DEP Awards $1.5 Million for Springs Projects in Florida

Grant funding is provided to the St. Johns River Water Management District to restore three springs in 2016-'17.

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The Department of Environmental Protection is awarding $1.5 million in grants to the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) for three springs restoration projects as part of the 2016-‘17 Florida First budget allocations for Florida springs projects.

“We are pleased to provide funding to protect and enhance our iconic springs,” says DEP Deputy Secretary Drew Bartlett. “Florida’s springs are not only world-renowned to visitors, but necessary to the water needs of Florida’s environment. Protecting and restoring these precious natural resources is of critical importance to the department.”

The SJRWMD springs restoration projects include the city of Longwood Island Lake septic tank connection/removal, Marion County retrofit of stormwater ponds, and Silver Springs Forest hydrologic and springs restoration.

The city of Longwood is awarded $864,580 to provide sewer service and eliminate 100 residential septic tanks in the city, which is located within the Wekiva Springs springshed. The anticipated nutrient reduction is 3,600 pounds per year.

Marion County is awarded $241,250 to retrofit two stormwater ponds in Marion County and the Silver Springs watershed with nitrogen removal systems. The project includes replacing stormwater pipes and structures, and expanding one of the ponds to increase storage capacity. The anticipated nutrient reduction is approximately 318 pounds per year.  

Silver Springs Forest is awarded $475,000 to restore and enhance groundwater recharge and surface water hydrology in the approximately 4,900-acre Silver Springs Forest Conservation Area. By reducing turbid water discharges to the Silver River, the anticipated nutrient reduction is approximately 13,000 pounds per year. The project also will provide up to five million gallons per day of water conservation and help restore flow, benefiting the Silver Springs Group and Upper Floridan aquifer. 

The DEP and four Florida Water Management Districts have identified 35 springs projects to receive more than $56.6 million included in the 2016-‘17 Florida First budget, the highest amount ever provided for Florida’s springs.

Along with $33.1 million in matching funds at the state and local levels, the total investment in springs projects will be $89.7 million for this new fiscal year. Here is a complete list of 2016-’17 springs projects.


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