District takes action to benefit Indian River Lagoon during state of emergency

PALATKA, Fla., July 21, 2016 — The St. Johns River Water Management District is pitching in to make a difference with algal bloom concerns in south Florida. The district is turning on pumps at Canal 54 (C-54), which is located five miles north of the city of Fellsmere and will redirect more than 6,300 gallons of water each minute.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to help our sister agency and Florida’s water resources as we will deploy any and all resources we have at our disposal that can offer immediate benefits to the Indian River Lagoon,” said St. Johns River Water Management Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “This is the first of a number of projects we’ll be implementing over the coming month to send help to south Florida.”

“We are thankful for the assistance from our partners at the St. Johns River Water Management District during this declared state of emergency,” said South Florida Water Management District Vice Chairman Kevin Powers. “Local stormwater runoff is a major contributor to the nutrients that can fuel the growth of algal blooms. Every gallon of local stormwater runoff that can be redirected away from the Indian River Lagoon is beneficial to all of us.”

The action comes after the district’s Governing Board voted just last week to approve an executive order directing district staff to assist with recovery efforts in south Florida. This project helps by diverting nearly 9 million gallons of water per day of flow from the C-54 to the St. Johns River through the St. Johns Water Management Area. The district has put a 12-inch pump in place to make the action possible.

Additional projects expected to be launched in the coming weeks include those that will immediately alleviate pressure from Lake Okeechobee as well as those that will help hold additional water to support efforts to remedy the current algal bloom situation. The district will continue to keep the public informed about actions taking place to help south Florida with this ongoing emergency situation.