchased a boat, I have less time to tubing. Hope this has been of some help to you. God bless! 37. There is too much vegetation in the springs and river. 38. I do not like the fact that the springs are mostly only av ailable to residents of 3 Rivers Estates 39. There needs to be a balance for all residents of the basin. This should include agriculture use as well!! I believe good farming and ranch practice provides protection for our environment. The farmer and the ranc her families practice the best use an stewardship four our land, water and future use in the agricultural business as well as recreational use. Environmental, recreational and the production of food is a fine balance that must be shared by all!! Regulatio ns are needed, but should not cripple land and water use. 40. My home was determined to have a sink hole under it this spring. The springs basin and water usage concerns me now and for the future. 41. If you want to protect our local springs, stop large citie s from using hundreds of millions of gallons of water from the aquifer. If not, the springs will be dry before you know it. 42. I have lived most of my life within a few miles of the springs. I can remember as a young boy swimming in the springs several tim es a week, all day long during the summer months. Now, I am an active cave diver and still enjoy them regularly. I feel that many of use locally take the springs for granted, as they have always been there and are so close. I also find it amazing that our springs attract cave divers from all across the world and as far away as Europe and beyond. These folks from overseas and from Canada, or wherever they are from all say the same thing. The springs of Florida are one of a kind and cannot be found anywhere e lse on the planet. 43. I believe it is important to reduce/eliminate the number of tubers from the upper section of the Ichetucknee river.
114 44. We have rain barrels to set up, use compose manure to fertilize, use fire ant pesticide would like to find natural way to kill them. I have too many. I want to protect my animals, grandchildren, us. 45. We live on the river and have owned our property for 30 years. We would come and camp or stay in High Springs or Gainesville before we built our house. The area has chan ged only slightly in that time. We have deer, turkeys, foxes, and many other animals that call our neighborhood home. They all depend on the river for water and food, it is one of the most beautiful places in the world. 46. autiful and do not have to go to Panama city or the Bahamas to enjoy the beauty of the water. Crystal clear, and am very proud to take my family to visit when they come from Texas, Indiana or California. Venezuela who retired from the coast guard and was stationed at May Port in Jacksonville would describe their beach. 47. When tubing the river in the busy season, there is a strong odor of urine (guess rbally. Tube rental was part of our income for 10 years. We live on a county road littered with trash have asked the local authorities for no litter signs. After 20 years finally got one. How do you uck, Diana. As for #4, I am a scientist. Where was your concern for the springs when a cement plant was allowed to be built so near the south end of the state park? Will your concerns stop the water bottling plant from lowering our water tables? Will the dung of 5,000 cows affect our rivers? 48. Several years ago I sent a letter to the EPA regarding a large dump site on Old Spanish Road and the two entrances to Loncala Lp SW. The pit is very deep and has accumulation of household products: sofas, appliances tires. It seems water would drain into the spring. This location is about a mile from the spring. On my last two visits I was stopped by security my staff searched. I am a disabled senior I use a walker and take medications and must stay hydrated, so I carry water. How about enforcing a dress code, using language your mother would approve of, not to mention tattoos that should remain private. 49. Close North end to tubing. Have state park rent tubes. Increase prescribed burning. Enforce park rules. Have river clean ups. Outlaw fertilizer in springs basin. 50. After visiting the springs in the early nineties and when we were wanting to move from Ohio we picked Dunnellon because of the springs. The Rainbow river is awesome! I hope it is around for future ge nerations. Every time we are on the rive we pick up trash as we go (as does my whole family). Every visitor that comes to visit us we take them to Rainbow springs. This past year I am so happy to see more river otters. The only problem I see is the hydri lla and I fear the residents on the river will not maintain their septic tanks.
115 51. My family and I visit the springs nearly every weekend. The springs, wildlife, and beauty offer us an amazing oasis practically in our backyard. It is like being in paradise and the clearness of the water is simply amazing. I have not seen any threats to the water quality or the animal life while on the river. We travel via boat and people are generally respectful of others, trash is always picked up and disposed of, and I be lieve the agencies involved are doing a great job maintaining the springs. 52. I think controlling population growth around the river and springs and education people on how harmful the use of lawn and agricultural fertilizers are is a big step to protectin g the springs. Another thing to protect the sprigs and the river is to do away with bottled water. 53. natural resources. 54. Maybe some of my opinions and answers would be diffe rent if I knew more about it all. Not in area for very long and in tough times raising two toddlers and running necessity. Thank you. 55. The springs are beautiful they definitel y need to be protected. Government officials only serve themselves not us or the general population, there is no help there future of nature and animals, birds, fish, etc. If we will die a slow death and all the nature around it too. 56. #3 some was average some below average. I have not participated in any organized cleanup, I have picked trash and things from the water in fishing line, plastic bo ttles and such while boating. 57. I would like to do more. However, my husband is disabled and I do all tasks around the house and property. We also have a small online store which I take care of. I would like to help in any way that I can. Do not hesitat e to ask anything from me. you and good luck with your career. My name is Diane in case you need it. 58. 1. My personal opinion is that the Rainbow River could be helped a lot if only electric motors were allowed on the river. People that live on the river and have the reservation of our river (and perhaps the safety of floaters). 2. My 2 nd choice would be to have a volunteer cleanup to remove (by hand) as bay!!! 3. My 3rd opinion is remove all septic tanks east of HWY. 41 and along West side of the river. 59. Do not bottle t he water.
116 60. There are too many using the river/springs: K.P. Hole, Rainbow springs beach, Rio Vista, Dunnelon city beach, R.S. state campgrounds, Rainbow state Tuber park. Holidays are so crowded parking areas are closed. Too many tourists! 61. It would be n ice if more otters had their homes there. Wish less building was done, love looking at nature not homes. 62. Rainbow river is overused by tubers. Ever since they put in the new take out 2 miles downstream from K.P. Hole, the number of tubers has increased by at least 50%. The tubers tear out the local grasses growing along the banks and they throw out food and beverage wrappers. Employees at K.P. Hole (where tubers enter the river) need to open ice chests and enforce the rules about prohibiting disposable con tainers for drinks and food. K.P. Hole needs to limit the number of people they allow. There has also been a marked reduction in bird population along the river fewer cormorants, herons and egrets. 63. I have seen a big change in the quality of the water 7 years ago it was very clear, clean, and a pleasure to swim in the Rainbow river. Now there is so much algae and gas and oil slicks, that I prefer to stay in my kayak. I sure wish motor power boats were not allowed. 64. Approximately 4 5 years ago, there was no development surrounding the springs. Entering the park, there were stands of oak and numerous azalea and dogwood. Now there is a housing development ton both sides of the entrance takes away the natural beauty and the opportunity for larger animal s (as deer or turkey) to go to the water for drink or to forage. This housing also has me concerned for the residual effects on the springs and its habitat diversity. My family was and is very disappointed that this development was even approved to be buil t. But we still love the springs and the area! 65. Controlling number of tubers and scuba divers. Summertime river is bank to bank motors seem to tear out eelgrass which is seen floating down river. 66. I was very saddened to see new residence going in so closely to the springs. The impact on the springs itself and the wildlife in the area was not needed for more homes. One of the problems of our times is that nature is abuse d and natural try very hard to educate my children and grandchildren of the importance of protecting our future. Recycling, composting and reusing as much as possible has b een a way of life in my house for many, many years. And the reason for this is for the future. This is not just a fad for us. It is us! Thank you for the survey and including me! 67. wonderful. I volunteered about 3 years for the state park and saw many people families enjoy the river, the beauty, the birds and animals. The thing that concerns me is the increased population using the springs. How much human traffic added waste and ur ination can it take? I know we have to be concerned to save this for future citizens. It is truly unique and beautiful and a wonderful recreation area.
117 68. The public knows not to trash the river but they really need to know exactly what trash does to the r iver. Example: What effects does each below have on our river? (and organisms within it) 1) cigarette butts; 2) fertilizer/pesticide runoff; 3) sewage; 4) gasoline spillage; 5) heat from motors; 6) food waste; 7) plastic bags; 8) soap detergent discharge; 9) tanning/sunscreen products. 69. For the ten years we are living here, the water has been excellent we only use a filter. We do hope you will encourage those agencies to be responsible and do everything to keep our water pure. Thanks. 70. The Rainbow as we should be both protected and celebrated. Agriculture and resident runoff is the greatest threat. We need to be aware of alternatives, especially retirees who seem oblivious to the impact of fertilization on the environment. 71. I really enjoy Raibow springs with my wife and family. It was really sad to see the surrounding land development. 72. Very nice area, kept nicely. Could probably have a few more staff to help with the grounds and vegetati on. 73. very slimy. Sadly this also impacts what looks to be sandy bottom an dyou sink into much once you stand. The tubers are horrible leaving trash cans cigarette butts. If there was some way to help d ecrease the slimy algae it would drastically improve the river. We are on the Rainbow 50+ times a year. 74. There should no boats on the Rainbow river with anything more than a trolling motor. 75. My husband grew up in Florida in the 50s and 60s. When we mov ed back to Florida, he was horrified to see how the springs had deteriorated over the last 30 years. 76. I have lived in this area Lake, Marion, Levy counties all my life, the depleted conditions of our springs, lakes, etc. Is terrible, 30 years ago almost every lake was like a swimming pool, today what lake would you consider safe to swim in? In my opinion polities and major land holders/developers always seem to hold the par t of it will happen. With the environment on the 2nd burner, maybe I should be more involved, but most times I feel that a program to benefit a simple cause turns into a fiasco. So I mind my own. Good luck with your endeavor. 77. ime to enjoy the water activities any more although I used to enjoy water sports a lot. 78. I would like to have gas powered boats banned on the Rainbow river. Not just the head springs. Also restrict building near river. 79. I enjoy going to the Rainbow riv er and springs, but I do not go very often. Would like to visit there more. I am very concerned that as the population in this area grows, the river and springs will be adversely affected. Thank you!
118 80. Rainbow springs is a valuable resource. I am ecstatic to have this close to home. My parents have fond memories of their childhood and the springs in Marion county. I have fond memories of the springs of Alachua county (i.e.: Blue Run, ation of these natural resources. I am also from Gville/UF and appreciate all the efforts made through this survey. All the best. 81. Stop limerock blasting!! 82. Why is it that the government allows the buildings and golf courses around the rivers and lakes w ith all the fancy grasses and shrubs that take large amounts of fertilizers and bug sprays and etc. then blame boats, fishermen, hunters for messing up the rivers and lakes. It is nothing more than money. Most of local Government is made up of real estate land developers, lawyers and etc. All making lots of money and then we ask stupid questions of why the river and 83. I feel very strongly about all our natural areas and springs! They are disappearing more each year! Our 7 ac. Lake/pond on 326 SR, N. side of road between SR121 and 337 has been reduced to a mud puddle! Residential wells are going dry. Septic tanks and leech fields are allowed to be used even after complaints and checks by the Health Departme nt. Bottling companies should never been given water permits to steal from Mother Nature. They are destroying our aquifer and changing the dynamics of all flora and wildlife. Property on SE side of SR121 encompasses the SW side of SR326, was used as a Dair y farm, as such it destroyed sich cows and buried them on the farm in shallow graves!! Dare you ask how long it will take for cow decomp/contamination to reach our drinking water? The areas described previously are just the tip of our problems in this envi push the wildlife out! Construction is everywhere, nature is being damaged by pollution and the EPA, F orestry, etc. are told to do, say and look the other way!! Our trails are cluttered with garbage, foliage is trampled, fish are declining, flora are discolored and disappearing. Pesticides runoff from adjacent properties and farms are most definitely respo nsible for a great deal of the damage. Water test kits show a decline in water quality over the past 10 years. Yet, state and government tests show improvement! Go figures! Taking the 4 mile tube ride, of urine being expelled over the 4 mile trip. There are no restroom facilities throughout the entire ride! Hopefully, this has given you and your group a glimpse of our concerns and the true opinions of the area neighbors that fight the fight to save our natural habitat. 84. I love the spring. I hope it stays beautiful from more generations to see. We as a family use the springs a lot over the warmer months and visit the park i n cooler 85. I have lived in the Dannellon area all my life and love the river. My family and
119 friends are on it over the summer 1 to 2 times a week. As I get older there is still nothing like going on the river. Yes, over the summer it is overcrowded but I think that the visitors (tubes) should have the experience. 86. Please limit the amount of people on the river per day 87. The weeds near the springhead of the river are a growing concern and have choked out the river grass in many areas. 88. I attended the fall craft show. The falls were not running, I think that is one of the springs are beautiful, the butte rfly garden needs some help though. 89. We love going to the state park. It is a beautiful example of nature, and the swimming area is so refreshing on hot summer days. Would love to tube but afraid of the alligators. I think those in charge are doing a gr eat job of preserving the natural beauty of the springs area. Thank you!! 90. We are very proud of Rainbow Springs and always take our out of town visitors to enjoy the park. Many of them return on their own to re enjoy!! Re question #10, I am not sure who a ll is responsible for the Springs, but allowing all the homes to be built around the perimeter of the park was a dreadful decision I am sure we have not felt the ultimate results of so many people now living right on top of this area!! There is not much to offer in the area of cultural activity, etc. in this area (though many efforts are made). The draw for this community is the natural beauty and serenity of the area surrounding Rainbow Springs. I feel its protection is important for that purpose alone! 91. At what is called the K.P. Hole which is just south of the Rainbow Springs State Park the county employees and rangers there are conflicting rules about launching and tubing down the river as to where I do not even take my kids there anymore. I was tol d if there is not parking for my car I cannot even drop the kids off to tube down the river, even if I am not staying to swim. I think this is very dumb. It was 92. I feel blessed to be able to live in an area that has such beautiful springs and river. I think too many people take these springs for granted. Dunnellon is a great place to live. There are not too many little towns that are surrounded by the beauty of such natural wonders See #6 (Item 9) Do you mean merchants? For the residents would it be properly values? I am not sure about this. There seems to be a lot of tubing on the river and I have often wondered as to the impact this has on the integrity of the Springs and plant s and animals. 93. I have lived in the North Central part of Florida for 64 of my 68 years since 1943. This includes Tampa St. Petersburg to the Ocala Gainesville Cedar Key Lake Butler Hawthorne Alachua Newberry areas. In the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s I visi ted many of the Florida springs areas. However, in the last 10 years, due to age and
120 some physical issues, I have not gone directly to the springs and rivers My overall feelings are that our culture needs to make a balance with natural condition or we wi ll all be swept out to the seas! 94. Stop the fertilizer use the farmers are using that in our well water. Farmers need to use a more green fertilizers because they are the closest and cover more land with crop are animals spraying and poisoning all of use. Get your water tested and see!!! Give residents water tests so we can know what areas is most affected. 95. Tiger lake and Big Bonibal Lake connect we live on the Tiger lake out in Rainbow Lake Estates. In the past our lakes were kept full from the Aquifer the lakes were great fishing lakes and had many birds and various ducks etc. The pipe broke some time ago and they (whoever that is) refused to fix the pipe so our somet hing could be done to get our lakes back. What could be done? Thank you 96. Grass growing up from bottom of river is a nuisance. 97. As a family we enjoy the springs and nature around us. It is peaceful and relaxing. We do what we can to protect and preserve Raibow river is beautiful! 98. owners on the river, much as the state and county has done at the headsprings, KP hole, and compound. Boat traffic should be limited as well as horsepowers. The lower units of big motors scar the grassy areas, muddy the waters, create island of grass which float and hang on natural grasses killing them. Safety of homeowners on the river is compromised by un gated ramp access from sundown to run up (KP Hole). Many homeowners are getting trespassers trying to access the river through private properties. Thank you for focusing your attention on our beautiful river! 99. Your survey of protection and/or enhancing R ainbow springs should be done through the state authority supported by ///// ///// /////// and initiated with as little state, county a local politics as possible. The local politics in Dunnellon are tragic at their self interest is //////; Academia poli tics is also difficult but manageable, and state politics are the ///// that be bought (Good luck). ///// your time ////// to God. He ///// forever. The world is temporary. Pay attention to eternity. 100. Residents who live on the river should show more res ponsibility toward the river and springs. 101. I have noticed that homes have been built very close to the springs causing algae build up and poor water quality. Go gators 102. a bout the nature of or protection of our springs and rivers. The protectors of Rainbow springs and river, such as Rainbow River Conservation Inc., are overwhelmed by the ignorance short sightedness, and greed of our elected
121 officials, and businesses. Than k you for pursuing this study. 103. I believe that we have to do the best job possible to take care of our natural resources. Rainbow Springs can not be mde by man, only nature can make a spring so beautiful. Good luck on your program. Go gators! 104. I am a lif e long Florid resident (now 84 years of age and disabled) who has spent 75% of my leisure time over the years on all the waters of the State of Florida ////// its rivers, lakes and springs. For many, many years I have been both angry and saddened by the tr ashing of our springs by many of our citizens who use them. Just take a look at the cans, bottles and other trash thrown overboard or from shorelines by the very people who enjoy our beautiful waters. Obviously I am describing only one cause of damage to o ur rivers and springs but it is a major one. The solution is a law that provides heavy punishment for individuals responsible for the ////////. Guide boat, touring vessels and individual boat owners must also be punished and held accountable for damage ema nating from their boats. 105. I have a well and get my pure clean water from the Rainbow Springs. It is better than the bottled water that you buy in the grocery store. 106. I am very concerned about commercial businesses which want to take millions of gallon s from our aquifer! Bottled water is a waste of resources and money. 107. Keeping the river and springs clean is a local issue. Keep the state and federal government out of local issues. Especially the EPA. 108. I was born 3 miles from head springs in 1919. My p arents, grandparents and great grandparents lived here. ///////// ////// and I bought our farm in 1939. There have been many changes in Ichetucknee. There was a time before the State took over that is was not a desirable place to go. The State cleaned it up and has made a beautiful place. The water level id down very low now. There was trash in the river and glass over the ground from whiskey and beer bottles being broken. The local people had stopped going. It was a blessing for me because it helped make a living for as /// 20 years. I started tubes but stopped in 1992. 109. Moved here from Northern Michigan where the water is clear, cold and beautiful. (Torch lake and lake Michigan). Glad to find beautiful clear water here in Fl. Also. 110. They ruined the nat ural springs area by commercializing it. The dollar signs are too important. 111. I believe population of mullet in the springs, rivers and oceans is so large that the FWC should let fishermen have a limit of 300 lbs per person instead of 50 head count that is currently in law. Cut regulations on commercial net fisherman. Support your local seafood suppliers. 112. I am 80 years old. Female. Husband in nursing home. I work full time in CPA from home. Lived here in Rainbow acres since 1980. 113. I visit KP Hole oft en and there are times that it is overrun by hydrilla. Last spring it was treated which did eventually kill it back, but the park was closed to swimming
122 for a few days after. Is this a safe practice? arking lot construction twice on my legs once it reopened. There is now construction again in this same area with the addition of a landing dock and wood walkway. I hope that this area will not cause the same stagnant water problems as prior construction last year. 114. I know the tubers bring in a lot of money. But they have no respect for the river or the landowners. I think they need to put more law on the river in the summer We had a group open the gate walk through the yard and jump off our dock just they 115. I am a Republican who believes less government control over any aspect of our lives including our natural habitat is no good. Fo protect I have no problem. But we have much more to worry about than our river and global warming. 116. Great survey! Wish I was able to do more for the rainbow springs! Unfortunately I am handicapped O2 dependent and very limited in activity level. Thank you for requesting my response, wish it was more diversified account of activity. 117. I have loved the Rainbow river since I first saw it in 1989. I have made it a part of my life and the life of my family. I have exper ienced many heartbreaks over the urse and a throng of newly constructed homes within a mile and a half of the springhead. Then, ironically, Ha! Jerks. The difference in water quality is radical to me in Rain bow but also page for me to express myself well. 118. Mining upstream from the Rainbow River must be disallowed to curb aquifer pollution. A mine has been disposed off 212 w hich is in direct link to the river 119. I have lived here for 15 years. AT that time (15 years ago) the river water was clean and clear enough to drink. The water in my home had very littl e chemicals and visitors brought a bottle or two tome to St. Pete. Not now. The river is getting lower and lower for the last 5 7 years and clarity is worse, especially since building pring. May your work be blessed and not be ignored by special interests. 120. look dirty and other areas you can see the bottom of the river. When we were on a boat out ther e we did see quite a bit of turtles and a few fish.
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130 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Diana Alenicheva is a Ford Foundation fellow from Vladivostok, Russia. She has a Bachelor of the Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication (Far Eastern State Univers ity, Russia) and ten years of experience in environmental journalism and wildlife conservation. As an employee of Non for profit Center for the Protection of Wild Nature gers, wild populations of pacific salmons as well as for other endangered species and ecosystems. Among her main professional interests are community based conservation and environmental communication/education. In addition, Diana has dedicated a significa nt part of her life to management of a natural horse back riding organization which propagates ecological horse back tourism and non violent methods of working with horses.