District staff bundled up to protect against the cold the week of Feb. 11 as they entered the water to conduct a survey of seagrass in the northern stretch of the lagoon.
Message from the Executive Director
District continues to support projects and restoration in the Indian River Lagoon
The only thing that rivals the natural beauty of the Indian River Lagoon is the overwhelming shared interest in protecting its unique ecosystem. As the public’s conscious has been raised in the last year over algal blooms entering Florida waterways, including the lagoon, it has been heartening to see a growing focus on what we can all do to protect our cherished waters. While it took decades for the lagoon estuary to reach its current condition, we have been steadily and methodically working with many partners to turn the tide.
We continue to move on many fronts and in a positive direction. We’ve joined the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Inland Navigation District, Brevard County and local municipalities — including the cities of Melbourne and Cocoa Beach — to remove decades of accumulated muck from the lagoon floor. Already, we’ve removed more than 566,000 cubic yards of the gooey, black stuff from the Eau Gallie River, a lagoon tributary in Melbourne. That’s enough to fill more than 100 Olympic-sized swimming pools. We’ve also completed projects that either capture stormwater and remove nutrients before they have a chance to reach the lagoon (such as the Micco Water Management Area) or reverse the flow of large volumes of stormwater headed to the lagoon, thereby eliminating those loads of nutrients. It simply makes sense to capture nutrients before they reach the estuary.
Partnering with other agencies and local governments also has led to scores of jointly funded projects all along the estuary. Since 2014, the District has shared construction costs for 27 projects benefiting the Indian River Lagoon. Cumulatively, these projects will remove approximately 200,000 pounds per year of nitrogen and nearly 100,000 pounds per year of phosphorus. Overall, the District has provided more than $12.3 million in funding toward projects costing approximately $41 million. Projects include septic to sewer conversions, installing oyster reefs, upgrading wastewater treatment facilities, adding baffle boxes, removing muck, building stormwater treatment ponds and parks, upgrading a water reclamation facility, and constructing a storage reservoir for reuse water.
Good things are happening. Through projects we’re putting in the ground, support from our state lawmakers and residents in the region, we can begin to see improvements in this important water body. See what we’re doing by visiting our website at www.sjrwmd.com/renew-lagoon. Thanks to our many District scientists who continue to dedicate their careers to protecting and restoring this and other water bodies across our 18-county District.
Prescribed fires conducted throughout the district this week
The district conducted prescribed fires this week at its Fort Drum Marsh Conservation in Indian River County, Ocklawaha Prairie Restoration Area in Marion County, Hal Scott Regional Preserve and Park in Orange County and Sunnyhill Restoration Area in Marion County. The prescribed fires were conducted to maintain fire-dependent ecosystems, control exotic plant species and to reduce accumulated organic fuels to help prevent wildfires.
We have great job opportunities at the district.
Hydrologist I (negotiable), Engineer Scientist (Palatka), Land Manager, (Gainesville), Hydrologist III (negotiable), Supervising Professional Engineer (Palatka), Data Quality Assurance Specialist II (Palatka), Communications Manager (negotiable), Web Content Developer/Webmaster (Palatka), Equipment Operator/Land Management Technician (Bayard)
For more information visit: www.sjrwmd.com/jobs.
Water conservation tip
This week in district social media
- We’re celebrating our engineers this week as part of the National Society of Professional Engineers’ “Engineers week.” Our engineers work alongside other professions to protect Florida’s water. See an overview at sjrwmd.com/education/stem/careers/#engineering #STEM #engineer #sjrwmd #water #NationalEngineersWeek
- Check out our video! When you’re in the St. Augustine area, you’ll want to visit our Moses Creek Conservation Area. It’s a great, quiet place where you’ll see diverse vegetation, tidal creeks, lots of wildlife and canopied dirt roads where you can stroll for almost seven miles. #TrailTuesday #loveyourlands #sjrwmd #water #trails #hike sjrwmd.com/lands/recreation/moses-creek
- Get to know your lawn. Learning when your lawn needs water and when your lawn is dormant can help to #conserve our water resources and #savemoney during the winter. #lawncare
- The district is proud to sponsor the 2019 Florida SpringsFest, and we look forward to seeing you at our booth the weekend of March 2 and 3 at Silver Springs State Park. Come browse our educational materials and talk to our staff experts!
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