JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The St. Johns River has been a source of flooding during past hurricane seasons, but state and local agencies are working to make the river more resilient ahead of major weather events.
Maintaining the river starts long before the beginning of hurricane season.
The St. Johns River is maintained year-round to prepare for the potentially dangerous season.
Agencies like the St. Johns River Water Management District say there are several tasks and projects on the water throughout the year to increase flood protection and active river management.
“More resilient when these large events come in,” said Tom Frick, St. Johns River Water Management District Director of Strategic Planning and Initiatives.
Resilience is the name of the game this hurricane season when it comes to the St. Johns River.
“Resilience is not just sea-level rise or large event that a homeowner can do nothing about or it’s not just during hurricane season. It’s something that they can do every day in small increments,” said Frick.
Working in small increments year-round to ensure the river can recover quickly after a potential disaster.
“We’re working in wetlands and flood plains along the river again with our local partners to try and restore that natural water flow. So, water is not backing up and also it’s allowing it to go in these natural areas,” said Frick.
The district also calls on property owners to help with managing the water flow into the river.
Frick suggests homeowners should:
- Keep debris out of storm drains and ditches
- Report clogged ditches and culverts to local governments
- Retrofit buildings to make them watertight
- Clean out gutters and extend downspouts at least four feet from structures
- Determine who is responsible for stormwater pond maintenance in your neighborhood
In addition to these suggestions, Frick reminds boaters and river goers to not liter or destabilize the natural systems in the river.
To find other river maintenance projects and links to flood statements and warnings, river stage and flooding date, and local government emergency contacts, click here.