DEP Commits More Than $390,000 for Restoration of Orange Creek Basin

Oct. 17, 2014

~Wetland restoration project to improve water quality for Tumblin Creek ~

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is partnering with the city of Gainesville for a restoration project to benefit Tumblin Creek and the Orange Creek Basin. The department is committing more than $390,000 to allow flow from Tumblin Creek to rehydrate adjacent forested wetlands for natural stormwater treatment. The project is expected to reduce total phosphorous and total nitrogen, both nutrient pollutants to the aquatic environments.

“The number one threat to Florida’s water is excess nutrients,” said Tom Frick, director of the Division of Environmental Assessment and Restoration. “The energy and passion of the stakeholders in this basin who are stepping up to address nutrient loading, in addition to the city of Gainesville, deserve the department’s support. We applaud their commitment.”

Water that flows off land and into creeks, streams or rivers after a rain is referred to as stormwater runoff. Stormwater runoff usually contains a number of pollutants including fertilizers, pesticides, oil and grease. Once this runoff reaches a waterbody, the pollutants can cause rapid algal growth, algal blooms and other complications. Retention and treatment of stormwater runoff, through trash and sediment traps, will reduce the impact on water quality.

Tumblin Creek is part of the Orange Creek Basin, which includes Orange Lake, Lochloosa Lake, Newnans Lake and Paynes Prairie. These waters suffer from nutrient pollution, specifically an excess of phosphorous. To address this, DEP recently adopted a second phase to its initial restoration plan, called a BMAP or basin management action plan. Stakeholders are actively engaged in implementing projects, such as the Tumblin Creek project, to continue to improve water quality in the basin.

For more information on the Orange Creek restoration plan, click here.

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