FDEP hosts meeting to discuss restoration efforts
Meeting addressed Lakes Harney and Monroe, and Middle St Johns
TALLAHASSEE – On Thursday, Oct. 10, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection hosted a public meeting to discuss the restoration activities that have occurred during the first year of implementation for the Lake Harney, Lake Monroe and Middle St. Johns River Basin. The meeting continues the commitment of the Department and stakeholders to solve water quality problems in the basin.
“The Department relies on the support of all of the stakeholders in the restoration process and we are grateful for the investments local governments have made to accomplish very significant nutrient reductions in these waterbodies.” said Tom Frick, Director of DEP’s Division of Environmental Assessment and Restoration. “We look forward to continuing this partnership as we take additional actions to improve the water quality in Lakes Harney and Monroe."
The restoration plan was adopted by the Department on Aug. 30, 2012, and was developed in partnership with the local stakeholders to identify actions that are needed to decrease nutrient concentrations and increase dissolved oxygen in Lake Harney, Lake Monroe, Middle St. Johns River and Smith Canal.
The first year of restoration plan implementation spans the period from Sept. 1, 2012 through Aug. 31, 2013. During this time, the City of Deltona completed a wet detention pond project at Lake Gleason and Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services enrolled agricultural producers in best management practices to reduce nutrient loading from agricultural lands. These projects resulted in estimated reductions of 4,718.8 pounds per year of total nitrogen and 988.6 pounds per year of total phosphorus.
To date, the total reductions of 66,384.9 pounds per year of total nitrogen and 15,084.2 pounds per year of total phosphorus have been achieved. These reductions equate to 75.7 percent of the total nitrogen and 91.6 percent of the total phosphorus reductions needed to achieve the reduction goals for these waterbodies.
This week’s meeting – which was attended by about 25 people -- kicked off planning for the next year of restoration plan progress. In the second year of implementation, stakeholders will continue their existing efforts, such as public education and outreach, and will continue activities to achieve the remainder of the nutrient loads necessary to meet the reduction goal.
The meeting included participation by restoration plan stakeholders: Cities Deltona, Lake Helen, Lake Mary, Orange City, and Sanford; Brevard, Seminole, and Volusia Counties; Florida Department of Transportation; Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; St. Johns River Water Management District; and interested members of the public.