The Springs of Florida

Text and Photography by Doug Stamm
Contributing Photographer Timothy T. Whitney

In waters as clear as any on earth, the springs of Florida display a fascination diversity of life and habitat. In the sunlit shallows, apple snails browse, turtles wander, and silver mullet flash among the grasses. In the deep dark caves, blind albino crayfish test the currents for prey, and eels slither off into crevices. In between, schools of fishes wheel and pause, a manatee escorts her calf and many more fascination inhabitant go about the business of living.

The deepest and largest known springs in the world are found in Florida. This book is a guided tour of these beautiful environments, offering many rare underwater photographs. Beginning with a history of the formation of Florida’s springs eons ago and ending with a strong caution on cave diving safety, the reader journeys through these crystal realms, the emphasis always on the natural inhabitants. With many striking photos of these creatures in their natural habitat, this book also serves as a field guide for identification. An appendix offers detailed information on all inhabitants presented. There is a chapter on the saltwater visitors to springs near the sea and a chapter on Florida’s most famous -- and most endangered --marine mammal, the manatee.

Residents and visitors alike will appreciate the detailed descriptions and maps of Florida’s major spring parks and the opportunities for learning about and enjoying their natural wonders through swimming, diving, canoeing, "tubing," and other activities. Included are well-known parks such as Silver Springs, Weeki Wachee,

Wakulla Springs, Ichetucknee Springs, as well as many lesser-known but equally beautiful spring parks.

This book is a perceptive and beautifully illustrated treatment of Florida’s most spectacular natural asset -- our incomparable springs and the fascinating biologic communities that inhabit them. Dr. Archie Carr, University of Florida

DOUG STAMM has ventured camera in hand to the depths of lakes and oceans, joined Cousteau’s team beneath winter ice in the Mississippi River, and traveled to the rain forest of the Amazon headwaters. His photographs have illustrated many articles and books. As a diver/biologist at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, Stamm wrote and photographed his first book, Underwater -- The Northern Lakes

His stock photo agency ProPhoto specializes in underwater natural history and freshwater sportfishing photography. The Springs of Florida is the result of Stamm’s most fascinating effort, a 15-year project to photograph America’s most fascination freshwater environment. He lives with his wife Lucy, daughter Kira, son Matthew, and English setter Tess along the Wisconsin River near Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin.

Doug Stamm/ProPhoto

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