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Save Julington-Durbin Preserve!

Save Julington-Durbin Preserve!

The developers who originally sold the Julington-Durbin Preserve property to the City of Jacksonville and State of Florida for conservation now want it back.  J. Thomas Dodson and Eastland Partners, the developers of the adjacent Bartram Park mixed-use community, are now proposing to build 1,400 homes inside the heart of Julington-Durbin Creek Preserve. To do this, they are offering to exchange property on Black Hammock Island for 407 acres within the Preserve.

BACKGROUND

The Preserve consists of 2,031-acres located on a peninsula formed at the confluence of Julington and Durbin creeks, with approximately nine miles of shoreline along the adjacent waterways. The property was purchased in 2001 for $16.5 million as part of the Jacksonville's Preservation Project, a land acquisition program conceived by Mayor John Delaney to manage growth, protect environmentally sensitive lands, improve water quality, and provide access to the City's natural areas. The City of Jacksonville and the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) each contributed 25% of the cost and the State of Florida contributed the remaining 50%.

REGIONAL SIGNIFICANCE

According to the St. Johns River Water Management District, the Preserve "contains extensive floodplain wetlands providing water quality and floodplain protection for both Julington and Durbin Creeks and the St. Johns River. The Preserve has a diverse assemblage of upland and wetland natural communities, providing significant habitat for a variety of plant and animal species, including listed species....The Preserve protects significant portions of the middle and lower portions of Durbin Creek, adding to water quality and flood protection to the Lower St. Johns River Basin and the Preserve."

In addition, the Preserve has 22 documented archeological sites, including a prehistoric burial mound, several prehistoric campsites, and remains from early nineteenth century buildings.

CONCERNS

Developing the property would result in:
• Loss of critical habitat for plants and wildlife;
• Adverse impacts to water quality in Julington and Durbin Creeks and the St. Johns River;
• Loss of flood protection;
• Degradation of the ecological integrity of the property. According to the SJRWMD, prescribed fire is the most important land management tool for restoring and preserving the ecological health and diversity of the site. Additionally, the use of prescribed fire increases public safety by decreasing the risk of wildfires. Prescribed burns would no longer be possible;
• Dangerous precedent that would potentially open up other conservation lands to development.

TAKE ACTION NOW

1. Contact the Governor, SJRWMD Governing Board, and your City Council Members if you live in Duval County.

Tell them to deny the land swap proposal and protect Julington-Durbin Preserve forever!

Office of Governor Rick Scott
State of Florida
The Capitol
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001(850) 488-7146
www.flgov.com/contact-gov-scott/email-the-governor

SJRWMD Governing Board
P.O. Box 1429
Palatka, FL 32178-1429
www.sjrwmd.com/governingboard

Jacksonville City Council
http://www.coj.net/city-council
C
lick here for a Council roster with contact information. 

2. Sign our Petition and share with your friends.

3. Write a Letter to the Editor.

letters@jacksonville.com or mike.clark@jacksonville.com
Tips: 200 – 350 words, include name, address and phone number

4. Attend the Rally to Save Julington-Durbin Preserve!

July 14 @ 9 am
Julington-Durbin Preserve Entrance - 13130 Bartram Park Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32223
Facebook Event Page

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