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America's largest underground springs gets even bigger with the discovery of another cave connection

Woodville Karst Plain Project/used with permission
Divers exploring the massive underground rivers and streams that comprise the Wakulla Cave System

America's largest underground springs lies beneath Wakulla and Leon counties. Now scientific explorers have found that springs is even larger than they thought.
The question was whether the so-called Chip's Hole caves north of Crawfordville were somehow linked to the larger Wakulla Cave System. This past Saturday, Woodville Karst Plain Project Director Casey McKinley said divers had their answer.

"They pushed through a small restrictive area in the cave and came across a survey guideline from the Chip's Hole system that they'd established in 2016."

The confirmed connection, said McKinley, further reinforces the unique status of what he calls the "fast-moving interstate highway of water beneath our feet."

"The Wakulla System and now the combined Wakulla/Chip's System at more than 45 miles in length and 30 different entrances is the largest underwater cave system in the United States."

All the more reason, says McKinley, to protect this gigantic fresh-water resource from pollution and contaminants that can quickly circulate far and wide throughout the system.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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