Crane Creek / M-1 Canal Flow Restoration Project

Updated on 7-17-2019

The M-1 Canal is a 100-year old, man-made flood control feature in Brevard County that cuts through the historic drainage divide between the St. Johns River and the Indian River Lagoon.

The M-1 Canal diverts stormwater flow from 5,300 acres of drainage area in Melbourne, West Melbourne, Melbourne Village and portions of unincorporated Brevard County and sends the water east to the Indian River Lagoon via Crane Creek. Elevated levels of nutrients within runoff from this currently diverted watershed degrade water quality in the Indian River Lagoon and provide fuel for algal blooms

The Crane Creek / M-1 Canal Project — identified in the 2017 Indian River Lagoon Stormwater Capture and Treatment Feasibility Study and led by the St. Johns River Water Management District — will treat and return diverted runoff back to the St. Johns River. This restoration project focuses on reducing nutrient loads to the Indian River Lagoon by treating and returning stormwater back to the St. Johns River.

The project will include an operable weir east of Evans Road (behind the Melbourne Square Mall), a stormwater pump station, and a treatment area west of Interstate 95. The operable weir – which allows capture of runoff for the pump station – is engineered to have no impact on the existing flood control capability of the M-1 Canal. To accomplish this, the canal and weir will be designed in a way to allow stormwater to flow unimpeded during major storm events.

This project will help reduce nutrients flowing, or “loading” into both the Indian River Lagoon and the St. Johns River while also providing a potential water supply benefit by restoring millions of gallons of freshwater flow per day to the St. Johns River.

Nutrient reductions to the Indian River Lagoon estimated to be:

  • Total nitrogen 24,000 lb./yr.
  • Total phosphorus 3,100 lb./yr.
  • Total suspended solids 90,000 lb./yr.
  • Average annual flow rate: 7 million gallons per day (mgd)

Frequently Asked Questions

The construction phase of this project is scheduled to begin in July 2020. The anticipated completion date is June 2022.

Water from the M-1 canal will be pumped under Interstate 95 and Heritage Parkway to a series of stormwater ponds. The ponds provide treatment for the water which then flows through a manmade wetland for additional treatment.

Construction of this project will have no impact on local traffic. Some earthwork requiring hauling may be necessary west of Heritage Parkway, but this work will not impact local neighborhoods.

This project will have no impact on the existing stormwater system. Flood protection is a priority and has been carefully analyzed and modeled. The system is designed so that the proposed weir will be lowered (open position) in the event of a major oncoming rainfall event (such as a hurricane or tropical storm). Redundant automatic sensors in the canal will also lower the weirs if the water in the canal reaches certain elevations. The system is continually monitored by operations staff to ensure  it is functioning properly. Additional analysis has been performed to ensure that even if the weir is left in the up position, flood protections will remain unchanged. This is possible because the M-1 canal will be widened over the weir to maintain current flow capacity.

The outfall is located west of the Heritage Parkway approximately one-half mile north of U.S.192. The outfall consists of stormwater ponds and a treatment wetland that uses overland flow into the St. Johns River Marsh. The additional water will benefit the St. Johns River by restoring historic baseflow from the watershed that was diverted from the St. Johns River to the Indian River Lagoon.

If you have questions about this project you can email cranecreekproject@sjrwmd.com or call Marc Van Heden at 321-676-6604

Project schedule

July 2017

  • Engineering design start

FY 2018

  • Hydraulic and hydrologic modeling
  • Engineering design
  • Land acquisition

FY 2019

  • Completion of land acquisition
  • Final design
  • Permitting

FY 2020 – 2022

  • Construction
Project milestones
  • Hydraulic and hydrologic modeling is competed.
  • Design is underway.
Project partners
  • Brevard County ($2.03 million)
  • Florida Department of Environmental Protection ($2.45 million)
    • The St. Johns River Water Management District will fund the project’s balance, estimated between $7–11 million, and is responsible for executing the project, including land acquisition and securing property rights and permits; engineering; construction and operations.