St. Johns River

Jborme / Wikimedia Commons

The tenth State of the River Report has been released, and the detailed analysis of the health and status of the Lower St. Johns River Basin and its tributaries shows mixed results.

Will Dickey / The Florida Times-Union

Our Florida Times-Union news partner reports that decades of deepening the river, combined with severe storms like Hurricane Irma, have brought the Atlantic Ocean right to the doorstep of downtown Jacksonville.

Downtown Jacksonville Riverfront Reconstruction Cost Rises By $1 Million

Apr 25, 2018
Bob Self / The Florida Times-Union

The long-awaited demolition of the parking deck behind the old county courthouse and the reconstruction of Coastline Drive and Liberty Street could cost $1 million more and take months longer to finish than originally anticipated.

Bill Bortzfield/WJCT News

Jacksonville city leaders are inching closer to a plan to revitalize the downtown Riverwalks after Hurricane Irma dealt them quite a blow last fall.


St. Johns River, Keystone Heights Lake Region Get Florida Senate Backing

Dec 7, 2017
Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Measures that would double Gov. Rick Scott's spending request for the Florida Forever conservation program and earmark money to improve the St. Johns River continued to move easily through the Senate on Thursday.

Peter Haden / WJCT

Update 1:08 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6: This story has been updated to include comment from JAXPORT.

An injunction filed Monday is seeking to stop the first phase of deepening the St. Johns River until further studies are conducted.

The Riverkeeper argues the project requires more analysis after Hurricane Irma.

The legal motion is in addition to an existing Riverkeeper lawsuit against the JAXPORT dredging project already making its way through the courts.


Bill Bortzfield / WJCT

Thursday on First Coast Connect, we spoke with Ramon Day and Dr. Shyam Payani with Floridians Advocating for Insurance Reform, or FAIR. They want a Constitutional Amendment placed on the November 2020 ballot to implement a single-payer health system in Florida (01:08).       

We were told the results of a poll asking local residents their thoughts on the future of the St. Johns River with Dr. Quint White and Dr. Ray Oldakowski from Jacksonville University (29:22).

We heard about a move in the Duval County School District to get rid of traditional school lockers with district IT executive director Jim Culbert (36:56).  

Springfield Preservation and Revitalization Council Executive Director Christina Parrish told us about this weekend’s Porchfest and Kerry Speckman previewed this month’s upcoming events (46:00).  

St. Johns River Taxi

Sen. Rob Bradley’s, R-Orange Park, proposal to increase funding for the St. Johns River, springs and the Keystone Heights Lake Region cleared its first legislative hurdle Monday, gaining unanimous approval from the Senate’s Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee. Bradley is the chairman.


Thursday on “First Coast Connect,” we heard about the 2017 edition of the State of the River Report with co-authors University of North Florida Chemistry Professor Dr. Radha Pyati and Associate Research Scientist Dr. Gerry Pinto at the Jacksonville University Science Research Institute (01:07).  

We were told about a new partnership between UNF and the Peace Corp called Peace Call Prep with UNF Peace Corp Prep Advisor Dr. Tim Robinson, and UNF alumnus and returned Peace Corp volunteer Frances Luna (24:53).    

Patty Crosby of Hospice of the Golden Isles spoke about this weekend’s St. Simons Food and Spirits Festival (32:30).    

We heard about the Fall Makery, a move to get more people to buy local products with The Makery co-founders Sara Flowers and Taryn Nilson. Along on hand were Sailors Siren co-owner Whitney Canney and Fish Lips Paper Design owner Kimi Chronis. They were joined by Kerry Speckman who talked about other upcoming events this month (42:03).  

   

Lindsey Kilbride

This year’s State of the River Report concludes there’s a lot of room for improvement when it comes to some nutrients and pollutants that cause toxic algal blooms, including chlorophyll and fecal coliform. That’s even though levels of certain pollutants like phosphorus and nitrogen, have been trending downward in the last 10 years.


Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

Sen. Rob Bradley (R-Fleming Island) is asking the Florida Legislature to appropriate $25 million more dollars for springs restoration next year.

Bradley is building on a funding increase from the last legislative session.


Today on “First Coast Connect,” we spoke with former CSX executive Dale Lewis (01:02) about his research into the pros and cons of dredging the St. Johns River. Robert E. Lee High School students Alan McCullough and Devon Brown, along with their teacher Amy Donofrio (28:55) told us about the Evacuation Movement program. Deb Chapin and Brian Anderson (36:51) with the Ponte Vedra Greenway Alliance discussed the upcoming “Palm Valley Storytelling Day,” and travel blogger Judy Wells (44:25) told us about her recent trip to Poland. 

 

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

Ridership is increasing on Jacksonville’s St. Johns River Ferry. The future of the ferry had been uncertain until the public Jacksonville Transportation Authority took over ownership last year.

Nineteen vehicles were lined up waiting to board at Mayport Friday afternoon. John Wilson and his wife visiting from Georgia were relaxing with the windows down while they waited.


Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT News

The St. Johns Riverkeeper has filed a federal lawsuit to try to block plans to deepen the river for larger ships to enter JaxPort.

The nonprofit Riverkeeper filed the suit Friday against the Army Corps of Engineers for its environmental analysis of a proposed 7-foot deepening of 13 miles of the St. Johns River.

Jesse Hanson

The St. Johns Riverkeeper is hosting a two-week event to acquaint Northeast Florida residents with the river.

Riverkeeper spokeswoman Shannon Blankinship said many people see the river when driving over a bridge, but not many actually get up close and personal with the water.

Pages