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April 21, 2017

Message from the Executive Director

Wildfire response brings out the best in District staff, cooperators

District staff have worked day and night fighting wildfires at various District properties and assisting others in recent weeks. These images are from a wildfire at Three Forks Marsh Conservation Area.

The media has been full of stories in the past few weeks about the wildfires burning across much of our state. Some of those fires have burned on District public lands, including over the past weekend.

There are a lot of very dedicated District staff, local government and state employees, and volunteers fighting these fires. The District has a long history of working cooperatively with other groups and agencies to respond to wildfires, and that will continue. Adding firefighting resources to this firefighting effort, Gov. Rick Scott on April 10 declared a state of emergency for Florida.

The long-term forecast is for continued dry weather. Under these dry conditions, it won’t take much to start a blaze that has the potential to harm people and destroy property. Each of us can do a few simple things to help prevent wildfires, such as not discarding cigarettes, matches and smoking materials from moving vehicles. We can also remove combustibles, including firewood, yard waste, barbecue grills and fuel cans, from our yards.

I extend my personal thanks to all the men and women who are out there risking their lives to protect others from these wildfires. Thanks for all you do!

Partnership projects add up to water savings

Multiple water supply projects funded through the district’s competitive cost-share program are resulting in millions of gallons of water saved across the district’s 18-county service area. In 2016, the district’s governing board approved 43 projects to benefit water supply. In 2015, 20 water supply projects were approved. Collectively, the district contributed $24 million toward construction of projects estimated to achieve up to 73.3 million gallons of water conserved or made available each day.

Read more…

Experiencing water science in new ways

District education coordinator, Dr. Jennifer Mitchell, works alongside students from teacher Josue Urbina’s classes and Science Incubator guides during a lesson on macroinvertebrates and water quality earlier this week.

District staff are having a great time sharing knowledge and meeting teachers and students throughout the district who are participating in this year’s Blue School Grant Program. Earlier this week, staff worked alongside teacher Josue Urbina and his students from Crooms Academy of Information Technology in Seminole County where the grant provided a chance to get in the field for a hands-on science experience. Collecting specimens from a lake in Lake Lotus Park, learning about the local ecology and getting to tour a water treatment facility were all a part of their field trip to the Altamonte Springs Science Incubator.

Water Conservation Month activity

What are you doing to conserve water? We want to know. Watch the district’s Facebook page April 24 for details on a contest where you can share with us and our thousands of followers just how easy it is to save Florida’s water.

Earth Day festivals this weekend

District staff will be out this weekend celebrating Earth Day in several of our local communities. While Earth Day is recognized on April 22, we’ve also joined several communities and organizations at festivals to celebrate stewardship of natural resources in recent weeks. It’s always our pleasure to meet members of the public and local officials, and share information about the district’s work. We hope to see you in Altamonte Springs or Putnam County on Saturday!

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 our many partners who are helping us celebrate Water Conservation Month in April. We’re excited to recognize those who recently joined the district approving proclamations. Thanks to the cities of Lake Helen, Oviedo, Edgewater, Oak Hill, Orlando, West Melbourne, Apopka, South Dayton, DeBary, Orange City and Keystone Heights, and Clay, Nassau and Seminole counties.
  • We always appreciate a little help from our friends! Earlier this week district staff spotted a curious dolphin while they were doing continuous monitoring work in the Indian River Lagoon.
  • The district’s Pellicer Creek Conservation Area demonstrates several regionally significant ecological communities, including saltwater marsh, freshwater marsh, wet prairie, mixed wetland hardwoods, pine flatwoods, longleaf pine, xeric oak and upland hardwood forest. #TrailTuesday

Water conservation tip

We’re checking our rain sensor monitor to
ensure it’s in good working order. Are you?
Find ways to save water outdoors at


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