District’s joint real estate acquisition brings more conservation lands to Volusia County

View of Tomoka River from a canoe
View of Tomoka River from a canoe

The new conservation land can be seen from the Tomoka River to the left of the tall pine trees.

PALATKA, Fla., Oct. 11, 2022 — Today, the St. Johns River Water Management District (District) Governing Board approved a joint real estate transaction with Volusia County and the city of Ormond Beach that will add 18.5 acres of conservation lands near the Tomoka River and add additional recreational opportunities for the local community.

The District joined forces with Volusia County, through the Volusia Forever program and the city of Ormond Beach to meet the mitigation need under Florida Department of Transportation’s environmental resource permit to expand State Road 600 and expand resource-based recreation in the area.

The acquired land contains a mix of forest and wetlands that are important for preservation, habitat protection and recreational use. The District now holds a conservation easement with Volusia County and the city of Ormond Beach, jointly owning the fee simple interest. The conservation easement will ensure the property is preserved in perpetuity.

Map of affected areaThis is the first joint real estate acquisition with the city of Ormond Beach and one of many with Volusia County.

“Partnerships like this allow us to make meaningful land purchases that help preserve natural Florida for generations to come,” said the St. Johns River Water Management’s Executive Director Mike Register. “These types of partnerships are win-win scenarios. The District gets to further its mission of water quality through the expansion of these conservation lands, local residents and visitors to the state gain additional recreational amenities, and the Department of Transportation fulfills their permitting requirements—I look forward to continued partnerships like this in the future.”

The property borders the city of Ormond Beach’s Riverbend Nature Park in Volusia County and will expand the wooded hiking and biking trails available for public use.

For more information about the District’s land acquisition and management, visit the District’s website at www.sjrwmd.com/lands/acquisition.