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									 StreamLines: 2007 Fall Issue: Page 1

An Online Magazine

Site Index

                                                   A quarterly publication of the St. Johns River Water Management District

                                                                      Fall 2007
                                                                       What’s Inside...

q   Education/Volunteers

          r   Science fair experiment proves ‘it just takes 2’

          r   Community support, funding help program grow

          r   Curriculum jumps beyond classroom

q   Project Update

          r   New fertilizer rules aimed at reducing water pollutants

          r   Lake Apopka soil treatment a success

          r   Award recognizes excellence

q   Q&A: Water Management Trivia

q   Build it green (1 of 8)9/5/2007 10:07:00 AM
 StreamLines: 2007 Fall Issue: Page 1

q   Builder likes green approach

q   ‘Green’ roof shows many benefits

q   Site’s new look launches Oct. 1

q   News Briefs

          r   New faces on Board

          r   Board reduces tax rate; budget hearings set

          r   More builders join program

          r   Site offers a different kind of online banking

          r   Lessons of 1998 fires help agencies now

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    Q: When were Florida’s water management districts created?
    A: The Florida Water Resources Act of 1972 created six regional water management districts and
    established a permitting system for allocating water use. Those six districts became the current five in
    1975 when two districts were combined to form the South Florida Water Management District. The
    St. Johns River Water Management District held its first Governing Board meeting in February 1974
    in Daytona Beach. The Governing Board signed an agreement in June 1979 to construct a building in
    Palatka, making Palatka the District’s headquarters. To learn more about water management history,

                                                                Build it green
By Ed Garland (2 of 8)9/5/2007 10:07:00 AM
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      Flowers provide a peaceful view of the campus of the University of Central Florida (UCF). Though the view may appear to
      be from a hilltop on campus, it is actually a rooftop that serves as an experiment in green building.
                                                                                                            Photo by Mat O’Malley

PALATKA — As crops of rooftops multiply throughout Florida, forests and wetlands surrender to acres
of concrete and asphalt.

Florida, now the fourth most populous state, is poised to edge past New York into third place in total
population by 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Florida is one of three states expected to gain
more than 12 million people between 2000 and 2030.

Conventional development often leads to urban sprawl, altered hydrologic systems and loss of natural
areas. Although the current permitting regulations require developers to demonstrate that developments
will not cause adverse impacts to water quality or adverse flooding impacts, the conventional type of
development can sometimes unnecessarily alter the hydrologic characteristics of a watershed.

Now, a movement is under way to explore alternative development principles aimed at minimizing the
potential impact from development on natural systems, a concept known as low impact development
(LID). LID allows for greater development potential and fewer environmental impacts by incorporating
innovative techniques that mimic nature. LID embraces the notion of rainfall as something to be filtered,
stored for reuse, allowed to evaporate and detained close to its source.

As the LID movement gains a foothold, the St. Johns River Water Management District has partnered
with the University of Florida (UF), Florida Department of Environmental Protection, county
governments and other public entities to educate key players throughout the region about the benefits of
this new way of thinking. The first major outreach initiative was a series of LID public workshops for
local governmental staff, elected officials, and building design and engineering professionals during the
summer of 2007. (3 of 8)9/5/2007 10:07:00 AM
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“We have an opportunity here,” says Linda Burnette, director of the District’s Office of Communications
and Governmental Affairs. “We can look at the growth we’re experiencing in Florida and the growth we
anticipate and find ways to be smarter about managing that growth. Decades from now, we’ll still have
landscapes that we appreciate and will want to call home.”

                                                    Builder likes green approach
      ORANGE COUNTY — Scott Phillips wrestled with mixed emotions when he first decided to develop 54
      acres in unincorporated Orange County. His emotional attachment to the land was rooted in the fact that it
      was, as he put it, “an old family property.”

      But there was the issue of the oak trees.

      “We would have had to clear 80 to 90 oak trees to build a retention pond,” he says. “It seemed like a crime
      against nature.”

      About a month before Phillips was to receive project approval, his engineer handed him a copy of a DVD
      produced by the Florida Department of Community Affairs called

      “Developing A Better Way.” The engineer had received the video while attending a low impact development
      workshop sponsored by the St. Johns River Water Management District, University of Florida (UF), and
      Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

      Phillips was more than a little intrigued by the video, which featured a development called River Forest in
      Bradenton. Similar to the idea Phillips had in mind, the homes featured large lots and combined native
      landscapes with efficient, environmentally friendly stormwater treatment concepts.

      “What caught me was that the topography and the tree cover in the video resembled my property,” he says.
      “The idea now is not to clear any areas except for necessary roadways.”

      Since low impact development is relatively new on the scene, Phillips says he expected some resistance from
      county officials. It’s much simpler for a county engineer to approve a project designed with a centralized
      stormwater pond and cookie-cutter style homes, he says.

      “I knew we’d meet resistance because this is a new approach,” he says. “Building green was a no-brainer. I
      don’t mind taking the extra time to approach it from this angle.”

      Dr. Pierce Jones of UF’s Program for Resource Efficient Communities has been one of Phillips’ most vocal
      supporters. He has assisted Phillips in explaining to an Orange County commissioner the benefits of the
      proposed project.

      Phillips is steadfastly working to convince county officials — including his county commissioners — to
      approve the project’s new design. The Orange County Commission is slated to vote on the project soon.
                                                                                                            — Ed Garland

A prime example is River Forest in Bradenton, where developer Joe King designed a community that
incorporated native vegetation, narrower streets to reduce stormwater runoff, and permeable driveways (4 of 8)9/5/2007 10:07:00 AM
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that absorb rainfall. The homes are nestled amongst a shady canopy of oaks, palms and other native plants.

“In a typical Florida development, a retention pond is dug and the fill is used to create mounds that the
houses go on,” King says. “What we’ve done here is pay attention to the way storm water soaks naturally
into the ground.”

A key principle of LID is to address storm water at the lot level, says Mark Clark, a UF wetlands and
water quality specialist. “You have to know something about the site,” he explains. “LID practices are site-
specific. You can’t simply put all practices in one location.”

Fortunately, the menu of low impact options is wide-ranging and can include rain barrels that capture
rainfall from rooftops, stormwater retention ponds enhanced with native plants, reduced road widths to
minimize impervious surfaces, the elimination of curbs and gutters that channel water away from a site,
and even “green” rooftops.

“We are working to get some of these techniques more recognized,” says Dr. Pierce Jones of UF’s
Program for Resource Efficient Communities. “We clear-cut and reshape the land and manipulate
hydrologic pathways. We’ve fallen into thinking certain things are a standard way of practice.”

However, federal regulations are going to make it tougher for Florida to develop in a “cookie-cutter”
fashion. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, under the Clean Water Act, established total
maximum daily loads (TMDLs) that require states to set water quality standards. TMDLs limit pollution
by setting thresholds for the amount of nutrients that can be discharged into a water body without
impairing its designated use.

“TMDLs will dictate the ability to develop land,” Clark says. “Can we find better ways to treat storm
water? Can we reduce the impacts? LID is one way to approach it.”

A regulatory shift from a mechanical view of stormwater management to a broader biological
understanding is easier said than done, however.

“There’s a huge social component to low impact development practices that we have to deal with,” Clark
says. “How will we make sure that they will remain operating as they were designed?”

Clark raises a legitimate point. Traditional stormwater systems often feature a large retention pond owned
and maintained by a central entity, such as a homeowners association. This type of design provides a level
of comfort to both the developers and the regulatory agencies responsible for permitting them. Rain
gardens, permeable driveways and other LID techniques present a challenge because the property owners
are responsible for their upkeep.

“We would prefer that a central entity be responsible for the maintenance of a stormwater system due to
changes in ownership over time,” explains Ken John, assistant director of the District’s Department of (5 of 8)9/5/2007 10:07:00 AM
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Water Resources. “We need to make sure we don’t violate state water quality standards and that we don’t
flood anybody. However, our message is that subdivisions don’t have to change much to improve how
they capture runoff.”

In fact, some low impact practices can be as simple as replacing thirsty St. Augustine grass with drought-
tolerant native vegetation, he notes.

John said the District is already streamlining the permitting process for applicants proposing projects that
are more environmentally friendly. Senior regulatory staff members are being trained in how to review
systems that employ LID practices. Projects that might by stymied due to unconventional landscape
schemes will be able to be reviewed by staff who have a clear understanding of both the advantages and
limitations of various LID practices.

Many LID practices are new on the scene and scientific study is scarce. As a result, the burden is on the
developer to prove that permeable driveways or on-site wetlands meet stormwater treatment guidelines.
Add to this the daunting volume of permits facing agency reviewers, and it’s easy to see why builders and
developers opt for traditional “cookie-cutter” designs.

“I want to see a system where developers aren’t penalized but are instead rewarded for being forward-
thinking and progressive,” Burnette says. “It’s critical to work at the local government level to begin
building a grass roots movement to develop LID policies.”

Offering the public workshop series was one way to engage policy makers, builders, engineers and other
stakeholders about the benefits of resource-efficient landscaping and “natural” stormwater management
policies. The effort dovetailed nicely with the District’s Florida Water StarSM initiative, a program
encouraging water efficiency in household appliances, plumbing fixtures, irrigation systems and
landscapes, Burnette notes.

The District developed the program over the past five years and certified the first Florida Water StarSM
homes in Jacksonville in July 2006. Florida Water StarSM homes are for sale in Blackwood Forest in
Jacksonville and under construction in Paradise Key in Jacksonville Beach and Durbin Crossing North in
St. Johns County.

“Florida Water StarSM provides builders with an edge by selling homes that are certified to save
homeowners money on their utility bills,” Burnette says. “Low impact development takes ‘green building’
a step further by encouraging development that retains storm water on site. Combining both concepts
means that homeowners will consume less potable water and contribute less storm water.”

To be sure, changes are on the horizon, but for LID to become the norm instead of the exception,
statewide stormwater rules must be cultivated to offer builders and developers incentives for being
innovative, Jones says.

Incentives for builders and homeowners could range from reduced water fees and utility hookup fees to (6 of 8)9/5/2007 10:07:00 AM
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expedited permit reviews, Jones says.

“We would like low impact principles to be enforceable in the same way existing stormwater facilities are
enforceable,” he says.

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                                        ‘Green’ roof shows many benefits
By Ed Garland

ORLANDO — A profusion of native color — dune sunflowers, Confederate jasmine and coral
honeysuckle — blossom on the roof of the Student Union Building at the University of Central Florida’s
(UCF) Orlando campus.

This sky-high landscape is called a green roof, an attractive way to reduce energy use and stormwater
runoff while increasing habitat conservation. UCF’s Stormwater Management Academy and the Florida
Department of Environmental Protection kicked off the research project two and a half years ago to study
best management practices for low-impact development.

“We’re the first university in the state to have a successfully functioning green roof,” says Mike Hardin, a
UCF research associate. “The roof soaks up most of the rain that would otherwise run off.”

Half of the 3,200-square-foot roof is a standard design used as a comparison for temperatures, the volume
and quality of runoff, and durability.

Absorbing virtually all harmful phosphates and nitrates that would otherwise be carried away by storm
water may be the most significant feature of a green roof. In urban areas, widespread use of green roofs
can capture most stormwater runoff and actually help to reduce outside air temperatures by absorbing heat
that would be otherwise reflected by impervious surfaces.

“We’ve found that the green roof will hold half of the rainwater from a storm event,” he says. “Because of
the roof and cistern system, we didn’t have to build a stormwater pond when the extension to the building
was constructed.”

Green roofs blanket dense cities like Berlin, Germany, and can be found, to a lesser extent, in cities like
Chicago and Seattle, but scant research has been done in Florida.

A green roof addresses more than water quality and water conservation, Hardin adds. (7 of 8)9/5/2007 10:07:00 AM
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Temperatures of green roofs fluctuate less than traditional infrastructure and can extend the life of a roof
from 20 to 50 years or longer. They also reduce building heat gain and loss.

The best Energy Star roof can be 145 degrees in the day and 70 at night,” Hardin notes. “The green roof,
by comparison, was 85 in day and 90 at night.”

The first green roof in Florida was a Bonita Bay golf course shed. The roof survived four hurricanes and
had little to no damage.

“A green roof provides more protection than a regular asphalt shingle roof,” Hardin says. “Unfortunately,
there’s not a lot of support data out there.”

Green roofs may also offer a viable alternative for hurricane protection.

“We’re going to begin studying wind uplift on green roofs to ease the minds of developers,” he says.
“Experimental chambers and high-powered fans will be used as well as the monitoring of several
operational full-scale green roofs in Florida, and results will be published.”

For more information, contact Mike Hardin at or (407) 823-4148.

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                                                                     < ISSUE INDEX

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An Online Magazine

Site Index

                                                   A quarterly publication of the St. Johns River Water Management District

                                                                      Fall 2007
                                                                            Page 3

                        Science fair experiment proves ‘it just takes 2’
By Teresa Monson

ST. AUGUSTINE — Water conservation is so easy even a child can do it. But a 12-year-old girl in St.
Johns County went far beyond what many adults will do to have a healthy lawn. (1 of 10)9/5/2007 10:07:22 AM
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      An old saying talks about “watching the grass grow” as being a way to pass the time. In the case of Ali Towne, the pastime
      turned into a science fair experiment in which the St. Augustine student proved that watering a lawn no more than two days
      each week is scientifically sound.
                                                                                                             Photo by Teresa Monson

After observing many in the community violating the St. Johns River Water Management District’s lawn
and landscape irrigation rule, Ali Towne decided her school science project would investigate how many
times a week a lawn should be irrigated for optimum drought resistance and water conservation.

The District’s rule limits irrigation to no more than two days a week, before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m., with a
few exceptions. The rule helps ensure the efficient use of water for irrigation and allows use of an
adequate amount of water to maintain healthy lawns.

“I saw many people in my community watering more than twice a week, even during rainstorms,” said
Ali, a seventh-grader last school year at St. Johns Academy in St. Augustine. “Honestly, it annoyed me
because we were learning how important water conservation is in class.”

Ali researched her topic and went to work. She planted St. Augustine grass plugs in 15 growing chambers,
made of clear plastic containers, and moistened the grass with 325 cubic centimeters of water on
predetermined schedules. The chambers were placed in full sun. One set of containers received irrigation
once a day, another twice a week, and the third, once a week.

She checked each container’s drainage and each plant’s root growth over the study window. She also
adjusted conditions to simulate pre-drought, drought and a recovery period.

After the 90-day period, Ali analyzed her data, finding that watering twice a week saved significant
amounts of water over once-a-day irrigation — to the tune of 268,380 gallons of water saved on a quarter- (2 of 10)9/5/2007 10:07:22 AM
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acre lot over the 90 days.

Water managers have long said that lawn and landscape irrigation can account for more than 50 percent of
total water use at homes and businesses, and efficient irrigation can save thousands of gallons of water

While Ali’s study was unable to prove that twice-weekly watering makes grass more drought-resistant,
she did demonstrate that once-a-week irrigation results in significantly deeper root growth. Less frequent
watering caused the grass to reach deeper into the soil for water, resulting in increased root growth.

If the results sound strangely familiar, perhaps it’s because Ali’s conclusions echo those of the University
of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS).

IFAS Extension Agent and renowned Florida landscaping author Tom MacCubbin says that the amount of
rainfall an area receives should dictate how often a lawn should be watered and how much water should
be applied. In the springtime, or dry season, water lawns no more than two days a week, less if it rains.
Water the lawn when it shows signs of stress from lack of water such as the lawn turning a bluish-gray
color, lingering footprints, or leaf blades folded in half.

MacCubbin also says that overwatering a lawn results in shallow root systems, which means the lawn is
less drought- and stress-tolerant. Overwatering also promotes weed growth, fungus and disease.

Meantime, Ali’s project earned an “A” grade at her private college preparatory school and sent her to the
county competition, where she won the junior biology/zoology category. From there, she advanced to the
state competition and took second place in the junior botany category, as well as a special award — third
place for an agriculture-related project from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

After the painstaking, demanding project was completed, Ali planned to enjoy horses and equestrian
sports during the summer — and to convince her parents to get her a horse. Her future goals are to attend
Yale University to study biology, then to pursue advanced degrees to become an equine geneticist.

                                                                     < ISSUE INDEX

                    Community support, funding help program grow
  PALATKA — There are many ways in which to measure success. In Volusia County, one way to
  measure success is in how an environmental stewardship program has bloomed and grown. (3 of 10)9/5/2007 10:07:22 AM
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  Since its beginning in 1993, the Legacy Water Resource Education Program has become one of
  Florida’s most successful environmental education programs. Legacy was developed by the St. Johns
  River Water Management District and is a partnership among the District and schools in the
  District’s 18-county service area. In the last few years, one county in particular, Volusia, has
  experienced tremendous growth in the number of volunteers participating in the program.

  “Volunteerism has increased as well as support from the community,” says Louise Chapman, who
  heads Volusia County’s Legacy work. “We have received grants from various corporations that have
  allowed us to expand our program and focus more on hands-on education and facilities to aid in this

  Impressed with the Volusia program, Florida Power and Light donated $150,000 for the construction
  of a classroom and wet lab to add Legacy students’ studies at Rose Bay and Spruce Creek.

  “The hard work of the volunteers coupled with determination of the program coordinators has created
  an attractive and effective program,” says Eileen Tramontana, education and volunteer manager for
  the District. “Legacy has expanded beyond the environmental sciences taught in the first year of high
  school. The program incorporates lessons from more than 40 different career fields, nurturing
  students to develop leadership skills and teaching abilities of their own while assisting agencies in
  achieving recreational goals for public lands.”

  At the end of the 2006–2007 school year, 17 schools in Volusia County had asked to be a part of the
  Legacy Program. Others have applied to join for the next school year. As the support system for the
  program continues to expand, additional schools will be able to participate.

                                                                                                             — Staff reports

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                                   Curriculum jumps beyond classroom
By Beth Hickenlooper (4 of 10)9/5/2007 10:07:22 AM
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PALATKA — The Great Water OdysseySM has been too good to contain in the four walls of a typical

The computer-animated water curriculum has proven so popular in its first four years of distribution that
more than 14,000 students have taken a fun learning adventure in one of the 18 counties served by the St.
Johns River Water Management District.

      With its colorful surrounds and cooling water, the new splash park at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is a fun way to beat
      the heat while visiting the animals. At top, children investigate a lifelike, friendly manatee. Above right, Alice Alligator
      from The Great Water OdysseySM offers a water conservation tip along a walkway in the park. Above left is Hydro, a
      waterdrop who leads children through adventures in The Great Water OdysseySM.
                                                                                                             Photos by Mat O’Malley

District officials have no doubt that thousands more children and their families are being reached with the
water conservation and natural environment stewardship message of Odyssey. That message is being
disseminated through the ways in which various entities statewide have entered partnerships with the
District to use Odyssey’s themes and characters.

Outside the classroom, Odyssey has shown up in places such as the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, where
a water play area includes water conservation tips. (5 of 10)9/5/2007 10:07:22 AM
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“Almost year-round, Florida has the weather to support outside water play. With its new play park, the
Jacksonville Zoo wanted to give children an opportunity to cool off on a hot day and to learn about water
conservation at the same time,” says Linda Burnette, director of the District’s Office of Communications
and Governmental Affairs. “Using facts provided by the District and featuring characters from Odyssey
gives us all a way to provide children and their families a fun way to learn important information.”

The Brevard Zoo is also partnering with the District to incorporate Odyssey into its programs and
individuals from nontraditional educational groups have attended training.

                                                                 Odyssey’s reach

       q   Number of schools in the District using Odyssey — 145

       q   Total number of teachers trained districtwide — 353

       q   Number reached through Odyssey, January 2004 through July 2007 — 14,800 students

Odyssey includes cartoon/animated adventures with stories, science learning, math exercises, games and
quizzes — with immediate feedback — to test what students have learned. All the lessons correlate with
Florida Department of Education Sunshine State Standards and have questions to help students prepare
for the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT).

The third-grade version focuses on the water cycle, states of matter, standard measurements and where
water comes from. Fourth grade introduces students to natural habitats, watersheds, history, how humans
affect water and Florida’s environment. Fifth grade explores water uses by individuals, farmers and
industry and puts all the pieces together, challenging students to help the fictional town of Olliewood
balance the water needs of the town’s people while maintaining water levels necessary to support natural

Odyssey is free to educators in the District. For more information, visit

                                                                     < ISSUE INDEX

             New fertilizer rules aimed at reducing water pollutants
By Ed Garland (6 of 10)9/5/2007 10:07:22 AM
 StreamLines: 2007 Fall Issue: Page 3

PALATKA — Florida’s reputation as a lush oasis can be traced to Ponce de Leon’s 1513 sighting of the
land he called Pascua de Florida, or “feast of flowers.”

The state still retains its reputation for flora, but the intensive maintenance of golf courses, tropical
gardens and manicured lawns comes at a price.

When rain falls, excess phosphorus and nitrogen wash into waterways, resulting in algal blooms, fish kills
and veritable dead zones in the state’s water bodies.

Help is on the way. State officials have crafted regulations that limit phosphorus and nitrogen in fertilizers
commonly used for residential landscaping.

The initiative originated more than a year ago when the governor requested the Florida Department of
Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) to reduce phosphorus loadings in Lake Okeechobee, which
receives significant amounts of stormwater runoff. Instead of stopping at Lake Okeechobee, DACS
expanded its effort by working to establish stiffer fertilizer regulations for the entire state of Florida.

Casey Fitzgerald, assistant director of the St. Johns River Water Management District’s Department of
Water Resources, worked closely with DACS in support of the new regulations. The District’s concern:
the effects of nitrogen in the state’s springs and estuarine water bodies.

“Florida soil already contains enough phosphorus for supporting most landscapes, but typical urban lawns
do require some additional nitrogen to meet homeowner expectations,” Fitzgerald explains. “If too much
‘readily available’ nitrogen is applied, however, rain events can push the excess nitrogen past the lawn’s
root system as it percolates down to the aquifer. We see the results come up in the springs.”

Nitrogen also travels through groundwater to estuaries or brackish water bodies, such as the Indian River
Lagoon, where fish kills and algal blooms occur with alarming frequency.

Fitzgerald says the District supports further modification to improve fertilizer products, such as those with
controlled-release nitrogen. This type of fertilizer pellet releases nitrogen slowly as it degrades, resulting
in continual nutrient absorption by the lawn with less nitrogen leaching into the aquifer or groundwater.

“DACS has recommended a 25 percent reduction in readily available nitrogen in fertilizer,” Fitzgerald
says. “That’s a good first step on the nitrogen issue.”

In addition, the new rules will essentially eliminate phosphorus from most urban turf fertilizer products
over the next few years, Fitzgerald added.

Other new legislation passed in the recent legislative session creates a task force to further evaluate the
impacts of phosphorus and nitrogen applied in urban settings and to develop a model fertilizer ordinance
for potential adoption by cities and counties. “The District was persistent in encouraging the state to (7 of 10)9/5/2007 10:07:22 AM
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address the nitrogen issue,” Fitzgerald notes. “But DACS really deserves the lion’s share of credit for
expanding the new regulations beyond the Lake Okeechobee watershed and for addressing not only
phosphorus content, but nitrogen as well.”

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                                  Lake Apopka soil treatment a success
  PALATKA — More than a year ago, the St. Johns River Water Management District rolled out a
  pilot project to reduce pesticide levels in the soil around Lake Apopka. The goal of the treatment was
  to minimize the contaminants in the top level of the soil where contaminants can easily move into the
  food chain.

  After finding success with that pilot project, the District expanded the project this summer and
  continues to find it benefits remediation levels around the polluted lake.

  The testing of two types of equipment last year — one that flipped the soil and the other that mixed
  up the contaminated soil — involved three 5-acre fields. The work just completed was far more
  extensive, involving 100 acres of Lake Apopka’s north shore.

  “We are pleased with the results that we have so far,” says David Walker, senior project manager for
  Lake Apopka. “In the areas where the muck is deepest, we saw a 50 to 70 percent reduction in
  contamination levels. We are very encouraged by these results.”

  Results of the work done in areas where the muck is not so deep are not yet completed.

  The early success of this program was recognized by the District’s Governing Board. The plowing
  contract was amended to allow for an additional 200 acres to be inverted this fiscal year (before Sept.
  30). The contract may be renewed for the next two years providing that the results continue to be

  One type of equipment being used is a plow. The plow is pulled behind a tractor and digs down to a
  certain depth and inverts the soil, bringing the clean soil to the top and burying the more
  contaminated soil. This year, new equipment was tested for mixing the soil to reduce contaminant
  levels. Preliminary results are good with this equipment as well.

  “The blending approach is slower,” Walker says. “Plowing can be done at a much faster pace, though
  plowing requires some site preparation.”

  Reflooding the former farmland around Lake Apopka is one of the key components of the restoration
  efforts. In July, the Board approved two additional funding agreements for remediation and (8 of 10)9/5/2007 10:07:22 AM
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  restoration work on the North Shore Restoration Area with the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation
  Service (NRCS). After infrastructure is completed, soil manipulation is the initial approach in a two-
  step process. Shallow controlled flooding will then begin for a period of several years to further
  reduce contaminant levels considered safe for fish and wildlife.

  “The next step is a planning effort to refine what we’ve done so far and put in place the infrastructure
  for remediation on the north shore. The agreement with NRCS should accelerate that process quite a
  bit,” Walker says.

                                                                                                                 — Hank Largin

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                                              Award recognizes excellence
PALATKA — A teacher and two Watershed Action Volunteers (WAVs) were recognized in June as
winners of the St. Johns River Water Management District’s 2007 Bob Owens Award.

      Jonathon Rider accepted the award on behalf of his late father and Karen Smith accepted for her work with youth. Mary
      Acken was unable to attend the presentation.
                                                                                                             Photo by Mat O’Malley

Wilkinson Junior High School teacher Karen Smith was recognized for her management of the school’s
Legacy Water Resource Education Program in Clay County for more than nine years. (9 of 10)9/5/2007 10:07:22 AM
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“Karen Smith represents all that is good about volunteer efforts,” says Linda Burnette, director of the
District’s Office of Communications and Governmental Affairs. “She is always ready to coach, instruct
and participate with her students to make our corner of the world abetter place.”

The Legacy Program is a cooperative educational venture in which the District works with educators and
their students to make public lands more accessible. Fifteen schools in 11 counties use Legacy on 23
different tracts of public land, with 100 teachers and more than 2,500 students participating.

The late Pat Rider of Fernandina Beach was remembered for his many years of work in the WAV
Program in Nassau County. Rider was primarily responsible forconducting animal and plant surveys on
the 313-acre Egans Creek Greenway. He developed a photographic report, which included a brief
description of each photographed site and a list of all species identified during the survey. Rider’s son
Jonathon accepted the award on behalf of the Rider family.

Another WAV, Mary Acken of Oviedo, was recognized for her efforts in monitoring red-cockaded
woodpeckers. Acken routinely wakes before sunrise to commute to the Hal Scott Regional Preserve and
Park in east Orange County. She observes the birds as they come out for their morning feeding and
identifies them by their leg bands. In addition, Acken assists in the capture of nestlings and adult
woodpeckers in need of leg bands.

The annual District award is named for the late Bob Owens of Ormond Beach, a vocal supporter of
environmental programs who attended nearly every District Governing Board meeting from the mid-
1970s until his death in 1991.

                                                                                                              — Beth Hickenlooper and staff reports

                                                                     < ISSUE INDEX

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An Online Magazine

Site Index

                                                   A quarterly publication of the St. Johns River Water Management District

                                                                      Fall 2007
                                                                            Page 2

                                           Site’s new look launches Oct. 1
By Beth Hickenlooper

PALATKA — Like a parent eagerly awaiting a visit from a child who has been away at college for many
months, so have staff at the St. Johns River Water Management District eagerly awaited the launch of the
District’s redesigned Web site.

For the last year, creative staff have worked with professionals and experts throughout the District to take
a new approach for how information about the District’s work is disseminated through its Web site. (1 of 11)9/5/2007 10:08:01 AM
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With the Oct. 1 launch, the much anticipated “child” will make its debut.

“Visitors to our Web site will immediately notice the difference,” says Linda Burnette, director of the
District’s Office of Communications and Governmental Affairs. “The new home page has been designed
to be a dynamic and changing document, much like a news media site.”

This design will allow postings of important and time-sensitive information directly on the home page,
with links to supporting documents. Likewise, the home page will give visitors a glimpse into the daily
workings of the District through feature articles and photographs that explain the work of individuals.

“One of our goals in this process has been to make it easy for visitors to find the information they are
looking for through enhanced navigation and materials that are organized in an intuitive way,” Burnette

“With so many people receiving information or researching topics on the Internet, this project has been of
particular interest to me,” says Kirby B. Green III, District executive director. “I asked staff to find new
ways to tell the District’s story. I believe they have done that in a way that will interest visitors so that
they will want to visit the site time and again.”

New features include the expanded use of video and animation technology, answers to frequently asked
questions and an improved site map/topic index. Also, the new site is formatted in compliance with the
Americans with Disabilities Act to accommodate computer settings used by the visually impaired.

Visitors will still find information that was previously on the site, though it has been updated and better

The District’s Web site was first launched in late 1996 and has grown to several thousand pages, with
more than 40,000 file attachments and nine special application sites, including the E-Permitting site.

                                                                     < ISSUE INDEX

                                                        New faces on Board
  TALLAHASSEE — Three new members were appointed to the St. Johns River Water Management
  District’s Governing Board by Gov. Charlie Crist in July. (2 of 11)9/5/2007 10:08:01 AM
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 Michael Ertel of Oviedo was named to replace John Sowinski of Orlando; Arlen N. Jumper of Fort
 McCoy replaces Robert “Clay” Albright of Ocala; and Hersey “Herky” Huffman of Enterprise was
 named to replace Deon Long of Apopka. The new members were appointed to terms through March
 1, 2011. (3 of 11)9/5/2007 10:08:01 AM
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  Ertel is the Seminole County Supervisor of Elections and represents the Middle and Upper St. Johns
  River basins. He previously served as the director of public relations for a 185-location bank, the
  director of community information for Seminole County, as public information manager for Orange
  County, and on the board of the Seminole County Housing Authority.

  Ertel served eight years in the U.S. Army and the Florida National Guard. He received the 2007
  Seminole Soil and Water Conservation District Friend of Conservation award and is currently on the
  legislative committee of the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections. He was selected
  by Crist as the Department of State Citizen Review Group team lead for the governor’s transition.

  Huffman was appointed to an at large seat. A graduate of Orlando Junior College, he served in the U.
  S. Army. He also served with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for water
  quality and exotics issues, as a member of the Volusia County Planning and Zoning Board for review
  of drainage and water plans, and on the board of the Volusia Hospital Authority.

  An original member of the Friends of the St. Johns River group, Huffman served as chairman of the
  Marine Advisory Council in Volusia County and served on the Marine Fisheries and Fish and
  Wildlife commissions.

  Jumper is manager of Jones Turf Grass Farm in Marion County. He represents the Ocklawaha River
  and Florida Ridge basins. Jumper once served in the U.S. Navy and has been involved in citrus,
  timber, cattle, real estate and turf grass businesses for many years. He received his bachelor’s and
  master’s degrees from the University of Florida.

  A former member of the Florida Department of Citrus, Jumper was named to the Florida Agriculture
  Hall of Fame in 2002. He holds memberships in the Florida Farm Bureau, Florida Citrus
  Commission, Florida Turf Grass Association, and the Florida Sod Grower Cooperative.

                                                                                                             — Beth Hickenlooper

                                                                     < ISSUE INDEX

                           Board reduces tax rate; budget hearings set
By Teresa Monson

PALATKA — The St. Johns River Water Management District’s Governing Board voted in July to
reduce the agency’s tax rate to 0.4158 mills for the 2007–2008 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.

In the June special session, the Florida Legislature enacted legislation to reduce property taxes beginning
with the upcoming fiscal year. The bill sets the maximum millage rate for water management districts at (4 of 11)9/5/2007 10:08:01 AM
 StreamLines: 2007 Fall Issue: Page 2

97 percent of the 2007–2008 rolled-back rate. The rolled-back rate is defined as the rate at which tax
dollars will provide the same ad valorem tax revenue as the prior year, minus new construction, additions
to structures, deletions, and property added due to geographic boundary changes.

                                                                                                             Illustration by Janet Sloane (5 of 11)9/5/2007 10:08:01 AM
 StreamLines: 2007 Fall Issue: Page 2

To support the new limits, the District will reduce its millage from 0.462 in fiscal year 2006–2007 to
0.4158 next year. As a result, the District will reduce its allocation for new initiatives and projects by
approximately $15 million.

The tentative budget, which is currently set at $402 million, includes

     q   $82.6 million to fund 45 alternative water supply projects. An increase of almost 30 percent in the
         program budget reflects a significant increase in carryover funds for projects that were initiated
         during the last two fiscal years.

     q   $70 million for the Lower St. Johns River Basin program, which includes projects to remove
         wastewater discharges from the river with the goal of reducing nitrogen and phosphorus loading to
         the river, helping offset future water supply needs and providing for long-term growth in northeast
         Florida. The total is a 62 percent increase over the current year’s funding due to a large amount of
         carryover funds from fiscal year 2006–2007.

     q   $6.3 million for nutrient discharge reduction projects in the Middle St. Johns River Basin

     q   $2.3 million for the Upper St. Johns River Basin program, which is 41.6 percent lower than this
         year due to the anticipated completion of and reduction in current projects

     q   $4.8 million for the Upper Ocklawaha River Basin program, a 63 percent reduction from the
         current year’s funding

     q   $10 million for the Lake Apopka Basin program, a 69 percent increase for the North Shore
         Restoration Area, which will provide funds toward a future pesticide remediation effort on the
         former farmland

     q   $29 million for the Indian River Lagoon program, or 32 percent less than the current year due to a
         reduction in state funding for the Fellsmere Water Management Area project, which has been

                                                          Hearings in September
      Two public hearings will be held prior to final budget adoption in late September.

      Public hearings will be held at District Headquarters, 4049 Reid St. (Highway 100 West), Palatka:

              q   5:05 p.m. on Sept. 11

              q   5:05 p.m. on Sept. 25

      Final budget approval will occur at the Sept. 25 meeting. (6 of 11)9/5/2007 10:08:01 AM
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The Orange Creek Basin program will have a 48.5 percent decrease from the current year, and the
Northern Coastal Basin program will decrease by 34 percent.

The tentative budget also contains $2.6 million to assist local governments with stormwater projects that
promote flood control, demonstrate best management practices and implement stormwater utilities.

Under a 0.4158 millage rate — 41.58 cents for every $1,000 of assessed property value — the owner of a
$200,000 house who claims the standard $25,000 homestead exemption would pay $72.76 per year in
property taxes to the District.

The District is responsible for regulating water use and protecting wetlands, waterways and drinking
water supplies in all or part of Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Brevard, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Indian River,
Lake, Marion, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Putnam, St. Johns, Seminole and Volusia counties.

                                                                     < ISSUE INDEX

                                              More builders join program
  By Teresa Monson

  JACKSONVILLE BEACH — As inspectors walked up to begin their Florida Water StarSM
  certification of the Paradise Key model home in April, home builder Paul W. Nichols challenged
  them to find any St. Augustine grass on the property.

  They never found a single blade. After a detailed assessment of the home’s landscape materials,
  irrigation system, plumbing fixtures and household appliances, what they did find was a variety of
  native and drought-tolerant plants and mulches in the landscape, as well as water-efficient appliances
  in the home — earning Nichols and Paradise Key the Florida Water StarSM designation and a bronze (7 of 11)9/5/2007 10:08:01 AM
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 plaque for the home’s entryway.

 Florida Water StarSM is a point-based new home certification program, similar to the federal Energy
 Star program, developed by the St. Johns River Water Management District with a water
 conservation focus. The program promotes the economic and environmental benefits of water
 efficiency in new home construction.

 Paradise Key is currently under construction in Jacksonville Beach by BESTCON Homes, which
 became the first Beaches home builder to receive Florida Water StarSM certification.

 Paradise Key has 62 single-family home sites in Jacksonville Beach. The 4,200-square-foot upscale
 model home was featured in the 2007 Parade of Homes, sponsored by the Northeast Florida Builders
 Association, and has also received the federal Energy Star designation.

 “We’ve seen how Florida Water StarSM can be successfully applied in conventional homes and
 provide value for both the builder and the home buyer,” says Linda Burnette, director of the District’s
 Office of Communications and Governmental Affairs. “Paradise Key is forging new territory as it
 demonstrates that water-conserving landscapes and efficient appliances also can be very beautiful
 and appeal to a high-end buyer.”

 In a Florida Water StarSM home, efficient irrigation systems and waterwise landscaping can cut
 outdoor irrigation in half.

 Instead of St. Augustine grass, Paradise Key takes advantage of a combination of native and/or
 drought-tolerant plant species and pine mulch to create an attractive, yet water-efficient landscape.
 Nichols also sought to preserve much of the natural beach habitat instead of exercising the more
 common practice of clearing and replanting the site.

 “Florida Water StarSM makes sense to me. BESTCON recognizes that our buyers are concerned about
 their environment and that these buyers want to be able to help conserve our limited natural
 resources,” says Nichols. “We’re doing our part to help too. All of our houses in Paradise Key have
 been designed to save both energy and water while also being comfortable, luxurious, and liveable.”

 Indoors, new high-efficiency fixtures and appliances can save an average family 20,000 gallons of
 water every year. Paradise Key features high-efficiency dishwashers, clothes washers, water heaters
 and toilets.

                                                                    < ISSUE INDEX

                         Site offers a different kind of online banking (8 of 11)9/5/2007 10:08:01 AM
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PALATKA — Wetlands mitigation is a topic that people outside the field might find confusing and is one
on which information previously has not been readily available.

      St. Johns River Water Management District employees, from left, Amanda Mitchell and Wei Sun of the Department of
      Information Resources and Michelle Reiber and Marc Von Canal of the Division of Environmental Resource Management
      discuss last minute details of the new mitigation banking Web pages.
                                                                                                               File photo

That has all changed with the June 1 launch of a new mitigation banking section on the Web site of the St.
Johns River Water Management District.

The new state-of-the-art site features user-friendly search tools and an easy-to-navigate mapping system.
It’s the first central location for all mitigation banking information within the District, and it can be
accessed by anyone. The St. Johns District is the first Florida water management district to create a single
location for mitigation banking.

“The benefit of this type of site is that it creates a centralized information portal that everyone can
access,” says Amanda Mitchell, an application development coordinator for the District. “All the
information is in one place, which will save the end user time when researching an area or specific
mitigation bank.”

The new site lists mitigation banks within the District, shows bank locations and boundaries, shows
available mitigation credits, and contains a list of frequently asked questions to provide general details on
mitigation banking.

Until now, the District was keeping all the records, but the data synch among the District and mitigation
bankers was inconsistent due to the volume of paper files. This process created information gaps, which
had to be filled by meticulous research by District Technical Program Manager Michelle Reiber and her
team. (9 of 11)9/5/2007 10:08:01 AM
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Reiber and her team had to verify every piece of data that went into the program to ensure accuracy.

Mitchell and her team are already working on ways to integrate the system and the compiled data into
other areas of the District.

The mitigation banking pages can be accessed at

                                                                                                              — Staff reports

                                                                     < ISSUE INDEX

                                Lessons of 1998 fires help agencies now
By Hank Largin

PALATKA — As the summer months approached, things around Florida looked similar to the late spring
of 1998. The state was in an extended drought. The long-term forecast did not guarantee relief. And
spring fires had already extended the state’s firefighting resources to the brink of breaking.

This time, however, the disastrous results that had occurred nine years earlier were mitigated somewhat.
Like most of Florida, the St. Johns River Water Management District was able to avoid the worst of the
wildfire season. (10 of 11)9/5/2007 10:08:01 AM
 StreamLines: 2007 Fall Issue: Page 2

“One of the big differences this year from 1998 was Tropical Storm Barry,” says Steve Miller, the
District’s director of the Division of Land Management. “Barry formed quickly and did just what we
needed — heavy rain right where we needed it. That storm made the fire season manageable.”

While the severity of the fire season is largely at the mercy of the weather, Miller says other factors in
2007 made a possibly severe season manageable for all state agencies that battle fires.

“We learned a lot as a state from the 1998 fires,” Miller points out. “We were a lot more coordinated
throughout the state than we were in 1998.”

Agencies like the Florida Division of Forestry, the U.S. Forest Service and the District aren’t the only
ones that deserve credit for avoiding a possibly disastrous fire season.

“Counties established burn bans early on and the public listened to the bans,” Miller says.

“As dry as we were and primed for a bad season, people were careful and we didn’t have as many
accidental fires as we’ve seen in the past.”

The numbers from the 2007 fire season on District-managed land as of mid-July were 23 fires on 4,000
acres. Miller says that is about average. But average after the dry and active spring was a welcome sight.

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