Project Win: Protecting Fish, Reducing Pollutants, and Keeping Florida’s Rivers Beautiful

St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) Begins Crane Creek/M-1 Canal Flow Restoration

Every year, significant freshwater flows, nutrients and sediment loads are discharged from the Crane Creek Canal (M-1) into the IRL. The nutrients and sediment loads decrease water quality and can result in algal blooms that cause fish kills.

SJRWMD is working to reduce pollutant loads to the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) and increase water supply potential in the St. Johns River by restoring the Crane Creek watershed closer to its historic limits. The M-1 canal drained wetland areas and redirected flows that once discharged to the St. Johns River. The communities of West Melbourne and Melbourne Village now exist in the area drained by the canal and rely on the canal for flood protection.

The District and the IRL Council selected Jones Edmunds to complete a feasibility study for reducing pollutant loads and excess flows into the Indian River Lagoon. As part of that study, we developed the preliminary concept for restoring flows from the M-1 Canal to the St. Johns River to improve water quality in the IRL. We also quantified it as being the most cost-effective project in the entire IRL watershed. Because of this unique and valuable preliminary work for the District, we were awarded the Crane Creek/M-1 Canal Flow Restoration Project.

Jones Edmunds has worked together with the SJRWMD since 1997 and looks forward to successfully completing the project, helping to restore the IRL and providing additional water supply to the St. Johns River. Our experienced project team also includes Hanson Professional Services, Inc. and Southeastern Surveying and Mapping Corporation. Hanson has been working within the Crane Creek canal system over the past 7 years, and Southeastern recently completed a right-of-way and topographic survey of the majority of the M-1 Canal.