Lakes Appreciation Month highlights critical work to protect waterways

July 7, 2022

Lake George shore

Lake George (Putnam and Volusia counties) is among many lakes in the St. Johns River Water Management District being celebrated during Lakes Appreciation Month.

Each year, the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) celebrates North America’s freshwater lakes during July with Lakes Appreciation Month. In Florida, we have more than 4,000 lakes statewide and nearly 1,500 within the St. Johns River Water Management District’s 18-county service area, giving us a lot to celebrate.

Lakes Appreciation Month helps raise awareness of the importance of lakes and the benefits they provide, such as providing open spaces, recreation, aquifer recharge, and helping to reduce the impacts of flooding.

Among the many beautiful larger lakes in our District are Blue Cypress Lake and lakes Washington, Harney, Jesup, Monroe and George along the length of the St. Johns River. Other noteworthy lakes in our District are Lake Apopka (headwaters of the Ocklawaha Chain of Lakes and River, and the largest tributary to the St. Johns); and Newnans Lake (the headwaters of the Orange Creek Basin).

These beautiful lakes are a daily reminder for District staff of the importance of our core missions work, as we spend a great deal of time managing, restoring and protecting them. This work includes implementing innovative projects to improve Doctors Lake (Clay County), Lake Apopka (Orange and Lake counties) and Lake Jesup (Seminole County) and harvesting gizzard shad from lakes to reduce excess nutrients. Current work at Lake Apopka includes a partnership with the University of Florida and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to improve underwater planting techniques, as well as planting tens of thousands of native submerged aquatic plants, which will provide critical habitat for fish and wildlife.

Our cost-share funding programs help support projects to reduce pollutants entering lakes and other waterways, setting minimum flows and levels to protect lakes from effects of water withdrawals, providing technical expertise to other entities involved in lake protection and coordinating with partners to plant native aquatic vegetation and manage invasive exotic species.

We invite you to visit our website to learn more about waterways of the District and our work.

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