McCoys Creek is an impaired urban tributary of the St. Johns River in downtown Jacksonville. The creek flows through neighborhoods like Murray Hill, North Riverside, and Brooklyn. It meets the St. Johns underneath the current Times-Union building on Riverside Avenue in between the Acosta Bridge and the Haskell Building.
Groundwork Jacksonville has been working with Wood Inc. to develop a restoration plan for McCoys Creek to restore natural flow, reduce flooding, increase recreation, improve fish habitat and repair water quality. The plan repairs ecological function by restoring a meandering shoreline and expanding the floodplain with lakes and marsh. Restoration of McCoys Creek includes daylighting the mouth of the creek which is currently buried in a culvert that flows underneath Riverside Avenue and the Times-Union building along the Northbank Riverwalk in downtown Jacksonville. We are fully supportive of this plan and its connection to the entire Emerald Trail.
The Times-Union headquarters has been relocated and the owners, the Morris Company, are working on a mixed use commercial/residential development for the current site.
*It is critical that their plan allow space for daylighting this waterway by creating a multi-stage channel with a living shoreline.* The alternative is constructing a narrow channel contained by vertical seawalls similar to a deepwater canal. The deepwater canal provides minimal stream and wetland benefits, while the living shoreline system provides 0.77 acres of wetlands and 560 linear feet of stream restoration along the Morris Property. Residents along McCoys Creek want fishery improvement – which could be compromised by the deepwater canal at the mouth. Kayak recreation and safety are also compromised because of the velocity increases in this vertical system.
We need your help! Before the renderings are made and the plans are pending approval, we need the DIA, City Council and Mayor Lenny Curryto understand the importance of this project in its entirety. Ask them to support the natural flow of McCoys Creek and a living shoreline at its mouth by having the Morris Company incorporate the Wood Inc. living shoreline proposal. Letters and emails will help increase awareness of this issue.