Publications and videos
In this section
The District offers a variety of information to help you learn about water conservation, the District’s work, water resource protection and water quality. Most District materials have been designed as electronic download documents so you can access information quickly.
Our multimedia section offers a variety of ways to learn about the District’s work: through photographs, informational videos, computer wallpaper and slide shows.
In the course of their work, District scientists and other environmental professionals study a host of water-related topics and prepare technical reports on their findings. See an overview of each report published by the District.
Roosevelt Faison has seen many changes at Silver Springs during his time there as a glass bottom boat captain.
Capturing an oral history of Florida’s springs
Experiences enhance understanding of science
In 1956, Ike was president, a gyrating Elvis Presley sang “Hound Dog” on the Ed Sullivan Show and Detroit was churning out shark-finned automobiles dripping in chrome. That year, 19-year-old Roosevelt Faison got a job piloting glass bottom boats at the Silver Springs attraction in Ocala, an occupation that he decided would be his lifelong career.
Faison, now 76, rises each morning, dons his crisp white captain’s uniform and cap, and makes the 12-mile drive to Ocala from his home in Fort McCoy, the town where he was born and raised. The badge on his uniform bears his name and the simple phrase, “57 Years of Service.”
Faison loves his job. He briefly contemplated joining the military in 1959, but has otherwise never considered any career other than piloting the famous glass bottom boats and sharing his knowledge with generations of Silver Springs visitors. He is a constant in a world that has changed dramatically over the decades — even the status of the park, which in October 2013 was incorporated into the Florida Park Service’s award-winning state park system.
Faison’s passion for the springs, his intuitive understanding of the complex relationships within this Eden-like place, like the connections between eel grass and fish and birds, captured the attention of Ed Lowe, chief scientist with the St. Johns River Water Management District.
An American alligator and anhinga share a log on the Silver River.