Message from Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle
Celebrating a milestone in the Indian River Lagoon to improve water quality
Earlier this week, we celebrated a milestone in the continuing work to improve water quality in the Indian River Lagoon. It was a great day with our partners — the state Legislature, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Brevard County, city of Melbourne, the Florida Inland Navigation District (FIND) and many stakeholders, which included a group of residents known as EGRET (the Eau Gallie River is Environmentally Threatened).
The St. Johns River Water Management District hosted the gathering to celebrate completion of a two-year dredging project during which 630,000 pounds of nutrient-rich sediments (muck) were removed from a lagoon tributary, the Eau Gallie River. That’s the equivalent of more than 40,000 dump truck loads of muck, and a reduction of approximately 1,200 tons of nitrogen and 260 tons of phosphorus. The mixture of dirt, clay, grass clippings, leaves and other organic matter had run off streets and parking lots in stormwater over many years, settling on the bottom of the river, then decomposing and robbing the water of oxygen needed by fish, blocking sunlight needed by seagrasses and releasing nutrients that feed algal blooms.
This was a great partnership: Legislative funding of $20 million for the project was disbursed through DEP. FIND and the city of Melbourne contributed $3.75 million and $50,000 respectively. Brevard County provided a location to store the dredged material.
Monday’s celebration is just part of the District’s work in the lagoon region. For many years, we’ve partnered with other agencies, local governments and water utilities to design and build dozens of tailor-made projects to restore degraded waterbodies. We’ve also provided funding through the District’s cost-share program for projects that direct wastewater discharges away from the lagoon, collect and treat stormwater, improve sanitary sewer collection and remove or repair malfunctioning septic tanks.
Decades of man-made impacts led us to the waterway’s current state and water quality improvements won’t be apparent overnight. However, each new project brings us closer to the reality of cleaner water for everyone to enjoy.
Board approves gizzard shad harvest for Lake George
The district Governing Board on May 14 approved $450,000 in funding for gizzard shad harvesting from Lake George, part of the St. Johns River system in Putnam and Volusia counties.
Rainfall trends remain steady with some regional variation
While central and northern regions of the district received typical rainfall for April, below-average rainfall persisted in the southern third of the district.
We have great job opportunities at the district.
Data Quality Assurance Specialist II (Palatka), Senior Trades Worker (Sunnyhill), Chemist II (Palatka), Professional Engineer (Palatka), Environmental Scientist I (Palm Bay), Land Management Specialist (Gainesville), Surveying and Mapping Specialist (Palatka), Senior Professional Engineer (two positions, Palatka and negotiable)
For more information visit: www.sjrwmd.com/jobs.
Water Conservation Month tip
When it comes to irrigation, maintenance of your sprinkler system can help you save water and money. Here are four tips:
- Visually inspect your system monthly. Look for leaks, broken or clogged sprinkler heads, and clean screen and filters.
- Adjust sprinkler heads so nothing obstructs them and they water only landscaping.
- Check the pressure. If too high or low, consider installing pressure regulation.
- Check your rainfall shut-off devise so you don’t water when it rains.
More information can be found here on our website.
This week in district social media
- You just can’t beat Florida’s natural beauty! Check out the lovely white spider lily we posted that was showing off its flowers along the Silver River in the Silver Springs run when staff spotted it.
- Our scientists have a passion for their work. You should see the video we posted with Rob Mattson, an environmental scientist who oversees the district’s ecological research and monitoring projects in the springs of the St. Johns River Basin. Learn why springs protection is important to Rob. My Home. #MySpring.
- How much wood would a Wood Duck chuck if a Wood Duck could chuck wood? See the beautiful bird on our feed. #WildlifeWednesday #wildlife #sjrwmd
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