DEP Hosts Restoration Update Meeting for Wekiva Basin

Aug. 28, 2015

 

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection will host a public meeting on Sept. 2 to discuss the water quality restoration plan for the Wekiva River, Rock Springs Run and Little Wekiva Canal. DEP representatives will review the draft restoration plan, or Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP), and take public input prior to finalization and submittal.

“The department is dedicated to achieving real water quality improvements by working alongside stakeholders to craft an effective restoration plan,” said Tom Frick, director of the Division of Environmental Assessment and Restoration. “DEP looks forward to continuing this partnership to improve the water quality of this important watershed.”

Nutrient pollution, or an excess of nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous, is one of the greatest water quality challenges facing many of Florida’s spring systems. These nutrients are naturally present in the water and necessary for the healthy growth of plant and animal life; however, an excess of nutrients in the water can lead to complications like rapid algal growth, habitat smothering and oxygen depletion.

In advance of formal adoption of the BMAP, significant restoration efforts have already been made in this basin by the Wekiva Basin Working Group member organizations. Members have also made commitments for additional projects and programs over the first phase of the BMAP. Through these efforts, members will achieve significant reductions in annual nutrient pollution to the Wekiva River Basin, including more than 423,000 pounds of Total Nitrogen (TN) and more than 90,000 pounds of Total Phosphorus (TP).

The Wekiva River receives discharges from several major tributaries, including Wekiwa Springs Run, Rock Springs Run, the Little Wekiva River and Blackwater Creek. The Wekiva River and Rock Springs Run and the associated headsprings provide recreational opportunities such as swimming, snorkeling, tubing, canoeing, boating and fishing. The Wekiva River and the lower reaches of Rock Springs Run, Blackwater Creek and the Little Wekiva River are designated by the state as an Aquatic Preserve. The Wekiva River system is also designated by the state as an Outstanding Florida Water, and the federal government has designated the river as an Outstanding Natural Resource Water and a Wild and Scenic River.

The meeting announcement, location and other information can be viewed here.

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