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Town Hall Meetings to Address Dredging, Rising Waters, and Flooding

Town Hall Meetings to Address Dredging, Rising Waters, and Flooding Credit: Florida Times-Union/ Will Dickey

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 1, 2018

St. Johns RIVERKEEPER to Hold Town Hall Meetings on Flooding and Rising Waters

JACKSONVILLE, FL — On June 1, 2018, the official start of hurricane season, St. Johns RIVERKEEPER is announcing a series of town hall meetings to inform local citizens about rising waters and engage them in a dialogue about the threat of flooding to their homes, businesses, recreational opportunities, and health.

The discussion will also include the impact of past St. Johns River dredging projects and the dredging that is currently underway.

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.

“Our community needs to be better informed 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. “

Town Hall Meetings:

Thursday, June 21 @ 6:30 pm
Sun-Ray Cinema, 1028 Park Street 32204

Thursday, June 28 @ 6:30 pm
Oceanway Senior Center, 12215 Sago Ave W 32218

Friday, June 29, @ Noon – 1:00 pm
Jesse Ball DuPont Center, 40 E. Adams Street 32202

Wednesday, July 11 @ 6:00 pm
Intuition Ale Works, 929 E. Bay Street 32202

The town hall meetings are open and free to the public. Experts will speak and answer questions from the audience. Updates on the town hall meetings will be posted on the Riverkeeper website www.stjohnsriverkeeper.org.

For more information about the meetings, contact Kelly Patton or Shannon Blankinship at 904-256-7591.

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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