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Observation platforms for Emerald, Cheryl sinks slated for repair

Pictured here are wooden steps leading to Emerald Sink which is managed by Wakulla Springs State Park.
Woodville Karst Plain Project
The observation deck at Emerald Sink is slated for repair next week.

Due to general wear and tear, two sinkhole observation platforms managed by Wakulla Springs State Park are slated for repair next week. Casey McKinlay directs the Woodville Karst Plain Project (WKPP). His group raised money for the repairs and will be providing volunteer labor for the project. He says the park has outlined a plan to remove worn parts on the platforms.

"Some of them can be reused. Some of them will need to be pressure washed, and once the top pieces are removed, the stair footers and some of the foundational elements will be extracted, new pieces will be installed, and then we'll put the reusable pieces back in place," McKinlay says.

The platforms at Emerald and Cheryl Sink are the ones slated for repair. McKinlay says the observation platform at Emerald Sink helps prevent erosion when divers go into the water. Recreational diving is not allowed at Cheryl Sink, and Wakulla Springs State Park bans recreational swimming for both sinkholes.

Meanwhile, an observation deck may soon be underway for Clear Cut Sink, which Wakulla Springs State Park also manages. Right now, McKinlay says if a diver wants to go in the sinkhole's waters, they have to push off the land. He says building a platform at Clear Cut Sink will give divers better access and provide an excellent view for onlookers.

"We are working with park staff because they need to ultimately design the small platform that will go in and then getting the materials and getting that scheduled," McKinlay says.

McKinlay says the Clear Cut Springs deck has only been discussed in concept and the park still needs to greenlight the project.

Robbie Gaffney graduated from Florida State University with degrees in Digital Media Production and Creative Writing. Before working at WFSU, they recorded FSU’s basketball and baseball games for Seminole Productions as well as interned for the PBS Station in Largo, Florida. Robbie loves playing video games such as Shadow of the Colossus, Animal Crossing, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. Their other hobbies include sleeping and watching anime.