Message from Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle

Two projects move forward to help improve water quality in region

Nov. 19, 2020

View of Lake Minneola from the shore

Lake Minneola in Clermont is at the center of an innovative water quality improvement project.

The core mission work of the St. Johns River Water Management District took another step forward earlier this month with two projects to help improve water quality.

A project to benefit the Indian River Lagoon — the Crane Creek / M-1 Canal flow restoration project — is moving forward with award of a contract for construction. At our Nov. 10 meeting, the District’s Governing Board approved a contract for the project aimed at reducing nutrient flows to the lagoon. This project will provide substantial water quality benefits to the lagoon while restoring flow and providing additional, clean water supply to the St. Johns River.

The M-1 Canal is a century-old man-made flood control feature in Brevard County that serves Melbourne, West Melbourne, Melbourne Village and portions of unincorporated Brevard County. The canal currently diverts stormwater flow from 5,300 acres of the historic St. Johns River basin through Crane Creek to the lagoon. The completed project will reduce the flow of nutrients and sediments to the lagoon by re-diverting stormwater west where it historically flowed to the St. Johns River. Major project components include an operable weir, a stormwater pump station and a stormwater treatment area to ensure that nutrients and sediments are removed prior to the water’s return to the St. Johns River. Work is set to begin this winter on the project, estimated to cost $10.3 million with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection contributing nearly $2.5 million and Brevard County’s Save Our Indian River Lagoon Program contributing another $2 million.

On another front, the Lake Minneola Innovative Algal Bloom Treatment Project got underway the week of Nov. 2. This $1.7 million innovative project is designed to fight algal blooms in Lake Minneola with funding provided through a grant of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Water Policy and Ecosystem Project’s Innovative Grant Program. This program funds innovative technology projects to test new processes for dealing with water quality challenges.

Using a combination of collected field data, water samples and remote sensing imagery, BlueGreen US Water Technologies (BGWT) Ltd. will identify algae-prone areas in Lake Minneola and deploy its LakeGuard® Oxy Technology in strategic locations to reduce current or forming algal blooms.

We’re excited about this work and the expected benefits for our region’s waterways. Thanks to our many partners, contractors and staff who are helping us reach the shared goal to protect Florida’s water resources.

See our past stories

Have you ever seen trees with knees?
Tracking the ebb and flow of Florida’s water
Award spotlights Orange Audubon Society for its volunteer work at Lake Apopka
Message from Dr. Ann Shortelle: We’re improving Lake Apopka North Shore in every way