Upper St. Johns River Basin Restoration Project

We were lucky enough to spend a day out on the river with some gents from the St. Johns River Water Management District.  In this video Ed Garland talks about the Upper River Basin Restoration Project.

My name’s Ed Garland…Saint Johns River Water Management District. I work
in the office of Communications and Governmental Affairs and we’re at Three Forks Marsh
Conservation Area. This project really is an important project to the district it…in a way
it embodies everything that the district sets out
to do as far as flood control, protection of natural resources,
and in a sense – even – ensuring the sustainability of future water supplies because the river
is a source of water for some communities.

And it’s not like a typical flood control project when you think of
something that’s very structural. There are structures here and levees
and things but it really more works with nature, and that was one of the keys when
they’d design this. It’s been a model for projects all over the world – it has even gotten international acclaim:
what’s called the Theiss Riverprize Award.

It predates the Everglades project and that’s a project
that people are more familiar with – much larger in scale
but the Upper Basin Project has been a model and in many ways for the
Everglades project. It’s really one big holding area for water that
Ag can use and that ag [agricultural] water that has
phosphorus and nitrogen and fertilizers
never gets into the river.
So that in itself is a fantastic aspect of this project.

A couple of years after they started the
project, in the late 80s, there was a
deep freeze, but the only growers that weren’t
effected in the whole region were the ones right around the river;
because holding all that water, keeping that warm air nearby,
actually saved the citrus community in Indian River County
and they directly point this project for that.