CCA Florida set to bring urban reefing to Jacksonville
Reefing project set for St. Johns River in heart of downtown
The Jacksonville Chapter of Coastal Conservation Association Florida (www.ccaflorida.org) reports that their river habitat project will become a reality in the spring of 2014. Two years of permitting and study are complete and $30,000 is in hand from CCA National with the generous support of country music artist Kenny Chesney. CCA volunteer, Payton Scheppe also credits the wholehearted support of the City of Jacksonville and Grant Coordinator Jody McDaniel. CCA Jax has commitments for the balance of funding and a goal a continuing program of similar inshore or nearshore habitat projects.
Of four possible sites, two were selected that are near downtown and sufficiently removed from the shoreline. The two sites are .3 and .5 miles south of the Fuller Warren Bridge and east of the channel. The sites are depressions in hard bottom with adequate scour to prevent excessive sediment accumulation and are roughly 40,000 square feet each, or 200’ x 200’. The City of Jacksonville has mapped the locations with the Sheriff’s Department sonar and JU has taken bottom samples.
The Jacksonville Chapter of CCA has disclosed the site locations as the following: Latitude: 30.17.973N Longitude: 81.40.290W and Latitude: 30.18.484N Longitude 81.40.026.
The Coast guard has determined that the habitat will not pose a hazard to navigation. The material will rise 3-4 feet from the bottom but placed in depressions. Clearance will exceed 10 feet and Coast Guard minimum clearance is established as 6 feet. Fisheries research indicates that the material should not be concentrated on the bottom but instead scattered with separation of several feet within the material. Concrete rubble with dimensions of 2-4 feet will create generous surface volume for marine life to attach. Vulcan Materials will donate the 50,000 cubic feet of concrete. Each site permitted is 40,000 square feet. Jacksonville University Marine Science will study the habitat for three years post deployment. Those studies will guide future projects.
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