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Jan. 13, 2017

Meeting this week in Tallahassee to discuss water resource issues in the Indian River Lagoon are, from left, Drew Bartlett (Florida Department of Environmental Protection), State Rep. Rene Palsencia, Duane De Freese (IRL Council), District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle and State Rep. Thad Altman.

Message from the Executive Director

2017 is getting off to a busy, productive start

January is shaping up to be a busy month as we have already had opportunities to celebrate projects with our partners and help educate our legislators about how we can continue making progress when it comes to our water resources.

This week I headed to Tallahassee to sit on an Indian River Lagoon Caucus panel. What a great group of legislators and water resource experts coming together to focus on how we can continue to improve our water bodies. While during this session we focused on the Indian River Lagoon, many of the ideas and concepts can be effectively applied to our water resources across the state. I’m grateful for the listening ear of the Florida Legislature as we all work together to make progress in restoring Florida’s greatest resource, our water.

I’m always excited to get out to see the results of our work with partners to restore Florida’s water resources. This week staff joined the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to celebrate completion of a long-term restoration project at the North Peninsula State Park. The 100-acre project restored land in the park to a healthy, productive salt marsh and tidal creek habitat, including reforming tidal connections with existing estuaries and salt marshes. The partnership work will provide increased recreational opportunities at the state park, while improving water quality, protecting the shoreline from storm surge and flooding and removal of harmful, nonnative plants such as Brazilian pepper. Thanks to DEP for including us as partners, and thanks to Water and Land Resources Division Director Dr. Erich Marzolf and Environmental Resource Coordinator Paul Haydt for their work on this project.

Later in the month we will celebrate a milestone in the Eau Gallie River dredging project as dredging begins. This citizen grassroots effort, with legislative support, will have significant water quality improvement impacts on the river and the Indian River Lagoon. Thanks to lagoon initiative leader Bill Tredik, the EGRET group and our legislative and local government partners for their work on this project.

There are so many exciting things happening and many more to look forward to this year. District staff and I appreciate all the participation of the many stakeholders in our region. I encourage you to visit the District’s website and follow us on social media to keep updated on District news. Have a great 2017!

Lindsey Porter is our January Employee of the Month

District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle presents the January Employee of the Month award to Lindsey Porter at the district’s Maitland Service Center.

Lindsey Porter is the January Employee of the Month

Congratulations to the January Employee of the Month, Lindsey Porter. Porter is an Engineer II in the Division of Regulatory Services in the district’s Maitland Service Center. Porter’s focus at the district is working through Environmental Resource Permit applications and requests for authorization to use Sovereign Submerged Lands. Porter is known to go above and beyond when working with consultants, taking the time to listen and properly advise to ensure resources are well protected. She’s a team player who regularly helps out co-workers with site inspections to make the most efficient use of her time out of the office. Colleagues say, “She has a positive attitude, a willingness to take on challenges and provides a high level of customer service both externally and internally.” Thank you, Lindsey!

St. Johns, Suwannee River governing boards to consider North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan Jan. 17 in joint meeting

The governing boards of the St. Johns River and Suwannee River water management districts are meeting Jan. 17 at 11 a.m. at City Hall in Alachua, FL to jointly consider the North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan. The plan looks at the sustainability of water supplies 20 years into the future and identifies potential future water supply sources.

Read more…

December rainfall totals below average

Data compiled by the district shows rainfall over most of the district remained below average during the past 12 months. A full report outlining rainfall totals was presented at the district’s January Governing Board meeting.

Read more…

More than 1,800 jobs coming to Melbourne

High-paying jobs are coming to Orlando-Melbourne International Airport, thanks in part to the district’s issuance of an environmental resource permit. District staff approved a permit application that will allow Northrup-Grumman to improve its stormwater system as part of an expansion at Melbourne Airport, bringing to the region 1,800 jobs paying an average of $100,000 a year as the company designs a new long-range strike bomber.

Read more…

Sleepy Creek permit application withdrawn from Board agenda

Due to a legal challenge, the district Governing Board did not consider Consumptive Use Permit 91926-4 for applicant Sleepy Creek Land, LLC at its Jan. 10 meeting.

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Controlled burns conducted this week

The district conducted controlled burns this week at the Sunnyhill Restoration Area in Marion County and Fort Drum Marsh Conservation Area in Indian River County. The prescribed fires were conducted to reduce hazardous fuel accumulations, maintenance of fire-dependent ecosystems and marsh management.

Read more…

Permitting tip

Tips on environmental resource permit tolling and extensions

When emergencies such as the hurricanes of 2016 occur, there is a process that allows for the tolling and extension of an environmental resource permit (ERP) issued by the district under Part IV of Chapter 373, Florida Statutes (F.S.), under certain circumstances, such as a declared state of emergency. District permitting staff are available to assist in determining if an ERP qualifies for tolling or an extension.

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 Deirdre Irwin for submitting photos this week of the Florida Water Star training in Miami.
  • This week marked the first ever Florida Water Star Accredited Professional training session in Miami, in partnership with the South Florida Water Management District and the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association.
  • In Fellsmere at Canal 54, the district is replacing old and collapsing culverts and replacing them with shiny new culverts.
  • The district is proud to have partnered with Florida Park Service on North Peninsula State Park salt marsh restoration.
  • For #WildlifeWednesday, we featured pig frogs (Lithobates grylio), which are commonly seen in water bodies across the district.
  • Camellia japonica trees add color to your landscape even in the colder months. Try our #waterwise plant database to learn more.
  • For #TrailTuesday, we featured the Deep Creek Conservation Area, where three tracts of land are available for your next hike.

Water conservation tip

Did you know? Each minute the shower runs, as much as 8 gallons of water goes down the drain. Find tips for saving water indoors at www.sjrwmd.com/waterconservation.

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