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April 11, 2014
Online resources available for landscaping projects
Spring planting season is in full swing and a wealth of information is available on the St. Johns River Water Management District’s website to help plan beautiful and water-efficient landscapes.
The floridaswater.com/waterwiselandscapes website provides tips for designing “waterwise” landscapes that match the right plants with existing site conditions to minimize the use of water, fertilizer, pesticides and labor.
The website includes a searchable database of more than 800 plants and allows visitors to personalize searches based on desired flower color, potential plant height, and existing light and soil conditions. The waterwise plant database provides a one-page overview of each plant, many with photos, that can be printed and taken to a garden center, or displayed on smartphones and tablets.
Watching the weather will help in maintaining a waterwise landscape so homeowners irrigate only when needed. When weather and site conditions require watering beyond what rain provides, year-round watering rules are designed to allow sufficient irrigation to sustain Florida landscapes, while protecting water resources.
Irrigation is allowed up to two days per week on designated days before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m. during daylight saving time. Additional details on the watering rules are available on the District’s watering restrictions web pages.
April 8, 2014
Strategic Plan update sets 5-year path for District
The St. Johns River Water Management District set a road map for meeting the District’s water resource challenges over the next five years when the Governing Board on April 8, 2014, approved an update to the Strategic Plan.
With the Governing Board endorsement of the plan, which sets goals and strategic priorities, the District will continue its focus on 12 key initiatives and eight continuing core programs. The Strategic Plan allows the District to focus on the most important water issues.
“This Strategic Plan demonstrates the District’s continuing work to improve our business practices and reflects our emphasis on effectiveness and efficiency,” said Robert Christianson, Strategic Planning and Financial Services division director.
The Strategic Plan includes the following 12 key initiatives:
- Develop and implement sound science-based solutions to ensure the availability of sufficient water for existing and future uses
- Protect water resources from significant harm due to water withdrawals by establishing necessary and sufficient minimum flows and levels
- Ensure sustainable water supplies and protect groundwater systems in the District’s north Florida region
- Work in partnership with the Central Florida Water Initiative to identify and further develop the Regional Water Supply Plan
- Protect the water quality and ecological value of the middle and lower St. Johns River
- Enhance and protect the water quality and ecological habitat of the coastal basins of northeast Florida
- Restore the ecological, recreational and economic value of Lake Apopka and the Upper Ocklawaha River Basin
- Optimize flood control, protect and enhance natural ecosystems, and improve water quality in the upper St. Johns River
- Protect and restore the water quality and ecological habitat of the Indian River Lagoon
- Utilize District resources to develop and coordinate the protection and restoration of major springs
- Develop a framework for levee and water control structure maintenance and restoration
- Identify and implement restoration and vegetation management projects on District-owned lands
“This approach encourages transparency, accountability and focus,” Christianson said. “It allows us to be fiscally responsible, that is to live within our means.”
The continuing core programs will include ongoing science, data collection and management, and regulatory and administrative support services to all District programs.
In April 2013, the Governing Board adopted its first Strategic Plan, which is updated annually, and is for a minimum five-year planning horizon. It includes a “report card” of how well the District achieved its fiscal year 2012–2013 milestones and success indicators.
March 28, 2014
Gov. Scott announces Governing Board member appointments
Gov. Rick Scott announced two appointments to the St. Johns River Water Management District’s Governing Board on March 28, 2014.
Governing Board Chairman John A. Miklos of Orlando was reappointed to an at-large seat for a four-year term ending March 1, 2018. Miklos is president and senior project manager of Bio-Tech Consulting (BTC) Inc., an Orlando-based environmental consulting firm. Miklos has been on the Board since March 2010.
Carla Yetter of Fernandina Beach was appointed to a four-year term representing Nassau and Baker counties and portions of northern Duval County. Yetter is vice president of environmental affairs for Rayonier in Jacksonville. Her term will expire on March 1, 2018, and she replaces Leonard Wood, who served on the Governing Board since April 2005.
Both appointments are subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.
The other Governing Board members are: Vice Chair Maryam H. Ghyabi of Ormond Beach, Treasurer George W. Robbins of Jacksonville, Secretary Fred N. Roberts Jr. of Ocala, Douglas C. Bournique of Vero Beach, Douglas Burnett of St. Augustine, Lad Daniels of Jacksonville and Charles Drake of Orlando.