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Suwannee River Water Management District Brings People Together to Protect Water Resources

Noah Valenstein, Executive Director, Suwannee River Water Management District

May 8, 2017

No issue is more important to North Florida than water. Our farms, towns, and environment depend on sharing and carefully managing our water.

To recover the flows and water quality of our rivers, springs, and estuaries, and make sure we have enough water for future needs, all stakeholders must work together on solutions.

That’s why the Suwannee River Water Management District—the government agency responsible for protecting and managing the water resources of the Big Bend—is placing a priority on working with others to keep more, cleaner water in the natural system.

Progress is made project by project, and I am particularly proud of the District’s investment in buying land and projects to treat aquifer-polluting stormwater.

Consider the urgent challenge of Mill Creek Sink near the town of Alachua. Currently, stormwater runoff drains into Mill Creek Sink, threatening Hornsby Spring and the Santa Fe River. Prioritized by science and in partnership with our stakeholders, the District is advancing the Mill Creek Sink Water Quality Improvement Project to capture and treat stormwater runoff from I-75, US 441 and nearby development before it drains to the aquifer.

This stormwater treatment project is urgently needed and will go a long way to reducing this particular pollution source.

The Suwannee River Water Management District board and staff are highly committed to securing state and federal funds for projects like these and raising awareness of this important region for water resource spending. I am especially proud of our progress collaborating with local governments, farmers and water conservation advocates.

The work of organizations like Audubon Florida is key to the success of the District’s efforts. Audubon’s staff helps inform the science behind our projects, makes key land acquisitions possible, and partners on community events to get the public out enjoying the resources we care so deeply about.

To take care of our water, we need to bring people together to put the best ideas forward and secure the resources to get things done. Audubon is a critical partner to achieving that goal.

How you can help, right now