Click here to see the Santa Fe River Basin Boundary

What is the Santa Fe River Basin?

The Santa Fe River Basin is a watershed centered around the Santa Fe, Ichetucknee, and New Rivers and Olustee Creek, the Santa Fe River Basin spans nine counties including parts of Alachua, Gilchrist, Suwannee, Columbia, Union, Bradford, Baker, Clay, and Putnam. This watershed is an important recharge area for the Floridan Aquifer and is a tributary basin to the Suwannee River which flows directly to the Gulf of Mexico. In addition to the basin’s regional importance for water quality and as a critical space for wildlife, this area is well known by locals and tourists as a recreation haven for swimming, fishing, kayaking, and – of course, tubing the Ichetucknee.

How are we protecting the Santa Fe River Basin?

In short, ACT’s Santa Fe River Basin project seeks to conserve land in the basin through donation, acquisition, and conservation easements. By 2045, ACT aims to protect an additional 75,000 acres in the basin. Here are some of the steps we will take to provide protection for the basin:

  • Form strong partnerships - ACT has always worked in partnership with other agencies and private landowners to do the most good. Working in the Santa Fe River Basin will be a testimony of regional strength to protect our watershed.

  • Work with private landowners- ACT will be seeking conservation easements to protect critical lands along and near the main rivers to help preserve family lands and ensure wild spaces for future generations.

  • Conserve land to protect water resources- Conserving lands around springs and areas of high aquifer recharge enhance and protect Florida’s drinking water by keeping contaminants out of the water supply.

  • Create resilient landscapes- Conserving lands next to the main rivers in the basin will increase resiliency for the region as large scale flooding is common each year since heavy rains & hurricanes frequent Florida. This is crucial as thousands of new residents moved to Florida each year.

  • Protect the region’s recreational treasure- Keeping rivers healthy by protecting land helps protect fish populations, provides access to the river for boaters, and keeps wildlife habitat viable for tourists and locals alike.

Why conserve the Santa Fe River Basin?

Conserving land in the Santa Fe River Basin directly impacts the quality of the water in the region as well as the state. This area has been identified as a crucial component to health of our region and the entire Floridan Aquifer. By pursuing the new conservation lands ACT will create continuity between existing conservation lands, open up recreational access to an incredible regional treasure, and to provide greater watershed health for wildlife, native ecosystems, and the nine Florida counties that fall within the Santa Fe River Basin.

Current Partners

  • Suwannee River Water Management District

  • Alachua County

  • Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute

  • Ichetucknee Alliance, Inc.

  • Our Santa Fe River, Inc.

for more information on the project or to discuss your property

Please contact Melissa Hill by email at or by phone at 352-373-1078