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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Sept. 30, 2016

District managers look at agency functions through fresh eyes at workshop

District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle leads a Q&A at this week’s Executive Management Team workshop. Rich Burklew, bureau chief, Water Use Regulation, looks on.

Message from the Executive Director

District managers look at agency functions through fresh eyes at workshop

Every once in a while, it’s a good idea to get out of your day-to-day routine and allow yourself to think outside the box and get creative about how you can achieve the more difficult goals. This week, District leaders were given that type of opportunity through a team building, end-of-the-fiscal-year workshop at the District’s Sunnyhill Restoration Area.

As Executive Director of this District I feel it’s my responsibility to make sure our District leaders have those opportunities. Time out of the office and with other leaders seems to result in immediate renewal of passion for achieving the mission and more future collaboration between staff—both are essential for our District to succeed in protecting our natural resources and supporting Florida’s growth.

At this year’s workshop we’ve challenged ourselves with new goals for the coming year and mapped out how to achieve those goals with existing and new strategies. We are planning to celebrate our successes more with our stakeholders and the public and are in the process of critically reviewing areas for improvement. We are excited to put these goals into action all in an effort to protect, preserve and improve our most precious natural resource—water.

I’m excited by the strong interest the District’s leadership and staff members have shown for Florida’s water resources, being fiscally responsible and working collaboratively with many partners for the benefit of our shared water resources. Thanks to all of the District’s staff members who had a part in putting together this workshop and for the dedicated work you do each day. Let’s keep the momentum going!

SJRWMD budget reduces tax rate, funds water resource protection projects

The district’s Governing Board on Sept. 27 approved its fiscal year 2016–2017 budget of $164.6 million, which will provide funds for cost-share projects and major programs to support the agency’s core missions. The 0.2885 millage rate (rolled-back rate) is approximately 4.6 percent less than the current year’s tax rate. The budget year begins Oct. 1, 2016.

Read more…

District launches audio guide for Lake Apopka North Shore

The district has launched an audio guide for visitors to its Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive. The audio guide, which can be streamed through mobile devices by accessing, provides visitors with a narrative on the area’s history, wildlife and district-led restoration efforts.

Read more…

District’s quick action helps bring 1,500 jobs to the Jacksonville area

More than 1,000 jobs are headed to northeast Florida after Amazon announces the opening of its new fulfillment center. The district supported the move by quickly assessing and issuing an environmental resource permits (ERP) for the 105-acre warehouse facility.

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....

  • This week we celebrated #PublicLandsDay! The district owns or manages nearly 700,000 acres of land, acquired for water management, water supply and the conservation and protection of water resources.
  • Thanks to district staffer Joanna Beckes for the video of one of our scientists as he records seagrass data on a slate while in the Indian River Lagoon. Staff routinely collect data and measurements on seagrass in many water bodies within the district.
  • Thank you to district staffer Mary Brabham for providing photos of the Volusia County’s Southwest Regional Water Reclamation Facility. The district, DEP and Volusia County have partnered to upgrade the facility to help reduce nutrient levels in Volusia Blue Spring.
  • #TrailTuesday invited us to try the Gourd Island Conservation Area, located in St. Johns County just east of the town of Fruit Cove.
  • #WildlifeWednesday showcased an incredible photo of a marsh rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris); they are often found on district lands near water and wetlands.
  • Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus africanus) attracted lots of buzz for social media. Its beautiful color is a major attraction for pollinators to your landscape.

Water conservation tip

Replacing an old toilet? Look for a WaterSense-labeled model. The average family could save 13,000 gallons per year with new toilets, or nearly $2,400 in water and wastewater bills over the lifetime of the toilets.


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