News Release: SRWMD
LIVE OAK, FL, April 21, 2014 – The Suwannee River Water Management District (District) in partnership with the National Guard Bureau, acquired a 344 acre tract in Bradford County from Bradford Timberlands, LLC. The tract will provide a buffer for Camp Blanding and enable the District to build a flood protection and aquifer recharge project.
The District will use the property to capture flood waters and recharge the Upper Floridan aquifer. Recharging the aquifer in this location will benefit aquifer levels in both the Suwannee River and St. Johns River water management districts.
The purchase was funded by a grant from the National Guard Bureau in cooperation with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) as part of
the Department of Defense Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration program designed to secure buffers around military installations.
“The District appreciates the opportunity to partner with the National Guard Bureau on this acquisition that will establish a necessary buffer for Camp Blanding and allow the District to construct a multi-purpose project that will provide flood protection and benefit regional aquifer levels,” said District Executive Director Ann Shortelle.
“This purchase helps to fulfill the state’s continued emphasis on preserving conservation land that protects springs, water resources, and buffers military areas,” said DEP Secretary Herschel Vinyard.
“This purchase will help to protect the military mission of Camp Blanding by allowing soldiers to train to the fence line without fear of affecting the quality of life for our neighbors. This is a win-win for both agencies,” said Paul Catlett, Installation Environmental Program Manager, Camp Blanding Joint Training Center.