Message from Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle
District REDI and Innovative cost-share funding helps communities with water projects
We recently opened the latest application cycle for cost-share funding through the St. Johns River Water Management District’s Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) and Innovative Cost-share Program, with applications being accepted through Oct. 19, 2019.
Our cost-share program is an incredible tool for supporting local projects that provide a greater benefit to one of the District’s core missions — water supply, water quality, natural systems restoration and flood protection. In our REDI communities (economically disadvantaged or designated as unincorporated federal enterprise communities) funding may be used to sustain and enhance safe drinking water supplies as well as maintain and enhance wastewater systems — projects they may otherwise not be able to do.
An innovative project is one that uses a new or existing technology, method or material in a unique or not widely used way to provide alternative water supply quantities or to expand available quantities to offset groundwater withdrawal.
One example of an innovative project currently in progress is the city of Jacksonville’s stormwater microbe treatment pilot project, a study of nutrient-reducing microbes applied to stormwater ponds to improve water quality. Jacksonville is one of the first cities in Florida to use a specially formulated strain of bacteria to reduce total nitrogen in stormwater ponds. The project is among eight projects in seven counties approved by our Governing Board in December 2018 to share in $2.8 million in funding for fiscal year 2018–2019. We celebrated project kick-off in June and are excited to see the outcome of the year-long project.
I’m grateful that our Governing Board continues to support funding for worthy cost-share projects and continues to build strong partnerships in the region. Since fiscal year 2013–2014, the District has awarded more than $184 million in cost-share funding toward more than $0.5 billion in total construction costs. Our Districtwide and REDI / Innovative programs have helped to produce approximately 150 million gallons per day (mgd) of alternative water supplies, 10 mgd of water conserved, 1,780,000 (lbs./yr.) of total nitrogen reduction, and 438,000 (lbs./yr.) of total phosphorus reduction.
I encourage our local governments to learn more about this funding opportunity at www.sjrwmd.com/localgovernment/funding and thank you for your interest and participation. Thanks also to all the staff in the District’s Bureau of Project Management who work closely with our local government partners on the funded projects.
Fulton recognized for water body science
Congrats to the district’s Dr. Rolland Fulton (Bureau of Water Resources) for receiving the Edward Deevey, Jr. Award from the Florida Lake Management Society! The award is given to an individual for contributing to the scientific understanding of Florida’s water bodies. Deevey, the award’s namesake, was an internationally recognized limnologist and affiliated with the State Museum of Florida at the time of his death. Dr. Fulton has been a part of the district’s staff since January 1989 and has contributed to scientific work to support projects at Lake Apopka and the Ocklawaha Chain of Lakes.
We have great job opportunities at the district.
Engineer III (Palatka), Professional Engineer or Engineer Scientist (Palatka), Environmental Scientist I (Palatka), Project Planning Coordinator (negotiable), Field Program Supervisor (Palatka), Land Management Technician (Geneva), Senior Professional Engineer (Palatka), Technical Program Manager / Hydrologic Monitoring (Palatka), Professional Engineer (Palatka), Surveying and Mapping Specialist (Palatka)
For more information visit: www.sjrwmd.com/jobs.
Water conservation tip
Fall is coming and lawns need less irrigation in cooler months, especially with all the rain we’ve had a cross the region lately. Fall back and water less! Tips at: www.sjrwmd.com/water-conservation/savingwater/outdoors.
This week in district social media
- #loveyourlands — The district’s Wekiva River Buffer Conservation Area is minutes away from Orlando but a wonderful natural place to explore. This lush, exotic property is home to bears, herons, owls and pileated woodpeckers. Find info at sjrwmd.com/lands/recreation/wekiva-river-buffer
- We’re proud of our very own John Fitzgerald for his service with the @uscgsoutheast @USCG reserve for efforts connected with Hurricane Dorian. Thank you, John! @FLCaseyDeSantis #ReserveReady
- Did you catch our video? Now that is the way to spend a weekend! Just check out the gentle giants munching and frolicking along the Silver River, where one of our staff members spotted manatee during a weekend kayak trip. The manatees were just as curious about him as he was about them. Did you know? This Florida native species is our official state marine mammal! #CloseEncountersoftheThirdKind #manatee #seacows #water #gentlegiants
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