Title: Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM): Lower St. John's River Basin
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00001416/00001
 Material Information
Title: Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM): Lower St. John's River Basin
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Abstract: Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM): Lower St. John's River Basin
General Note: Box 8, Folder 5 ( Vail Conference, 1995 - 1995 ), Item 30
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00001416
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text

St. Johns River Water Management C

Lower St. Johns

River Basin

district Fact Sheet

River's importance makes
restoration a top priority
The St. Johns River is the longest river totally
within the boundaries of Florida, measuring 300
miles. It is one of the few rivers in North America
flowing north.
The lower St. Johns the last 100 miles of the
river from its confluence with the Ocklawaha at
Welaka northward to the Atlantic Ocean at Mayport
drains an area covering 2,777 square miles in
Volusia, Flagler, Putnam, Clay, St. Johns and Duval
This section of the river is an important waterway
for both humans and nature. As an elongated
estuary, it's an area where saltwater from the sea
mixes with freshwater from land to create a unique
environment ideal as a nursery and breeding ground
for fish and other aquatic animals.
The lower St. Johns has historically been an
important waterway for commerce and travel. The
steamship industry prospered during the 19th and
early 20th centuries, carrying passengers, lumber,
citrus and mall to and from Jacksonville. Today, the
river is still a major transportation hub and home to
a major deep-water port. Annual harvests of shrimp,
crab, catfish and eel from the river are worth more
than $13 million.
While the lower St. Johns remains an important
waterway for commerce, travel and recreation,
there has been a significant decline in the river's
quality. The lower St. Johns has become polluted by
wastewater and industrial discharges as wel as
stormwater runoff.
The Surface Water Improvement and Management
(SWIM) Act of 1987 targeted the lower St. Johns for
immediate attention and restoration.
The lower St. Johns SWIM program alms to
improve the water quality of the river and its
tributaries, and restore the river's wildlife and
aquatic habitats.
SWIM has begun a number of diagnostic projects
to collect and analyze water quality data, assess the
impacts of pollution on fish and wildlife, and develop
hydrologic models to learn about the river. Public
support of SWIM is needed to guarantee completion
of the restoration work already begun on the river.

For more information please contact:
Bill Watkins, Lower St. Johns River SWIM Program
St. Johns River Water Management District
P.O. Box 1429, Palatka, Florida, 32178-1429
(904) 329-4345

Stormwater is major threat to river

The biggest single pollution
source for the lower St. Johns
River does not come from a
factory pipe. In fact, you might
say it starts in everyone's yard.
Stormwater runoff is the major
polluter of our state's waterways.
SWIM is involved in trying to
stop and treat stormwater before
it reaches our lakes, rivers and
Dealing with this form of
pollution before it reaches a
water body is expensive. But
once it flows into a lake, river or
bay, the cleanup costs
Stormwater runoff has carried
dangerous contaminants into
the lower St. Johns and its
tributaries. Chlorinated pesti-
cides and fertilizers from lawns,
and complex hydrocarbons
dripped from cars onto roadways
make their way into the river
and its tributaries every time it
rains. Look at a creek or stream
just after a rain storm. The oily
sheen on the water is the result
of runoff.
SWIM has been working with
farmers in the tri-county area of
Flagler, St. Johns and Putnam
counties to help them find ways
to limit their runoff that makes
its way into the St. Johns.
In Jacksonville, many
neighborhoods have been built
in former wetland areas.
Wetlands are nature's filter to
catch and hold contaminants
before they can reach a water
body. Because many of these
areas are now developed, they

have drainage problems and
frequently flood in times of
heavy rain.
To date, more than $1 million
from SWIM funds have been
spent in the development of a
master stormwater management
plan for Jacksonville. When
implemented, this plan will help
alleviate flooding while
protecting the St. Johns from
stormwater pollution.


The St. Johns River Water
Management District is
committed to the success of the
SWIM program. We are striving
to become.better stewards of
these natural systems which
have been temporarily entrusted
to our care.
SWIM Is the blueprint with
which the District will work to
restore and conserve our waters
for our future.


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