Division of Operations and Land Resources
The Division of Operations and Land Resources oversees the St. Johns River Water Management District’s public lands, and is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the agency’s facilities, infrastructure, equipment and transportation fleet and construction engineering and design. Responsibilities of the division’s bureaus include the following:
Over the years, the District has purchased interests in land to protect and maintain water resources. The District has previously selected land for purchase based on the potential for restoring, enhancing or developing water resources in the District’s 18-county, such as floodplains, water storage and treatment areas, and groundwater recharge areas. Currently, the District has an interest in approximately 700,000 acres of land through ownership or conservation easements.
Florida Forever, Preservation 2000 and Save Our Rivers have been the primary state funding source for land acquisition through 2010. Other funding sources have included local government partnerships, Florida Department of Transportation mitigation, Federal Wetland Reserve Program, Forest Legacy Program, Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program and ad valorem taxes.
The bureau manages and maintains flood control infrastructure in the Upper St. Johns River Basin and Ocklawaha River Basin. This includes more than 100 miles of levees, 11 major water control structures and three navigational locks. In addition, the bureau maintains and operates all water control structures, pump stations and levees associated with District restoration and water quality improvement projects. Public works staff also maintain all roads, bridges, culverts and other infrastructure on District lands.
This bureau oversees the agency’s public lands to restore and maintain native ecosystems and to provide public recreational opportunities that are compatible with the water resource protection and restoration goals. The bureau operates the District’s invasive plant management program, controlling nuisance upland and aquatic vegetation on District-owned properties to improve water quality, flood protection and navigation, and to protect plant and animal communities. Staff members conduct prescribed burns on District lands in order to maintain natural communities and wildlife habitat and to reduce the threat of wildfires.
The bureau is responsible for providing engineering and surveying services for District projects and programs. The bureau provides expertise in the following areas:
- Design of levees, water control structures and other related works
- Management and field support for water resources construction projects
- Survey and mapping support for water resources projects and the District’s well network
The bureau is responsible for managing about 340,000 square feet of office, warehouse and maintenance buildings, located at five major sites and a number of smaller satellite facilities. It is also responsible for the planning, design and construction of all District facilities.
In addition, staff oversee outsourced services, including janitorial, security, air-conditioning system preventive maintenance programs, and building automation systems. Staff also provide maintenance and repair services for the fleet.
The District’s emergency management program is coordinated in this bureau so that emergency response efforts are coordinated with local governments and state or national agencies as appropriate, and that recovery and mitigation efforts are made to return the District to normal operation after a major natural or man-made disaster.