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Corps Fails to Assess Flooding Impacts from Dredging

Corps Fails to Assess Flooding Impacts from Dredging

The following are comments submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers by Lisa Rinaman, the St. Johns Riverkeeper, on December 29, 2017, regarding the Corps' failure to fully assess potential flooding impacts from the propsed dredging of the St. Johns River:

"On behalf of our members, St. Johns Riverkeeper (SJRK) submits the following comments regarding the December 2017 Draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment – Review of Recent Storm Events and Flooding (DSEA) released on December 14, 2017.

SJRK has continually voiced opposition to the proposed Jacksonville Harbor Channel Deepening Project due to faulty, incomplete information and analyses presented by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) regarding environmental, as well as economic impacts. The Corps has also failed to provide a beneficial mitigation plan to offset harm to the St. Johns, its tributaries and adjacent properties.

Following Hurricane Irma, it is paramount that any increase in future flood damage potentially resulting from the proposed deepening project must be fully understood by the Corps, the City of Jacksonville leadership and the general public. Of specific interest is the probable increase in nuisance flooding which will occur in the downtown, San Marco, Riverside and Ortega neighborhoods due to a predicted increase in the elevation of tidal waters – after the deep dredge.

The Army Corps DSEA fails to acknowledge or consider relatively irrefutable adverse consequences that will occur on a high frequency (i.e. annual) basis. In contrast, the federal predictions of project “impact” have been limited to scenarios associated with low frequency (i.e. 50 and 100 year) storm events in combination with a 50 to 100 year horizon of sea level rise. Although of scientific value, these federal predictions do not portray the project’s immediate impacts that must be dealt with on an annual basis by a portion of the City of Jacksonville, including waterfront development far removed from the area of river deepening.

Hurricane Irma well demonstrated the extreme vulnerability to flood damage that exists along the riverfront within downtown, as well as the San Marco, Riverside and Ortega waterfront areas of Jacksonville. The latter occurred as a combination of hurricane related storm surge, rainfall, preceding super-elevated river water level conditions, saturated uplands, and a significant duration wind field originating from southerly sectors (blowing directly up the river).

Of specific interest is the fact that the 2017 resultant historical water levels recorded in the downtown urban core, San Marco, Riverside and Ortega were not the result of a statistical “50 or 100-Year Storm” as addressed by the USACE study. Actually, measured sustained wind speeds at the Jacksonville Naval Air Station on the St. Johns River never even reached hurricane force during Hurricane Irma.

Adding to the cumulative water levels experienced were the seasonal astronomical tides which during each hurricane season are predictably the highest of the year. For example, in September, October and November of 2017, the highest monthly astronomical tide levels predicted were .35 ft., .45 ft., and .5 feet above the elevation of mean high water, respectively, at the Acosta Bridge tidal station. These water levels combined with nor’easter effects which cause additional super-elevation of the upper reaches of the St. Johns River in the fall months, typically cause annual nuisance flooding in the San Marco, Riverside and Ortega riverfront areas – in the complete absence of the added effects of any tropical or extra-tropical storm events. A major contributory factor to nuisance flood events is the inability of the developed uplands to drain when the river is “high”. Accordingly, the assessment of risks of the proposed deep dredge to businesses and homeowners should be considered to be a “game of inches” – due to the present day vulnerability of downtown neighborhoods. Any additional water level increases during those May–November months when water levels are already higher than average can cause significant property damage and loss of physical access to both businesses and residences. To-date this type of impact analysis has not been presented to either COJ elected officials or the general public.

In contrast, the types of USACE analyses associated with deep dredge effects avoid addressing high-frequency, “baseline” type impacts that consider today’s existing conditions. That is, by design and tradition the USACE analyses consider the effect of a project based upon a low-frequency, 50- or 100-year hurricane storm in the future – a storm that doesn’t necessarily reflect the reality of today’s frequent nuisance flooding conditions.  Hence, the numerical simulation and accounting for the above described documented hydrological effects argues for a significantly different analysis than the type of storm surge modeling performed to predict 50- and 100-year water levels associated with the Jacksonville harbor deepening project, and in particular where those analyses seek to likewise factor into their predictions 50 years-worth of sea level rise.

The federal predictions are based upon numerical models for the simulation of open coast surge based upon techniques similar to those utilized for purposes of the federal flood insurance mapping of low frequency events. For example, predicted 50- and 100- year open coast surge levels were propagated from the ocean – through the project area – up the St. Johns River for purposes of providing water level hydrographs throughout the “Jacksonville Harbor Vicinity,” which by definition extended through downtown Jacksonville and beyond. Various calibrations of the federal model were attempted based upon simulations of Hurricanes Frances and Dora. The latter was the historical hurricane of record for Duval County which occurred in 1964. Hurricane Dora entered the State of Florida in the vicinity of St. Augustine and South Ponte Vedra Beach. Accordingly, its trajectory bore little resemblance to Hurricane Irma which generally moved up the western center of the State as it impacted Duval County.

The prescribed numerical modeling approach employed by the USACE for purposes of evaluating pre- and post-channel deepening water elevations within the area of channel deepening are in all probability realistic for that limited area of interest – only. Conversely, what the federal modeling strategically avoids is the reliable prediction of present day high-frequency storm impacts in the downtown urban core and adjacent developed waterfronts of San Marco, Riverside and Ortega – in combination with increases in tide range which are acknowledged to result from the proposed channel deepening. As noted above, the timing of these high frequency storms, tides and accompanying nuisance flooding – such as during annual nor’easter events – are synonymous with each annual hurricane season.

Executive Order EO11988, Floodplain Management requires federal agencies to avoid to the extent possible the long and short-term adverse impacts associated with the occupancy and modification of floodplains. To comply with EO11988, impacts of the proposed Jacksonville Harbor Deepening Project were to be identified.

The USACE was required to:
1. Estimate the potential impacts of the proposed federal project on water levels within the St. Johns River
2. Determine if the potential impacts are significant enough to affect the flood hazard zones designated by FEMA

Without providing any analysis regarding the quantification of floodplain impacts, the USACE study simply states that “This project would have no adverse impacts to floodplain management” (GRR/FEIS ref. pg. 289). At face value, this conclusion is hard to accept when the Corps’ own modeling exercises indicate increases of water elevations of an additional 0.5 to 0.7 feet in the developed areas bordering the deepening project – for a 100-year storm with sea level rise. This includes the entirety of the Mill Cove shoreline. The damages and loss of homes, contents and businesses throughout the San Marco, Riverside and Ortega areas bordering the St. Johns River during Hurricane Irma are clear evidence that any level of floodplain increase resulting from the federal project represents significant potential financial losses and endangerment of the citizens of Jacksonville. To that end, the USACE can be considered to be noncompliant with respect to the requirements of EO11988.

It would appear that the DSEA issued by the Corps in late December 2017 is an effort to assure City of Jacksonville leadership and the general public that the occurrence of Hurricane Irma in no way invalidated the findings of the initial federal study. More specifically, the document concludes that “The Corps modeled events comparable to, or more severe than Hurricane Irma,” and that “recent storm events and flooding in the vicinity of the Jacksonville Harbor Navigation Project do not constitute new circumstances or information relevant to environmental concerns bearing on the project or its impacts.” Again, the Corps completely discounts or inadvertently misses the significance of the probability of high frequency flooding events in the City core due to continued deepening of the St. Johns River channel. It likewise fails to discuss additional flooding potential in developed areas directly abutting or in the vicinity of the project channel improvements.

The Corps’ modelling fails to analyze water levels and the project’s effect upon flooding in the weeks after a hurricane – during which the river levels remain anomalously high and lead to continued flooding. In fact, for the one or two days that are included in the model’s calibration after the peak storm has passed, the Corps’ model consistently and significantly under-predicts the actual water levels that were observed in the downtown and upriver areas that were included in the model.

That is, the model fails to accurately predict the elevated river levels that consistently occur in the fall, during which nuisance flooding is observed and sensitivities to increased water levels are greatest.

The December 2017 DSEA document re-explains the federal modeling approach by which it predicted potential future effects to the City of Jacksonville downtown urban and residential core. However, the federal analysis and discussion seek to portray the impacts of the project solely in combination with low frequency (50- and 100-year) storm events and future sea level projections. Since the latter occur over a long period of time (say 50 years or more into the future), such a comparison fails to relate or address in any meaningful way the present day probability of exacerbated higher-frequency flooding which will occur annually after channel deepening and which should be the greatest concern to the City of Jacksonville given the documented flooding caused by Hurricane Irma.

Any increase in the severity of high frequency seasonal flooding in the San Marco, Riverside and Ortega areas (even if only a few inches) can be highly impactful to private and public properties and infrastructure, as well as physical access to residences and businesses alike. The USACE acknowledges a predicted increase in the elevation of high tide of at least 0.2 feet in the San Marco and Ortega areas after channel deepening. That should be of significant concern to both the citizens of Jacksonville and their elected leaders in the impact evaluation of any proposed channel deepening project. Attempting to dilute that acknowledged increase in water level by comparing it to surge levels from a 50- or 100-year storm in the ocean and 50+ years of sea level rise does a disservice to those desiring a meaningful analysis of project impacts.

It is an undeniable fact that decades of federally sponsored deepening and channelization of the St. Johns River has “invited the ocean downtown.” As such, dredging has incrementally exposed the City’s riverfront interior to increased fluctuations in ocean water level, by making the downtown river more tidal. At the same time, the downtown urban core and adjacent waterfronts are 120+ years old – developed at a time when the sea level was at least 1 foot lower than present. As sea level continues to increase, and storm water drainage problems intensify, and the surge and tides of the ocean can more readily reach upriver, it is evident that every inch of water level rise is important when expressed in the context of the low-elevation areas of the St. Johns River waterfront that are already subject to high frequency flooding.

Accordingly, increases in river water levels caused by further river deepening cannot be dismissed as trivial in the context of urban flooding.

It is the responsibility of USACE to provide the public a thorough and honest assessment of the potential benefits, impacts, risks and costs of the proposed deepening of the Jacksonville Harbor and a transparent and open decision-making process. Anything less, fails to meet the minimum thresholds set by Federal Law.

USACE fails to adequately assess the environmental impacts, fails to provide a beneficial mitigation plan to offset harm to the St. Johns and its tributaries, and fails to articulate the need for this project.

The USACE release of this important yet inadequate assessment on December 14, 2017 with comments due on December 30, 2017 is a further disservice to the citizens of Jacksonville.

We request a 30-day extension for public comment period to allow citizens and the City of Jacksonville time to assess and discuss this critical issue. A sixteen day comment period over the holidays is simply inadequate.

We also request a USACE public meeting with City of Jacksonville officials to discuss flood risks resulting from the deep dredge prior to completion of the DSEA.

We cannot afford to roll the dice with the future health of our river or the surrounding riverfront communities until the flood risk has been fully vetted."

Click here to download the comments. 
 

St. Johns RIVERKEEPER is Hiring!

OUTREACH DIRECTOR

St. Johns RIVERKEEPER is currently seeking a full-time Outreach Director to manage outreach events, programs, and partnerships from our Jacksonville office.   Successful applicant will work with the Community Engagement Coordinator to:

  • Raise awareness about the St. Johns, St. Johns Riverkeeper, and the issues that impact the river’s health through events, partnerships, campaigns, social media and other communication strategies.
  • Implement strategies to engage our members and the community to take action on St. Johns Riverkeeper’s issue priorities, become members and provide support for the organization, explore and learn about the river, and get involved as volunteers.

 Responsibilities include organizing and managing outreach events, programs, and campaigns; managing social media activities; assisting with the implementation of communication strategies; facilitating partnerships; and overseeing the development and execution of effective engagement strategies.

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree and significant experience in organizing events, coordinating volunteers, managing outreach programs, and implementing social media strategies. Working knowledge of river ecology and issues and a passion for the St. Johns are preferred.  

Click here for the job description. 

To apply for the Outreach Director position, send a resume and cover letter by 1/31/2018 to:

Jimmy Orth
Executive Director
jimmy@stjohnsriverkeeper.org

EDUCATION SPECIALIST 

St. Johns RIVERKEEPER is currently seeking a part-time Education Specialist who will deliver river-based educational programming to K-12 students primarily from Duval and Clay Counties. Successful applicant will work primarily with the Education Director. Due to existing contracts with Duval County Schools and Clay County, this position is focused primarily on the organization and execution of educational boat trips for Title I 5th grade students from Duval County in the spring and fall, as well as education and outreach programming provided year-round in Clay County. 

The Education Specialist is a part-time position that consists of 20-30 hours per week.  However, fewer hours may be required at certain times during the year.

Responsibilities for this position include leading our STEAM Cultural Passport Program boat trips for Title I fifth grade students funded through the Duval County Public School District; assist with the development of programs and curriculum where needed; attend evening and weekend festivals and educational events (Science Night, Jax Science Fest, etc.) including providing assistance with setup, staffing, and breakdown of table and display. Applicant should have experience working with children in a hands-on, out-of-classroom setting; ability to problem solve quickly and maintain a professional demeanor; ability to work flexible hours including some nights and weekends; work independently to fulfill responsibilities, goals, and deadlines. Applicants must have a well-maintained vehicle in good working condition and sufficient insurance coverage. Working knowledge of river ecology and issues and a passion for the St. Johns are preferred.

Click here for the job description. 

To apply for the Education Specialist position, send a resume and cover letter by 1/31/18 to:

Emily Floore
Education Director
emily@stjohnsriverkeeper.org

2017 RIVERKEEPER Awards Announced

2017 RIVERKEEPER Awards Announced Scott Sowell of Darnell Cookman Middle/High School named as 2017 Educator of the Year

St. Johns RIVERKEEPER®
2017 Educator of the Year
Scott Sowell, Ph.D

Each year, a school, group of students, program or teacher stands out through our work in schools. This year, Dr. Scott Sowell, the AP Environmental Science and Senior Capstone Research Teacher at Darnell-Cookman Middle/High School, School of the Medical Arts was that person.

Scott has been teaching for 21 years working with elementary, secondary, and college level students, with a focus on increasing science literacy, maximizing students’ understanding of the nature of science, as well as researching issues of equity within science education. He was named Duval County Teacher of the Year in 2012 and has since been involved in developing local teacher leaders and maximizing their impact on public education here in Jacksonville.

Each year, Scott encourages is AP Environmental Science students to compete in the Envirothon, a field-oriented, problem-solving, natural resource education program where high school students conduct hands-on investigations about environmental issues. I always describe it to people like a math league competition for the environment. Scott’s teams took first place in 2016 and placed 1st in 3 of the 5 categories in 2017. Scott was also a keynote speaker at ‘March for Science’ in Jacksonville where he advocated for the role that science education plays in the development of a scientifically literate citizenry.

This past September, Scott invited Riverkeeper into his classroom to test out new equipment focusing on eutrophication and algae blooms in the St. Johns River. Through multiple sessions, we worked with students to understand how nutrients enter the river, how to test for them, and what the ecological consequences can be from too many nutrients in our waterways.

Scott truly cares about his students’ education and molding a generation of citizens that are well-informed and care about the world around them. He is an inspiration to what a science teacher is capable of doing with the encouragement from his Principal, support of his family, and the love of teaching.

St. Johns RIVERKEEPER®
2017 Volunteer of the Year
Steve Cobb

The Volunteer of the Year is rarely a person who has impacted our organization for only one year – and this year’s recipient is no exception. Steve Cobb, a Riverkeeper member since 2010, has been a dedicated leader of the St. Johns Riverkeeper River Patrol Steering Committee since 2014, but his leadership in 2017 has stood out, and is the reason we are recognizing Steve.

Steve Cobb, inventor of the River Patrol Geocache Trail, has continuously worked to develop new ideas and initiatives that introduce folks to the St. Johns River, the River Patrol, and St. Johns Riverkeeper. In 2017, Steve Cobb has served as one of the primary Captains of the Kingfisher, working to decorate and “bling” the boat for the many boat parades we are joining this season. Upon purchase of our new Kingfisher, Steve took leadership to ensure the vessel is safe, legal and equipped with the proper instruments to be ready for water adventures. Before completion of this important purchase, Steve helped ensure Riverkeeper presence on the water by captaining his own boat at cleanups, powerboat races, and other local water events. 

Outside of being a great Captain and river steward, Steve utilized his time at CSX, Steve procured a CSX Grant called Dollars 4 Doers. Behind the scenes, he has served as food coordinator at our annual Low Country Boil, chopping potatoes and corn for everyone to enjoy and timing delivery of the steamy entrée for 200+ guests. Steve created a Cleanup Scavenger hunt, being unleashed on Sunday, December 17 at our monthly McCoys Creek Cleanup, to make cleanups fun and interactive learning experiences.

Steve is a wonderful asset to our organization and the River Patrol family. It has been a pleasure to work with him over the years and now that he’s recently retired, we are excited to utilize his newly found “freetime”.

St. Johns RIVERKEEPER®
2017 Advocate
Robert Storm Burks

Rob Storm Burks is our 2017 Advocate of the Year for his generous dedication of time and expertise.

After years of field work while at St. Johns River Water Management District, Rob fully understands the threats to our mighty river and is committed to being part of the solution. Rob has served our members and our community in many capacities that have assisted in many of our advocacy issues in 2017.

Rob Storm provided expert technical guidance in our efforts to protect the St. Johns from the deep dredge and future water withdrawals. He also provided training to our team and volunteers to identify and to respond to harmful algal blooms and led Science Cafes to do the same for Clay County communities. In addition, he developed scientifically defendable protocols for our sampling program, which not only provided important data, but resulted in more sampling and more information sharing by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. He worked directly with a Boy Scout Camp located on the banks of algal-plagued Doctors Lake to ensure that the camp had appropriate steps in place to keep their scouts safe from toxins.

In addition to this direct work, Rob also utilized his contacts with state agencies in an effort to improve communications with the public and to explore solutions. Rob shared his passion for Northeast Florida’s ecology with organized hikes through threatened areas along the St. Johns identifying flora and fauna while pointing out signs of distress. His photography captured the beauty of the St. Johns and was featured in the Fall Edition of Arbus magazine. His photos also held polluters accountable by documenting violations following Hurricane Irma. During a post-storm flyover, Rob’s keen eye spotted heavy discharge from the Georgia Pacific pipeline. His photograph lead to a shut-down of the paper-mill until the problem was corrected.

Rob was a featured scientist in Troubled Waters, our most recent documentary, and participated in multiple panels following local screenings. In early 2017, Rob represented Northeast Florida in the Washington, DC March for Science and Climate March.

The work that Robert Storm Burks has done to protect the St. Johns River is why we are honoring him with the 2017 St. Johns Riverkeeper Advocate award.
 

Special thank you to Paul Garfinkel for the fantastic images used in this years' volunteer awards, and Ryan Buckley at Gallery Framery for framing. 

MOTION FOR INJUNCTION FILED TO POSTPONE DREDGING

MOTION FOR INJUNCTION FILED TO POSTPONE DREDGING Hurricane Irma caused flood impacts along the St. Johns River in September 2017

On December 4, 2017, St. Johns RIVERKEEPER filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction to postpone the first phase of the impending St. Johns River harbor deepening project until significant deficiencies in the studies by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) are addressed and resolved in order to protect our river and our community.  

In 2013, the Corps authorized a plan by JaxPort to deepen the last 13 miles of the St. Johns River channel from 40 to 47 feet to accommodate larger Post-Panamax ships. Earlier this year, JAXPORT announced a new plan to dredge 11 miles of the channel, instead of 13 miles, in an apparent effort to reduce the cost of the project.

St. Johns RIVERKEEPER contends that the new 11-mile plan must be formally evaluated by the Army Corps of Engineers to fully assess environmental impacts and the economic feasibility of the project before federal funding can be authorized and dredging is allowed to proceed.

“This new 11-mile plan simply does not exist according to the Army Corps,” states Lisa Rinaman, the St. Johns Riverkeeper. “Federal law requires JaxPort’s new plan to be thoroughly studied and evaluated, including the recalculation of the Benefit Cost Ration (BCR), yet nothing has been done by the Corps to fulfill this requirement.”

In addition, the Army Corps failed to conduct a valid flood analysis, despite the fact that their own study predicts an increase of up to a foot in storm surge and tide levels

in some areas due to the dredging. The lack of analysis not only presents a potential environmental risk, but also does not take into account the negative impacts and costs to homes and businesses from more severe flooding.

“In the wake of Hurricane Irma, the urgency and importance of assessing the potential flooding impacts from dredging is even more apparent,” explains Rinaman. “Failure to evaluate these impacts when we know that the dredging will likely increase storm surge and tide levels only puts our community and our river at greater risk and makes us more vulnerable in the future.”

On a November 30, 2017, the Army Corps responded to St. Johns RIVERKEPER’s amended legal complaint by announcing plans to reopen the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) evaluation process to “consider whether the recent flooding conditions in the vicinity of the Jacksonville Harbor Navigation Project following the 2017 nor’easter and Hurricane Irma constitute significant new circumstances or information relevant to environmental concerns and bearing on the Jacksonville Harbor Navigation Project or its impacts.”  

You can submit comments regarding flooding impacts to Paul Stodola at paul.e.stodola@usace.army.mil by December 30, 2017. Comments can also be mailed to Paul Stadola at Jacksonville District Corps of Engineers, 701 San Marco Blvd., Jacksonville 32207-8175.

While representing an important step toward addressing a major deficiency in the Corps’ analysis, this critical assessment of flooding impacts must be completed before the project begins, not after the fact.

Federal law requires the Corps to address all potential impacts, including mitigation, and to incorporate the anticipated costs into the final project Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR). The BCR is utilized to evaluate the economic feasibility of a project and determine eligibility for federal funding.

“We have been unwavering in our position that the Corps underestimated the impacts from the dredging, the analysis is incomplete, and the proposed mitigation does nothing to protect our river. The fact that flooding impacts and a new 11-mile project have not even been evaluated further validates our concerns and reinforces the urgent need to fully vet the Deep Dredge before it’s too late to turn back,” summarizes Rinaman.

Click here to read the Motion for Injunction. 

Contact St. Johns RIVERKEEPER with questions at (904) 256-7591

St. Johns River Survey Results

The Jacksonville University (JU) Social Science Research Center recently released the results of a November 2016 survey of Jacksonville area residents about the St. Johns River.  The results are compared to finding from a similar poll that was conducted in 2012.

The following information was provided by JU.

FAST FACTS:

  • Of those familiar with the proposed project to dredge a portion of the St. Johns River, 51% say they are opposed to it.
  • Rates of using the river for recreation/enjoyment by Jacksonville area residents remained similar from 2012-2016. Only about 25% of area residents fish on or along the St. Johns River, 30% boat, 10% swim and 50% walk along the river at least once a year.
  • The number of residents that consider the river degraded and in need of a major cleanup increased from 52% to 59%.
  • The number of residents who think there is a direct connection between their actions and the health of the river increased from 55% to 69%, but fewer residents say they are knowledgeable about what they can do to help protect the river, a drop from 48% to 37%.

COMPLETE POLL RESULTS

1. How familiar are you with the current debate about dredging the St. Johns River? Would you say that you are very familiar, somewhat familiar, or not really familiar with that debate at all?
2016                                                                                      
Very familiar                               28%                  
Somewhat familiar                      45
Not really familiar at all               27


2. In general, would you say that you support or oppose the current plan to dredge a portion of the St Johns River?
2016
Support                                         34%
Oppose                                          51
Don’t know/Not sure/Undecided    15

3. Thinking about the past year, please tell me how often you have enjoyed the following activities on or along the St. Johns River. How about fishing? Would you say that over the past year you have fished on or along the St. Johns River at least . . .
                                     2016                 2012
Once a week,                  5%                    4%
Once a month,               15                     13
Once a year, or              26                     29
Not at all?                      74                     71

4. How about boating, canoeing, kayaking, or jet skiing? Would you say that over the past year you have boated, canoed, kayak, or jet skied on or along the St. Johns River at least . . .
                                     2016                2012
Once a week,                  5%                   6%
Once a month,               15                    17
Once a year, or              29                    37
Not at all?                      71                    63

5. How about swimming? Would you say that over the past year you have swam on or along the St. Johns River at least . . .
                                     2016                2012
Once a week,                  1%                   2%
Once a month,                4                      7
Once a year, or               8                     11
Not at all?                      92                    89

6. How about hunting or observing wildlife, walking? Would you say that over the past year you have hunted or observe wildlife or walked on or along the St. Johns River at least . . .
                                     2016                2012
Once a week,                 13%                  15%
Once a month,                36                     33
Once a year, or               47                     43
Not at all?                       53                     57


7. Which of the following statements do you think best describes the health of the St. Johns River? Is it:
                                                                                                 2016   2012
A polluted river not worth saving                                                 4%    3%
A degraded river which has value, but needs a major cleanup    59     52
River in good condition in need of improvements in some areas 31     41
DK/NA                                                                                            6       4

8. What do you see as the biggest source of pollution in the St. Johns River? Is it . . .

                                                              2016            2012
Industrial and commercial activity,       34%              29%
Storm water runoff, or                           8                   26
littering and dumping?                         47                  36
DK/NA                                                  11                   9

9. Do you feel you knowledgeable about what you can do to help improve the health of the St. Johns River?
                                                           2016               2012
Yes                                                       37%               48%
No                                                        63                   52

10. Do you think there is a direct connection between your personal actions and the health of the St. Johns River?
                                                           2016               2012
Yes                                                       69%                55%
No                                                        31                   45

11. On a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 means "you don't try at all" and 10 means "you try very hard", how would you rate your personal efforts to protect the St. Johns River.
                                                          2016                 2012
1-5                                                       50%                 43%
6-8                                                       43                    41
9-10                                                      7                     16

About the Surveys:

The 2016 survey results are based on telephone interviews conducted in November 2016 among a sample of 448 adults, 18 years of age or older, living in the Jacksonville Metropolitan area. The survey was conducted by interviewers at Jacksonville University under the direction of the Jacksonville University Social Science Research Center. A combination of landline and cell phone random digit dial samples were used.

The 2012 results are based on telephone interviews conducted in November 2012 among a sample of 379 adults, 18 years of age or older, living in counties along the St. Johns River. The percentages reported here represent the 171 interviews obtained from residents of the Jacksonville Metropolitan area. The survey was conducted by interviewers at Jacksonville University under the direction of the Jacksonville University Social Science Research Center. A combination of landline and cell phone random digit dial samples were used.

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