St. Johns River Water Management District St. Johns River Water Management District St. Johns River Water Management District St. Johns River Water Management District St. Johns River Water Management District St. Johns River Water Management District
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Aug. 26, 2016

District Governing Board Member Doug Bournique, whose area of representation includes the Indian River Lagoon and the upper St. Johns River, speaks during a celebration of the river restoration project this week as District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle looks on.

Message from the Executive Director

Innovative pilot projects could have multiple water quality benefits

As the District continues to work on water quality improvement projects in the Indian River Lagoon, it was exciting this week to share with the Florida Agricultural Financial Management Conference about our latest pilot projects in the region.

The District has launched two dispersed water management projects in Indian River County that are expected to capture approximately 9,000 pounds of phosphorus and 60,000 pounds of nitrogen annually. The projects — one 200 acres and one 2,000 acres — have multiple purposes, including holding storm water on land, reducing excess freshwater inputs to estuaries, serving as a water conservation tool by redirecting water to areas currently using groundwater for irrigation and redirecting water toward the St. Johns River instead of the lagoon. Design, permitting and construction are expected to take about three years.

What makes these projects innovative is the pay-for-performance aspect. The design and construction costs have already been agreed to by the District and will be paid with ad valorem funds with annual payments based on operations and measured nutrient reductions. The project locations were chosen because they lie in critical, high priority Basin Management Action Plan areas in the lagoon region.

Thanks to Bureau Chief Sherry Brandt-Williams and her team for bringing these innovative projects to the table. Thanks also to our many partners who are helping to address challenges in the lagoon region.

Rain sensors signal water savings in Orange County

Building upon a multi-pronged strategy to reduce water use, the district continues its funding partnership with Orange County Utilities for a rain sensor replacement project. Knowing that irrigation systems can consume the majority of residential water use, the project aims to replace 1,100 old, inoperable rain sensors at residences identified as high water users who use a potable irrigation supply.

Read more…

Work at Emeralda Marsh Conservation Area reaches mid-point

The district is on schedule to complete several projects at the Emeralda Marsh Conservation Area. The work is part of the district’s land management plan, which outlines long-term restoration and recreation activities for the property.

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District, partners celebrate milestone at Upper St. Johns River Basin Project

Four decades after it was first conceived, one of the largest wetland restoration projects in the world is now complete, although operation and maintenance of the award-winning project will continue. The district and its partners celebrated the completion of the Upper St. Johns River Basin Project at an event on Aug. 23.

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Million-gallon reclaimed water storage tank to conserve groundwater, protect the Matanzas River

Construction is complete on a new 1 million gallon reclaimed water storage tank in St. Augustine Beach that will further extend north Florida’s drinking water supply and protect the Matanzas River. The project is a cost-share partnership between St. Johns County and the district.

Read more…

Permitting News You Can Use

Regulatory newsletter provides tips on permitting topics

The August edition of the district’s permitting newsletter features articles on determining if a project requires a permit under the Statewide Environmental Resource Permitting program, knowing when a project application should be withdrawn, a reminder about permit expiration dates, and provides steps for submitting EN50 water use data report easily online.

Read more…

This week in district social media

If you aren't following the district on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, here are some of the things you may have missed this week....

  • Thanks to district staffer Sam Morris for providing a video of an otter playing in a creek at district headquarters.
  • The district is proud to partner with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs and Operation Outdoor Freedom as they provide wounded veterans with unique opportunities for recreation and rehabilitation.
  • Congratulations to the district’s laboratory team, who recently successfully passed the full assessment for Florida Department of Health certification and a surveillance assessment for ISO accreditation.
  • #TrailTuesday called out for exploring the district’s Stokes Landing Conservation Area white trail, a 1.4-mile round trip that takes you past wide views of the Tolomato River and surrounding wetlands.
  • This week’s #WildlifeWednesday featured a pair of pied-billed grebes—a small type of waterfowl that can often be seen in district wetland habitats.
  • While conducting a site visit in Seminole County, district staff caught a glimpse of a diamond back rattle snake making its way into the sun.
  • Thanks to the team from Water for Small Villages for the very informative lunch and learn presentation this week! They are doing great work helping to get drinking water to villages in Nepal.

Water conservation tip

Minimize evaporation by watering during the early morning hours, when temperatures are cooler and winds are lighter.

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St. Johns River Water Management District
4049 Reid Street, Palatka, FL 32177
(800) 725-5922