In this section
- Understanding algal blooms
- Blue-Green Algae (Cyanobacteria) in Florida waters
- Continuous sensor-based water quality data
Lake George gizzard shad harvesting
For more information on algal blooms
Middle and Lower St. Johns River Water Quality Improvement Initiative
In the St. Johns River lower basin (that portion of the watershed from Lake George to the river’s mouth at Mayport), a variety of activities add nitrogen and phosphorus, essential plant nutrients, to surface waters. Significant nutrient sources include runoff from agricultural areas, urban stormwater, industrial discharge and wastewater treatment plant effluent.
The river’s middle basin is more than 1,200 square miles, extending roughly from the confluence of the Econlockhatchee River to Lake George, and includes the highly urbanized central Florida area. The St. Johns River Water Management District and its partners work to preserve those areas of the middle basin still in good condition, and restore those areas that have degraded. The greatest emphasis is directed at identifying projects to reduce nutrient pollution and establishing minimum flows and levels to preserve vital river and spring run functions and values.
The Econlockhatchee River is a tributary of the St. Johns River in central Florida.
In January 2014, the district launched the Middle and Lower St. Johns River Water Quality Improvement Initiative to protect the water quality and ecological value of the middle and lower St. Johns River basins through science-based planning to guide and prioritize implementation of nutrient and other pollution-reduction projects.
The initiatives’ goals are to:
- Define water quality targets and the linkage between the targets and nutrient pollution control projects
- Identify, define and prioritize programs or projects to improve the water quality and environment of the middle and lower sections of the river
- Implement recommended programs and projects
- Align potential synergies among partners to enhance implementation of nutrient pollution reduction projects
Some of the ongoing work includes:
- Implementing the Tri-County Agricultural Area Water Management Partnership with Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
- Conducting gizzard shad harvesting in Lake George to remove phosphorus from the lake and improve the composition of the aquatic food chain
- Providing cost-share funding to local partners on projects that reduce nutrient loading to the river and, to the degree possible, enhance water conservation and habitat improvement
- Supporting the selection of the most cost-effective pollution control project options and providing critical resource data and condition reports to other agencies and the public through hydrologic, water quality and aquatic habitat monitoring and investigation
- Coordinating with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and area stakeholders on annual reports and updates of total maximum daily loads and basin management action plans
The district works with the agricultural community to identify partnership opportunities.
Removing gizzard shad is one project to assist in removing excess nutrients from waterways within the middle and lower basins of the St. Johns River.
Posted on 9-3-2014