Water Quality Issues
An Environmental Resource Permit (ERP) application has been submitted to the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) for development of the 315 acre Webster Creek Mitigation Bank. Webster Creek Development (project applicant) and Bio-Tech Consulting, Inc. (project consultant) are proposing wetland restoration, enhancement and preservation at the bank in exchange for credits that will be sold off to developers from Jacksonville to Sebastian Inlet.
 
The project is located in southern New Smyrna Beach and is within Mosquito Lagoon (an Outstanding Florida Water) and the Mosquito Lagoon Aquatic Preserve.  According to the Prospectus report submitted with the ERP application, the goals of the project include, (1) elimination of conflicting land uses, (2) hydrologic restoration through filling ditches and the installation of ditch blocks, (3) herbicidal and/or mechanical control of nuisance/exotic plants and (4) the establishment of conservation easements over the mitigation bank lands.
 
Opponents of the project are concerned with issues such as the use of ditch blocks to slow the water flow, access restrictions, avian population impacts, increased algae blooms, and harmful impacts to the marine life from hydro-blasting the spoil piles and ditches that were dug in the 1950's for mosquito control.  Many are also voicing concern about a potential conflict of interest with John Miklos (Bio-tech president) serving as the project consultant and also as Chairman of the SJRWMD Governing Board.  There are also concerns voiced by Volusia County as to how much land is actually owned by Webster Creek Development and how much land actually belongs to the state of Florida via state-owned sovereign submerged lands.
 
If you would like to voice your opinion on this project, please contact the SJRWMD and Corps below. The Corps has extended its public comment period until August 24th. You may also contact Frank Gidus at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.
 
SJRWMD Contacts:
Nanette Church, 321-984-4902, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
Gretchen Kelley, 321-676-6602, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
(Please reference permit application number 146336-1 in your correspondence).
 
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Contact:
Ms. Amy Thompson, 904-232-3974, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or at the following address:

Department of the Army
Jacksonville District Corps of Engineers
P. O. Box 4970
Jacksonville, Florida 32232-0019
(Please reference permit number "SAJ-2010-00413-ADT in your correspondence).
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