DEP commits $2 million to Lake Jesup restoration plan
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.
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.