For nearly two decades, the St. Johns River Water Management District and cooperating partners have worked to restore areas impacted by dragline ditching.
In the 1950s and 1960s, large excavators called draglines were used to create an extensive network of deep, wide ditches and spoil piles cut through historical coastal wetland habitat, altering the hydrology of the remaining wetland and providing access for mosquito-eating fish. While dragline ditching effectively reduced the mosquito population in coastal wetland areas, an unintended result was a greatly altered and reduced wetland ecosystem. Today, more than 625 acres of dragline-impacted wetlands have been restored by the district and its cooperating partners.
The district’s Governing Board voted on Sept. 11, 2018, to commit funds to a contractor and directed staff to involve stakeholders in the development of the final plan for the Flagler County Wetland Restoration Project. Public workshops offered opportunities for stakeholder comment and ideas, and a final plan (Item 9) was approved by the Board on Dec. 11, 2018. Board approval called for a 500-foot buffer between construction activities and neighboring homes, access to navigation channels during construction, routine stakeholder updates via the district’s webpage, project monitoring and mechanical removal of existing Brazilian peppers from leveled spoil piles.
Questions or comments? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call the dedicated hotline number, 386-329-4334, to leave a message for the project team.
For concerns other than routine project questions, please:
- Report all suspicious activity and trespassing in the project area to 911.
- Report sick, injured or dead animals in the project area to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) through its Wildlife Alert hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922). Cell phone users can call *FWC or #FWC, depending on your service provider.
- Report sightings of manatees in the project area, loose turbidity screens or missing/damaged signs by calling the St. Johns River Water Management District at 386-329-4334 and leave a message for the project team.
- Call district Intergovernmental Coordinator Jim Troiano at 386-983-9869 to report urgent project-related issues that are observed after hours or on weekends.