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Posted on: December 15, 2021

SRMWD Governing Board Approves Springs Restoration Funding

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The Suwannee River Water Management District (District) Governing Board on Tuesday approved projects totaling more than $14 million for springs restoration in Northeast Florida. 

The District Governing Board approved new projects equaling $10.8 million and $3.5 million in multi-year funding for previously approved projects. The funding is provided as part of the state’s Springs Grant Funding.

“We are thankful to Gov. DeSantis, our legislature, and the Department of Environmental Protection for their continued commitment to preserving the vital springs and water resources of Florida’s Springs Heartland,” said Hugh Thomas, District Executive Director. “These projects further demonstrate the intent of the District’s mission to protect our environmental assets and address the needs of our communities.” 

The project development process is a collaborative effort with the department, water management districts, community leaders, and local stakeholders. Projects are selected based on improving water quality, increasing water flow, and protecting habitat at Florida’s iconic springs.

New projects for 2021-2022 Springs Funding include: 

  • Rembert Property Conservation Easement (Alachua County): A total of $2 million in collaborative funding will be used to acquire a conservation easement to protect 718 acres near Mill Creek Sink in the Santa Fe Basin. This project will reduce nutrient loads and is expected to conserve approximately 44,000 gallons of water per day. 
  • Telford Springs (Suwannee County): A total of $1.1 million in collaborative funding will allow the District to acquire 94 acres for enhanced conservation and public access to Telford Spring, a second magnitude spring along the Suwannee River.  
  • Adams Spring Acquisition and Restoration (Madison County): A total of $2.2 million in collaborative funding will allow the District to acquire approximately 228 acres of property in Madison County to prevent further development, as well as restore the natural flow of previously impounded springs. The Governing Board did not approve the initial project concept but charged the District to continue to work toward this acquisition in 2022. 
  • High Springs Wastewater Treatment Facility Expansion (Alachua County): Two grants, totaling $2.8 million and $4.1 million in collaborative funding, will allow the two-phase expansion of the existing wastewater treatment facility and constructed wetlands, providing 230,000 gallons of beneficial recharge per day and reducing nitrogen load by 4,278 pounds per year. 

Two additional previously approved projects also received additional funding:

  • Greenville Sewer System Improvements (Madison County): An additional $2.54 million will mark the third year of funding on a project to expand the central sewer system of Greenville and remove existing septic tanks. The project has previously received a total of $4.2 million. 
  • Devil’s Ear Spring Recharge Land Acquisition Project (Alachua County): An additional $1 million will be used to purchase a conservation easement within the Devil’s Ear Spring Group in the Santa Fe River Basin. The property is considered to have a high recharge value for springs restoration. The property will be monitored by the Alachua Conservation Trust (ACT).

A complete list of the springs protection projects funded can be found here

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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