FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 24, 2012
DEP COMMITS $2 MILLION TO LAKE JESUP RESTORATION PLAN
~DEP, Seminole County, St. Johns River Water Management District collaborate on construction of Black Hammock Water Quality Improvement System~
SANFORD – Florida Department of Environmental
Protection Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr. today committed $2 million to
restoration efforts for Lake Jesup by partnering with the St. Johns River Water
Management District and Seminole County on construction of the Black Hammock
Creek water quality improvement system.
This project will
restore the natural landscape and improve water quality draining from the creek
and into Lake Jesup, reducing phosphorus by 2,200 pounds per year. Other
projects identified in the 2010 basin management action plan for Lake Jesup have
already realized reductions of 9,000 pounds of phosphorus, which is 50 percent
of the plan’s 15-year targeted goal of phosphorus reductions. Through
partnerships between the Department, the St. Johns River Water Management
District and local governments, we are ahead of schedule.
Rick Scott said, “Florida has the best beaches and waterways in the world – and
this commitment of $2 million for Lake Jesup further ensures that we continue
to prioritize and enhance water quality in the state. Families everywhere
treasure Florida’s incredible environment, and we are working hard every day to
protect our lakes, rivers and waterways so future generations can enjoy
everything our state has to offer.”
As part of Vinyard's
two-day Central Florida waterbodies trip, the Secretary this afternoon took a
boat tour of Lake Jesup with officials from Seminole County and the St. Johns
River Water Management District. The Department's commitment continues its
focus on restoration projects.
"This project is
just one of many the Department has planned," said Secretary Vinyard.
"The Black Hammock Creek project investment adds to the momentum already
started under the Department's restoration plan. It is achievable through this
partnership with Seminole County, especially the work of County Commissioner
John Horan, and the St. Johns River Water Management District, with the guidance
of Chairman Lad Daniels.”
A basin management
action plan is the implementation plan that identifies actions that will be
taken to achieve restoration targets. The plan lists responsibilities for each
stakeholder, projects lists over a five-year period and a monitoring plan to
track improvements in water quality. The plan was put in place to reduce excess
phosphorus into the waterbody, which can trigger algal blooms.
The 16.7-square mile
lake is part of the St. Johns River and drains a watershed of about 136 square
miles. In May 2010, the Department adopted the Lake Jesup Basin Management
Action Plan, implementing the total phosphorus restoration goal for the lake,
which includes portions of Seminole and Orange counties.
On Thursday, Vinyard will
be at Veterans Memorial Park in Sanford to make a major announcement on Lake
Harney, Lake Monroe and the Middle St. Johns River restoration efforts. The
public ceremony starts at 9 a.m.