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Understanding the value of water


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In this issue

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A fishing story

Ongoing project is improving water quality one fish at a time.

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Corking abandoned wells

District program helps cap abandoned wells, save billions of gallons of water.

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Helping others

Surplus donation program helps communities in need throughout the district.

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Today’s STEM leaders encourage others

District highlights women working in science, technology, engineering and math.

Dr. Ann Shortelle, Rama Garapati Lauren Hall Ratna Lee

District staff featured in the Women in STEM celebration included District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle, a limnologist, Rama Garapati, a senior applications developer, Lauren Hall, a biologist, and Ratna Lee, an engineer. The celebration included videos and social media messages throughout March 2017.

Today’s STEM leaders encourage others

By Danielle Spears

It was a freshman year college class that introduced Lindsey Porter to the idea of a career in engineering. Her choice was reaffirmed as she visited developing countries and saw how a lack of clean water affected the health and livelihood of locals. Today, she’s an engineer at the St. Johns River Water Management District and reflects on those memories in her work to protect Florida’s water resources.

Porter is one of many women who turned their passion into a career at the district. During March, the district celebrated Women’s History Month by highlighting the vital role women play in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Sharing stories about the skills, passion and accomplishments of women at the district drew audiences curious about the people charged with protecting Florida’s natural resources. As a result, website traffic increased by almost 15,000 visitors, video profiles were viewed 1,800 times and Facebook posts reached nearly 30,000 people.

While women make up nearly half of the working population, only 26 percent of all STEM careers are filled by women. Since its inception in 1972, Florida’s water management districts have employed highly skilled teams to ensure sustainable use of Florida’s water. Working for an environmental regulatory agency, district staff work in STEM-related fields every day, with nearly 40 percent of STEM positions at the district held by women.

As for Porter, she sees engineering as a field dedicated to solving problems, many times with a creative solution. Her work is a testament to her passion for protecting Florida’s waterbodies and an inspiration to the next generation of environmental stewards.

Many of the stories, photos and videos as well as general information about STEM careers remains available online and on social media. To read more, visit


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