Jesup cleanup effort surpasses first phase goal
Lake Jesup is one of Central Florida’s largest lakes - a resource for recreation and home to bald eagles, box turtles, wood storks, manatees and sandhill cranes. Its watershed drains 87,000 acres in Seminole and Orange counties. The combination of restricted water flow between the lake and the St. Johns River, urban and agricultural stormwater runoff, legacy wastewater discharges and remaining septic tanks, has propelled algae growth, lowered oxygen levels and killed fish.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has determined Lake Jesup to be impaired - not meeting water quality standards - because of high nitrogen and phosphorus levels. In May 2010, the Department adopted a Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP), developed alongside 20 local and regional partners to identify projects and activities necessary to restore the lake’s water quality.
The action plan sets a 15-year timeline organized into three five-year phases targeting a total phosphorous reduction of 19,621 pounds per year. To reach the first third of the necessary reductions in phase one, the responsible stakeholders are tasked to reduce total phosphorous by 6,249.5 pounds per year.