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Dispatch 2 Audio Transcripts

This page contains the transcripts of audio tracks included in the Springs Expedition dispatches.

Exploring Wakulla Springs: One Small Step for Inner Space

Jill Heinerth talks about the need to understand the aquifer
Here we are at Wakulla, still in this beautiful primeval forest, but we're within spitting distance of Tallahassee, an enormous city that's naturally wanting to sprawl and expand south towards the spring. And, if we don't get a critical understanding of how the aquifer works and how those branches of the tree come together, where they come from, where the recharge zones are that feed the cave that then spits out its water here in the Wakulla River, then we're going to be just squandering the most incredible precious resource that Florida has, and that's its groundwater.

Jill Heinerth describes radio tracking technology
Now, what we have and what we're able to test is a new technology that allows people to track the path of divers below the earth. With this technology that Brian Pease has developed, now a surface team can walk at the same time over the surface of the earth as we swim underwater. And with this new radio communications, we can start to talk through rock to people on the surface. We can communicate issues that we see like point source contaminations or garbage that's come in to the cave from a surface source, and that's absolutely revolutionary. It's going to finally give people a picture of what's underground, and so we're very lucky to have that opportunity of exploration, but I think, more importantly, it serves a greater whole. It ties in to science and planning and development decisions for the future.

Sounds of morning bird life at Wakulla Springs

Wes Skiles and students discuss the source of water
Wes Skiles
You ever thought about where your water comes from? Where does the water you drink come from?

The sink.

Wes Skiles
The sink! Where do you think the sink gets it from?

Another child
The fridge.

Probably a waterworks?

Wes Skiles
A waterworks facility? Where do you think the waterworks facility gets it from?

The springs?

Wes Skiles
The ground, most likely, how about you?

The aquifer...

Wes Skiles
There you go!

Adult 2
There, the magic answer!

Wes Skiles
Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!

Radio transmission from inside underwater cave
Shannon Caraccia
We are under rock, Brian!

Brian Pease
How deep?

Shannon Caraccia
I'm at 59 feet deep.

Maybe Wes?

Brian Pease
It's like we got a winner!

Shannon Caraccia
Woo-hoo! I'd say we do!

Where are you now?

Shannon Caraccia
I'm at 35 feet deep. It's very dark down here. The water is not real clear right now. I can see rocks. I can the lights of the divers below me and when I look up I can see the glow from the sun on the surface out above the ledge.

Former Sec. Struhs discusses public policy
David Struhs
How do you bring the political will, the popular support, the budgets that you need in a government to address the problems of improving and protecting water quality in Florida? And then you've got the real science, the real scientists who are out here studying water quantity and water quality and the conditions of the loading of pollutants into that water. And, what we're trying to do with demonstrations like this is to build that bridge so that the public and then, through the public the political process can respond. And, what we find is that its easier to get that political support if there's popular support and the way you get popular support is to actually educate people as to what's really going on and giving them a basic understanding of how this all fits together.

Former DEP Sec. Struhs discusses environment education
David Struhs
Well, what we've learned is the best way to change an adult's behavior is to educate their kids. And, it's interesting, Wes Skiles, who is one of the leaders of this expedition here, tells a story when he was a student, where he was just so enamored with exploring springs and wildlife that he got to the point where his teachers played hooky from school and went out into the springs with him. Here we are a generation later and my son is here with me. And, as we were getting ready over the weekend to come out here today, he had the idea, he said, "Well, can we bring my science teacher with me?" So, in fact, his science teacher from Deer Lake Middle School got a substitute this morning, is playing hooky, and is out here. But, what she will do now, with this, is she's going to go back to the classroom and she's going to teach a full science unit to her classes on the aquifer and on groundwater. That enthusiasm with having a sort of a direct "hands-on" experience is something that just can't be overestimated how important that is.

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