We want to thank David Reed, Account Executive for JEA, for joining us at our last meeting and giving a presentation that highlights the overwhelming amount of water used for outdoor irrigation by Duval County residents. While it is well known that outdoor irrigation is a large part of overall water consumption, the data shows that it can be as much as 50% to 80% of total residential and commercial water consumption! There are few things more important than working to reduce the amount of outdoor irrigation in Duval County, the St. Johns River watershed, or the state of Florida.
So, what can be done?
What will you do to reduce water consumption in 2018? Share your stories with us.
On November 8, the Duval Soil and Water Conservation District hosted a public workshop in partnership with Duval IFAS to showcase local farmers and the work they do. The workshop gave the public the opportunity to ask questions about their work, life, and obstacles. The Start Farming: Panel and Farmers Market was a first of it's kind for us, but a great way to network with current and future farmers in Duval County.
Thank you to our panelists!
We'd also like to give a special thank you to the vendors that helped provide insight on several other local initiatives.
The program focuses on five areas of study: AQUATICS, FORESTRY, SOILS, WILDLIFE, and CURRENT ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES. This year the current environmental issue will focus on Florida Rangeland Management. Winners of the regional competition are sent to the Florida Envirothon. The winning team from the state competition will represent Florida at the National Conservation Foundation Envirothon, at Idaho State University, in Pocatello, Idaho, July 22-26, 2018.
REGISTRATION FOR 2018 IS NOW OPEN!
The Florida Envirothon Committee has developed a Resource Study Guide that is online and readily available to all students and teachers who may be interested in participating in the subject event. Please visit the following websites for additional resource study information, for the 2018 The Fred B. Miller, Jr. Regional Envirothon and the State of Florida Envirothon: www.flenvirothon.com and other materials are available at www.envirothon.org.
“For kids interested in the environment, this competition is often the only chance for a comprehensive study of our land, water, wildlife, and current issues while in high school. Plus, kids are competing for a trophy, and they get to learn outside. Those reasons alone should be enough for every school in Duval County to send a team to the Envirothon”, says Shannon Blankinship, Chairperson for the Duval Soil and Water Conservation District.
See pictures and find resources on the Duval County Envirothon Facebook page, or the Facebook event.
With questions about participating, or to register today, Joyce Miller (410) 688-2365 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eleven schools are receiving grant funding from the SJRWMD's Blue School Grant Program for projects that promote water resource protection through hands-on learning. In Duval County, Edward H. White Military Academy is moving forward with the Shaping Watersheds Augmented Reality Sandbox project.
More than two dozen teachers applied for funding this year and of them the top 11 projects were selected. The program offers $20,000 in financial support to teachers and schools. For information about Blue School grants, visit the district’s website.
Representatives from the SJRWMD, Fresh From Florida, UF / IFAS Extension Duval County Agriculture and the Natural Resource Conservation Service will be on hand to answer any financial and technical assistance questions.
This event is free. Please come ready to taste, see and hear what Duval County Farmers have to offer!
Forty-three projects will share in approximately $21.3 million from the St. Johns River Water Management District for construction of water supply and water conservation, water quality improvement, flood protection and natural systems restoration projects. Of the 57 projects, 3 received funding in Duval County.
JEA Hidden Hills Golf & Country Club
This project brings 1,600 feet of reclaimed water pipe to serve Hidden Hills Golf & County Club that will result in providing approximately 0.36 MGD reclaimed water and a reduction of nitrogen and phosphorous from entering nearby waterways.
Total Cost $791k; District Share $261k
Baldwin - Brandy Branch Power Station
The project eliminates a water discharge into Deep Creek and constructs an effluent wet-well, transfer pumping system from the Town of Baldwin to the JEA Brandy Branch site. There, the reclaimed water will discharge at the JEA Cooling Station. This reuse eliminates nearly 0.25 MGD of groundwater withdrawal.
Total Cost $2,695k; District Share $889k
JEA Gate Pkwy - Shiloh Mill Blvd to Town Ctr Pkwy
The project installs 2,400 feet of reclaimed water pipe to serve planned developments. The project will result in providing 0.033 MGD of reclaimed water and a reduction of nitrogen and phosphorous to local waterways.
Total Cost $367k; District Share $121k
Fifty-seven applications totaling $31.2 million in requested district funding were ranked and scored based on core mission benefits, cost effectiveness, likelihood of successful and timely completion, and application quality and completeness. See the full list.
WHEREAS, water is a basic and essential need of every living creature; and
WHEREAS, clean and sustainable water resources are vital to Florida’s environment, economy and quality of life; and
WHEREAS, more than 90 percent of Florida’s drinking water is supplied by underlying aquifers, and our quality of life and the economy depend upon a reliable, clean and available supply of water and a healthy environment; and
WHEREAS, the Duval Soil and Water Conservation District is working with the state of Florida, local governments and water supply utilities to increase awareness about the importance of water conservation and to increase efforts to conserve water;
WHEREAS, all water users including residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, institutional, hospitality, private citizens and others can make positive contributions to reduce water use and protect Florida’s water resources;
WHEREAS, the Governor and Cabinet of the State of Florida are designating April as Florida’s Water Conservation Month to encourage Floridians to conserve the state’s precious water resources;
WHEREAS, the Duval Soil and Water Conservation District encourages and supports water conservation;
NOW, THEREFORE, the Duval Soil and Water Conservation District hereby proclaims the month of April 2017 as Water Conservation Month.
The Duval Soil and Water Conservation District is calling upon each resident, visitor and business to help protect our precious resource by practicing water conservation measures and becoming more aware of the need to conserve water. See the signed resolution, dated April 17, 2017.
CONGRATS to the winners of the "Healthy Soil is Full of Life" Poster Contest for Area II of the Association of Florida Conservation Districts. Thank you to our judges, Science Educator Karl Boecklen of the The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens and Allen Skinner, Soil Life Consultant Candidate.
Author, Shannon Blankinship
Chairman, Duval Soil and Water Conservation District