District’s work helps protect postcard-worthy lakes in our region
July 6, 2023
Postcard-worthy scenes from lakes around the St. Johns River Water Management District to celebrate July as Lakes Appreciation Month.
July 1 marked the start of a month-long observance of Lakes Appreciation Month. It’s an annual celebration sponsored by the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) to celebrate North America’s freshwater lakes. In Florida, we have more than 4,000 lakes statewide and nearly 1,500 within the St. Johns River Water Management District’s 18-county service area, giving us a lot to celebrate.
Our daily work focuses on water and routinely takes our staff out on these water bodies that do so much for Florida’s landscape. These beautiful lakes are a reminder for District staff of the importance of our core missions work, as they spend much time managing, restoring and protecting them.
Lakes Appreciation Month helps raise awareness of the importance of lakes and the benefits they provide, such as providing open spaces, recreation, aquifer recharge, and helping to reduce the impacts of flooding. The observance helps to highlight our work, such as implementing innovative projects to improve water quality in Lake Apopka (Orange and Lake counties), Lake Jesup (Seminole County) and Doctors Lake (Clay County). Our work that benefits lakes of the District also includes harvesting gizzard shad and other exotic fish from lakes to reduce excess nutrients carried in their bodies and to reduce the destructive behavior of burrowing that destabilizes shorelines and levees.
Among our recent and current District-led work are projects to improve underwater vegetation planting techniques, as well as planting tens of thousands of native submerged aquatic plants in the Upper St. Johns River Basin, which will provide critical habitat for fish and wildlife, and conducting research to better understand sediments and their chemical characteristics in Lake Jesup.
In addition, our cost-share funding programs help support projects to reduce pollutants entering lakes and other waterways, we set minimum flows and levels to protect lakes from effects of water withdrawals, provide technical expertise to other entities involved in lake protection and coordinate with partners to plant native aquatic vegetation and manage invasive exotic species.
We invite you to visit our website to learn more about waterways of the District and our work.