SFWMD, Partners Work to Protect Loxahatchee River and Estuary
The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Governing Board today approved cooperative agreements that fund a suite of projects to restore and protect Florida’s first federally designated “National Wild and Scenic River,” the Loxahatchee River. The projects to benefit the river and estuary — spanning Martin and Palm Beach counties — consist of providing sewer service to more than 130 homes, restoring nearby ecosystems and improving stormwater management systems.
“The Loxahatchee is a unique and special place within our South Florida environment, and its future will be enhanced by the actions we take today to improve water quality,” said SFWMD Governing Board Member Patrick J. Rooney Jr. “These projects strengthen our commitment to protect this resource and provide real benefits to the river, estuary and residents.”
The projects are part of the Loxahatchee River Preservation Initiative (LRPI), supported by funding from the Florida Legislature. The goal of the intergovernmental effort is to preserve, protect and restore the Loxahatchee River and Estuary by improving water quality, controlling exotic plants and educating the public.
The approved projects, representing a watershed-based approach to Loxahatchee River restoration, include:
- Loxahatchee River Neighborhood Sewer Upgrades: This $1 million project will provide regional sanitary sewer service to 135 homes in close proximity to the Loxahatchee River to reduce pollution. Located in the Town of Jupiter in Palm Beach County, within Pennock Point and Highlands neighborhoods, the project is a partnership between the Loxahatchee River District and the State of Florida.
- Cypress Creek East Restoration: This $700,000 project will restore upland and wetland habitat in the eastern portion of Cypress Creek in northern Palm Beach County by removing exotic vegetation, planting native vegetation and reshaping portions of the landscape. Once complete, the project will improve wetland functionality by enhancing water storage and treatment to benefit water quality in the Loxahatchee River. A partnership between the Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management and the State of Florida, the effort will also help reduce the potential for saltwater intrusion.
- Urban Stormwater Management System Rehabilitation: This $400,000 project entails reconstruction of swale systems in the northern part of North Palm Beach Heights in Jupiter to reduce nutrients in the Loxahatchee River and Estuary. The Town of Jupiter and the State of Florida are splitting the cost of the project.
The Loxahatchee River Preservation Initiative was formed in 2000 to pursue funding for important projects. Funding sources include State appropriations administered by the District and local, state and federal funds from participating organizations. Partners have included Palm Beach County, Martin County, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Loxahatchee River District, the Town of Jupiter and the Jupiter Inlet District.
For more information, please visit the Loxahatchee Estuary Overview.
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