From the St. John’s River Water Management District

The St. Johns River Water Management District has started work on a sump dredge project designed to help improve water quality at Lake Apopka. The project is not expected to impede navigation on the canal or lake.

“Our focus remains centered on projects that bring us closer to our goal of restoring the lake’s ecosystem,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “Improved water quality now provides conditions that are allowing native submerged plants to recolonize the lake’s bottom. As these plants expand, they provide the habitat critical to the recovery of the lake’s historic bass fishery.”

The project is unique from previous dredging projects because it will create a sump, or a depression, at the lake-bottom to collect nutrient-laden sediment near the mouth of the Apopka-Beauclair Canal. Collecting and eventually removing the material is expected to reduce turbidity in Lake Apopka and help improve water quality.

A barge stationed near the canal will use floating pipe to transport material collected from the lake’s bottom to an area west of the canal, where it will raise subsided marsh and bury residual pesticides found on the formerly farmed land. Additionally, if needed, water from the dredging will be routed through the district’s marsh flow-way, a constructed wetland, for additional nutrient removal.

High water levels from Hurricane Irma originally delayed the start of the project, which is expected to run through early 2019 and collect about 500,000 cubic yards of nutrient-laden material.

St. Johns River Water Management District staff are committed to ensuring the sustainable use and protection of water resources for the benefit of the people of the district and the state of Florida. The St. Johns River Water Management District is one of five districts in Florida managing groundwater and surface water supplies in the state. The district encompasses all or part of 18 northeast and east-central Florida counties. District headquarters are in Palatka, and staff also are available to serve the public at service centers in Maitland, Jacksonville, and Palm Bay.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Maybe if the lake were drained of the water, all the levels of sediment and muck removed, and dug out, allowed to dry out, and then restored. There would go the existing fish, and where would all of the water go during this project? Who would want to buy that muck dirt, with all the contaminated long-lasting toxic chemicals in it? Or where would it be hauled to? Too enormous and costly a project….spending huge amounts of state monies, or federal monies, on this project, is but a waste, when there are people needing help with shelter, food, and care. But if that is what makes them happy trying, well go for it…..the damage is already done. Tainted for the lengths of our lifetimes, for sure.

  2. And while the DDT is still present in the lake, and soil around it, the mosquitos apparently are becoming immune to some of the chemicals, I believe, because I almost got ate alive by them, right about dark last night, in my front yard, and this was after a recent mosquito fogger had been around, right here getting toward the end of December, when it has been cold recently, and not those hot humid summer nights.

  3. If the corn farmers were better regulated years ago this would not have been a big problem. This is what happens when you have government deregulation.

  4. I don’t think it is a waste of money.
    This is long over due. The cost should be collected from the farmers that abused the lake for 80 years. Take back the millions that was paid by the state to stop them.
    For 30 years I have been saying they should extract the muck in the lake and expose it to the sun.

  5. Good luck on getting the clean- up costs of Lake Apopka back out of the muck farmers that were bought out by the state. Most of them have passed on to a better place, or gone on to greener pastures…..Write a letter to President Trump, and ask him for his personal financial help Jack, maybe he will listen to one of his loyal supporters…lol

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