Southeastern Regional Association of the National Speleological Society

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SERA Organizations

Constitution, Bylaws, and Acts

Officers of the Governing Committee

SERA Events

SERA Awards

SERA Newsletters

Calendar of Caving Events in the Southeast

Cave Conservation

Cave Safety

Closed Cave Lists


Cave Conservation

Caves are noted for their historical and prehistoric significance, scenic beauty, economic, recreational, unique scientific values and unique cave life. These values are endangered by both carelessness and intentional vandalism. Caves offer a habitat for a variety of species such as cave beetles, cave spiders, cave fish, cave crickets, cave salamanders, bats and woodrats, just to name a few.

Caves have a very fragile ecosystem and are endangered by vandalism, development and deforestation. Development on the earth's surface strips away forest and soil cover, by residential, commercial, and industrial development, vandalism, overuse, and groundwater contamination. Run off from roads, the use of lawn care products, failing septic systems, trash dumping and sewage plants introduce pollutants into the caves
and groundwater. When groundwater becomes polluted so does your drinking water because karst does not filter pollutants effectively.

Each year cavers help preserve and protect karst, caves and the cave's contents to ensure caver access for present and future generations of cavers to enjoy. Numerous avenues of cave conservation exist; cave clean-ups, sinkhole clean-ups, karst clean-ups, trash dump removal, groundwater protection, historic conservation, prehistoric conservation, speleothem repair, protection of cave life, graffiti removal, limiting access when deemed necessary and working with other cave conservation organizations.

What you can do to help . . . .

  • Do not leave your trash or put trash in or near caves, springs or sinkholes
  • Never paint cave walls
  • Never damage or remove any cave formations 
  • Never build fires in a cave
  • Never harm or harass cave adapted animals
  • Never damage any thing found in a cave
  • When conducting scientific research do not over collect species from caves
  • Organize a clean up and remove trash from caves, sinkholes and karst
  • Report vandals The Cave Vandalism Deterrence Reward Commission

SERA Karst Task Force

The SERA Karst Task Force, Inc. (SKTF) is a non-profit resource organization dedicated to karst conservation and the clean up of cave and karst features through the education of both the public and caving communities.

NSS Guide to Responsible Caving

NSS Safety & Techniques

NSS Cave Conservation and Management Section
The Cave Conservation and Management Section of the National Speleological Society was formed to provide a central clearinghouse for research, expertise, and information in the fields of cave conservation and management.

NSS Conservation Committee Web site
Preserving and protecting caves and karst for cavers, scientific research, and the general public is one
of the most important goals of the National Speleological Society. 

NSS Conservation Policy 
Accordingly, the intention of the Society is to work for the preservation of caves with a realistic policy supported by effective programs for: the encouragement of self-discipline among cavers; education and research concerning the causes and prevention of cave damage; and special projects, including 
cooperation with other groups similarly dedicated to the conservation of natural areas.

Living With Sinkholes
Brochure: Sinkholes are natural depressions on the land surface that are shaped like a bowl or cone. They are common in regions of karst, where mildly acidic groundwater has dissolved rock such as limestone, dolostone, marble, or gypsum. karstlands–characterized by sinkholes, sinking streams, springs, caves, and solution valleys–form where surface water enters the ground and migrates downward through solutionally enlarged openings to conduits, such as caves.