Merrill-Stevens, the largest of eight ship yards in Jacksonville, expanded and built 25 ships in support of the war effort during World War I. From 1900 to 1970, developers drained as much as 300,000 acres of the Upper St. Johns River Basin. More than 70 percent of the marsh was claimed for agricultural and urban uses. In 1988, The St. Johns River Water Management District began one of the largest marsh restoration projects in our country’s history in the Upper Basin. As a result, over 150,000 acres of marsh in Indian River and Brevard Counties has been restored.