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Posted on: January 23, 2020

Over 10 Tons of Debris Cleaned Up on the Suwannee and Santa Fe Rivers

District staff plots coordinates for unsecured structures on the Suwannee River.LIVE OAK, FLA., Jan. 23, 2020 – The Suwannee River Water Management District (District) removed 10.28 tons of unsecured structures and debris through cleanup efforts on the Suwannee and Santa Fe rivers. Without proper removal, these structures and debris can cause flooding concerns, navigational hazards and safety concerns on the river. 

During flood events, river levels rise and currents are stronger which results in structures and debris, such as docks, piers, boats, wood and containers, to wash away with the river. Altogether, 55 sites along the Suwannee and Santa Fe rivers were reviewed for structures or debris that were unsecured and marked as a safety concern. 

“We are concerned about flooding impacts, navigational hazards, safety and property damage that loose structures and debris may cause residents and visitors of the area,” said Hugh Thomas, Executive Director of the District. “We appreciate the dedication and partnership of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and United States Army Corps of Engineers for their support and guidance throughout this cleanup effort.” 

Stretches of the rivers selected in the cleanup effort include the confluence of the Santa Fe and Ichetucknee Rivers to the Suwannee River and from the confluence of the Suwannee and Santa Fe Rivers to Wannee, Florida. 

In the upcoming year, cleanup of unsecured structures and debris will begin from Fanning Springs to Wannee, Florida, as well as Devil’s Elbow near Hatchbend. With 47 sites identified, seven sites will be prioritized within these areas. 

The cleanup effort is a part of the District’s Leave No Litter initiative that educates residents and visitors of the importance of keeping our rivers and springs clean. The District encourages others to use reusable bottles and bags while recreating and be aware of the negative impacts trash and debris can cause rivers and springs.

The mission of the Suwannee River Water Management District is to protect and manage water resources using science-based solutions to support natural systems and the needs of the public. The District holds true to the belief of water for nature, water for people. Headquartered in Live Oak, Florida, the District serves 15 surrounding north-central Florida counties. 

For more information about the District, visit www.MySuwanneeRiver.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter, search @SRWMD.

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