TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
today announced adoption of the Lower St. Johns River (LSJR) Tributaries II
Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP). The plan developed in partnership with the
cities of Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach, Jacksonville and Neptune Beach,
Naval Station Mayport, Duval County Health Department, Florida Department of
Transportation, and JEA identifies actions to decrease fecal coliform bacteria
in the LSJR Basin. The presence of fecal coliform in aquatic environments may
indicate that the water has been contaminated with the fecal material of humans
or other animals and could indicate a higher risk of pathogens being present in
the water. Fecal coliform bacteria can enter rivers through direct discharge of
waste from mammals and birds, agricultural and stormwater runoff, and from human
DEP adopted water quality restoration targets, called Total Maximum Daily
Loads (TMDLs), for 15 specific area waterbodies: Craig Creek, McCoy Creek,
Williamson Creek, Fishing Creek, Deep Bottom Creek, Moncrief Creek, Blockhouse
Creek, Hopkins Creek, Cormorant Branch, Wills Branch, Sherman Creek, Greenfield
Creek, Pottsburg Creek, Upper Trout River, and Lower Trout River. The TMDLs
establish the bacteria reductions needed to support recreation in these waters.
The BMAP details the actions to reduce bacteria, a schedule for project
implementation, and potential resources to accomplish the reductions.
“I am gratified to see that many local governments and stakeholders in the
Lower St. Johns River basin are making serious commitments to clean up water
pollution,” said DEP Interim Secretary Mimi Drew. “They deserve credit for
implementing projects before this BMAP was even finished; and serve as a great
model for other communities in the state.”
The LSJR Tributaries BMAP was developed through a collaborative partnership
with local, regional, and state interests to address identified water quality
problems. The local stakeholders identified more than 960 projects to achieve
restoration in these waterbodies and will conduct continuing monitoring to
ensure restoration occurs and identify additional sources of bacteria to prevent
Examples of significant project commitments include:
- City of Jacksonville – Phasing out septic tank in these 15 tributaries,
inspecting private wastewater facilities, implementing capital improvement
projects to reduce flooding, and identifying and removing illicit
connections to the stormwater system.
- City of Atlantic Beach – Inspecting and maintaining sewer infrastructure and
connecting more than 100 septic tanks to central sewer by 2013.
- Naval Station Mayport – Removing septic tanks, relining main sewer pipes
and house connections with cured in-place piping, rehabilitating manholes
and installing pet waste collection stations.
- City of Jacksonville Beach – Implementing numerous flood control projects
near surface waters preventing the transport of pollution sources and
implementing a water quality sampling program.
- City of Neptune Beach – Upgrading wastewater lift stations, replacing
sewer main pipes, eliminating septic tanks, and hosting a “Walk the WBID (waterbody
identification number)” event that includes field investigations and source
- Duval County Health Department – Inspecting septic tanks in seven BMAP WBIDs
where systems have been identified as high risk for failure.
- Florida Department of Transportation – Maintaining DOT stormwater
conveyances and identifying and removing illicit connections to the
- JEA – Upgrading sewer infrastructure and implementing preventive
maintenance programs for the wastewater collection system.
According to Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton, “The stormwater utility fee
funds many of the projects and all of the monitoring activities that will, over
time, improve the health of our tributaries and consequently the St. Johns
River. It is another component of the city’s commitment to restore the health of
our waterways under the River Accord, a 10-year multi-agency initiative that
charts a path of continual improvement for local agencies when it comes to water
quality. We look forward to partnering with DEP and other stakeholders on the
next phase of the BMAP process, when an additional 15 tributaries will be the
Mayor Harriet Pruette of Neptune Beach feels, “that the commitments of the
stakeholders, who participated in the development of the BMAP, will lead to a
healthier quality of life improvement for citizens who use and depend on our
"Naval Station Mayport is committed to improving the quality of our creeks
and tributaries by ongoing projects and outreach efforts geared to strengthen
our environmental stewardship. What makes this so powerful is the fact that we
have joined forces with so many other stakeholders and together we can
accomplish much more than has been achievable in the past," said Captain Aaron
Bowman, Commanding Officer, Naval Station Mayport.
Citizens are encouraged to participate in improving water quality and
eliminating bacteria sources by reporting sources of fecal coliforms. To report
a failing septic tank, citizens should contact the Duval County Health
Department at (904)253-1280. If citizens observe a sanitary sewer overflow or
failing lift station, they should contact JEA at (904) 620-9921 or the City of
Jacksonville CARE line at (904) 630-CITY.
To view the BMAP, visit
For more information about DEP’s water quality protection and restoration