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Feb. 12, 2016

Message from the Executive Director:

Celebrations mark milestones in two projects

Alt text

District Executive Director Ann Shortelle listens to Governing Board Member Doug Bournique’s remarks at Monday’s event in Palm Bay.

This week was a great week, with celebrations at two locations in the district to mark progress in two projects.

We started the week in Palm Bay to celebrate the Wheeler Stormwater Park, which will capture and remove thousands of pounds of nitrogen and phosphorus from storm water before it reaches the north prong of the St. Sebastian River, a major tributary of the Indian River Lagoon. This project, which is nearly completed, will benefit Floridians and the lagoon for years to come.

On Wednesday, we celebrated another water quality improvement initiative with the Clay County Utility Authority. The utility and district have worked together over the past decade to reduce wastewater discharges to the lower St. Johns River through reclaimed water projects, which also conserves water through alternatives to groundwater.

These projects are possible not only because of dedicated district staff, but the many partnerships with local governments and other stakeholders. Thank you to everyone who has been involved in these projects. Together, we are making great strides in protecting Florida’s water resources.

District, partners celebrate project aimed at cleaner Indian River Lagoon

A new stormwater park in south Brevard County is being heralded for its benefits to the Indian River Lagoon. On Feb. 8, the St. Johns River Water Management District and its partners celebrated the near-completion of Wheeler Stormwater Park, a manmade oasis that captures pollutants from a 21,000-acre watershed before they can reach the lagoon.

Read more…

Partnership project protects drinking water supplies and river water quality


District Executive Director Ann Shortelle visits with CCUA Executive Director Tom Morris prior to Wednesday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Project partners on Feb. 10 celebrated the completion of an innovative project in Clay County to protect drinking water supplies and to reduce wastewater discharges to the St. Johns River and Black Creek. At a ribbon-cutting ceremony held at a 22-acre site in Green Cove Springs, Clay County Utility Authority (CCUA) and the district formally launched the operation of nine rapid infiltration basins at CCUA’s Mid-Clay Wastewater Treatment Facility.

Read more…

Well conversion project will benefit north Florida’s water resources

The district Governing Board on Feb. 9 approved moving forward with a public-private partnership project in Putnam County that will help meet future water demands and offset impacts from domestic self-supply wells in north Florida. The project calls for moving the Grandin Sand Plant’s groundwater withdrawals from the Upper Floridan aquifer to the Lower Floridan aquifer.

Read more…

Board approves ranking of REDI community and innovative projects to share $5 million

The district Governing Board on Feb. 9 approved the ranking of projects that will share in $5 million in cost-share funds to benefit water resources in Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) communities and for projects that use innovative technology to provide data supporting future permitting and full-scale implementation of alternative water supplies.

Read more…

Board approves $2.9 million in Agricultural Cost-Share projects

The district Governing Board this week approved the rankings of projects that will share $2.9 million in agricultural cost-share funds to assist farmers, growers and ranchers in water conservation and reduction of nutrient run-off.

Read more…

Rancher recognized for outstanding service by Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame

Brevard County rancher and chair of the district’s Agricultural Advisory Committee Billy Kempfer is now officially a member of the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony took place Tuesday evening. Kempfer has served on this committee since 1988.

Read more…

Southern recreational public meeting Feb. 18 in Palm Bay

A land management update, the Upper St. Johns River Basin project and the Fellsmere Water Management Area Recreation Plan are among the items to be discussed Feb. 18 during the St. Johns River Water Management District's southern recreational area public meeting.

Read more…

Controlled burns conducted this week

The district conducted controlled burns this week at the Lochloosa Wildlife Conservation Area in Alachua County, Heart Island Conservation Area in Volusia County and Pellicer Creek Conservation Area in Flagler County. The burns were conducted to reduce hazardous fuels, maintain fire-dependent ecosystems and site preparation for groundcover restoration planting.

Read more…

Permitting tip

Help available for single-family dock authorizations

The proposed construction of a single-family dock within a subdivision or development permitted by the district is subject to Chapter 62-330, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.) (Environmental Resource Permit). Often these docks qualify for an exemption or a General Permit and require a separate authorization under Chapter 18-21, F.A.C. (Sovereign Submerged Lands). Although these two authorizations are not linked and may be issued separately, they must approve the same design or one form of authorization may need to be revised. To ensure all required documents are submitted and the appropriate criteria are met, the district recommends scheduling a pre-application meeting with district staff. Contact information can be found on the District’s website.

This week in district social media

If you aren’t following the district on Twitter or Facebook, here are some of the things you may have missed this week....

  • Thanks to district staffers Jeremy Olson and Brian Emanuel for photos from the nighttime controlled burn at the Lochloosa Wildlife Conservation Area.
  • #WildlifeWednesday this week featured a green heron at the district’s Canaveral Marsh Conservation Area.
  • District public works staff recently planted rye grass at the new Silver Springs Forest Conservation Area to reduce siltation from the service road in the property.
  • District staff spotted Right Whales while doing monitoring work near Sebastian Inlet in the Indian River Lagoon. Mother and calf made it safely back out to the ocean. NOAA, FWC and HUBBS Sea World Research Institute monitored their movements closely.
  • Be sure to check out our latest video on Facebook and YouTube to learn more about prescribed fire.

Water conservation tip

Check faucets regularly for leaks. A leak at the rate of one drop per second can waste up to 2,700 gallons per year.


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