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River Rising Town Hall Series

River Rising Town Hall Series photo credit: Florida Times-Union

Join St. Johns RIVERKEEPER at the upcoming River Rising: Town Hall Series to learn about rising waters in the St. Johns, how decades of dredging has increased water levels and storm surge, and what Jacksonville and coastal communities need to do to become more resilient.  

The town hall meetings are open and free to the public. Experts will speak and answer questions from the audience. 

As demonstrated by Hurricane Irma and the historic flooding that occurred, Jacksonville is more at risk than ever before and important action steps must be taken to better prepare for a future of rising waters in the St. Johns River.

“Sea level rise and a deeper channel have no doubt resulted in higher water levels and storm surge in the river, increasing the risk of flooding and sewage spills in the St. Johns,” states Lisa Rinaman, the St. Johns Riverkeeper, “The current plan to dredge the St. Johns an additional 7 feet deeper will only make these problem worse.”

According to the Army Corps of Engineers, even smaller, “high frequency” storms could increase storm surge and the maximum water levels in the St. Johns River by an additional 12% due to the current dredging project.

“Where I live, inches matter”, said Dot Matthias of the Northside Civic Association. “It was only a matter of inches that saved some folks from thousands of dollars in damage while causing others to flood. If we can better protect our community from severe financial, emotional and physical harm in the future, why wouldn’t we?”

In addition to flooded homes and businesses, Hurricane Irma caused severe damage to public infrastructure and left in its wake a toxic soup of sewage, chemicals, debris, and litter – all of which presented potential health risks to the public.

“It is critical that have a community conversation about these issues and act now,” states Rinaman. “Otherwise, we will become even more vulnerable as waters continue to rise, flooding becomes more frequent, public infrastructure fails, and our river is further degraded by more sewage and pollution. “

Learn more about the impacts of the dredging project.

Read more about St. Johns RIVERKEEPER's concerns that the current dredging project will increase water levels, storm surge and the likelihood of flooding.

Read, As the Ocean Creeps In, a special report by the Florida Times-Union about how decades of dredging projects to deepen the St. Johns River have brought the ocean to Jacksonville's doorstep.   

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