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Canal restoration project to reduce nutrient flow

January 13, 2023

Water district to protect St. Johns River water quality.

St. Johns River Water Management District has approved a $19.5 million canal flow restoration project to significantly reduce the flow of nutrients into the Indian River Lagoon.

Though the M-1 Canal currently performs flood control, its original design more than 100 years ago is to manage stormwater runoff near the river to the lagoon. The runoff is known to carry nitrogen and phosphorus, which contribute to algal blooms.

When the Crane Creek M-1 Canal Flow Restoration Project comes online, it the nutrient-rich stormwater will be diverted for treatment and restore only freshwater to the St. Johns River.

An estimated reduction of 24,000 lbs./year of total nitrogen and 3,100 lbs./year of total phosphorus are anticipated.

The secondary benefit of restoring 7 million gallons of freshwater flow per day to the river provides an alternative source of water supply for downstream users.

“The ability to significantly reduce the nutrients entering the system is essential to restoring the health of lagoon,” says St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Mike Register.

The total cost for the project is $22.6 million, which includes the design and any necessary land acquisition. Funding partners include the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) who provided a grant for $2.03 million, Brevard County who contributed $2.45 million cost share dollars through its Save Our Indian River Lagoon program and $4.5 million alternative water supply funding from federal sources through the state agency.

KISTERS partners with state and multi-county water management districts to integrate data from weather, groundwater, surface water, water chemistry, and ecology. The observations inform forecast models to inform restoration projects that protect drinking source water and improve water quality for future generations. Learn more about this comprehensive environmental data management system.

Crane Creek / M-1 Canal Flow Restoration Project components | source Saint Johns River Water Management District