District acquires 240 acres in Marion County to protect water resources

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PALATKA, Fla., July 10, 2018 — The acquisition of a 240-acre parcel in Marion County will help the St. Johns River Water Management District protect water resources by eliminating an outparcel near the center of the district’s Sunnyhill Restoration Area. The land purchase was approved at today’s Governing Board meeting.

“Today, we have 240 reasons to celebrate as we add this area to our portfolio of conservation lands,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “Not only will it help us further protect Florida’s water resources, but acquiring this land will also expand opportunities for public recreation.”

The approved purchase price is $907,000 for the 240-acres parcel. This acreage, including the surrounding district lands, was identified by the district as regionally significant habitat and a high-priority acquisition. The area is a mosaic of oak hammock, native flatwoods, pine plantation, improved pasture, freshwater marsh and forested wetlands.

In addition to its proximity to Sunnyhill Restoration Area, an existing district property, the acreage may have water resource development potential that could help meet the future water supply needs of the area.

While acquisition of this parcel eliminates an outparcel in the center of the conservation area, making land management activities more efficient, it will also eventually expand the acreage available for passive recreation and camping.