The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District commander signed a project partnership agreement with the City of Jacksonville for the Big Fishweir Creek Aquatic Restoration project June 7.
With the signed agreement, the aquatic restoration project now moves into the design and permitting phase.
“Signing this agreement with the City of Jacksonville is good news for the community and its residents who will benefit from this local-federal partnership,” said Col. Jason Kirk, District commander.
Big Fishweir Creek is an urban tributary of the St. Johns River, located roughly 4 miles south of downtown Jacksonville. The creek enters the St. Johns River (an American Heritage River) just north of the Ortega River, and is considered Essential Fish Habitat.
As USACE reported, the goal of the Big Fishweir Creek project is to restore healthy aquatic habitat in the creek by providing ecological benefits. The plan includes removing sediment, restoring habitat for manatee and other native species, removing exotic vegetation, restoring submerged and emergent aquatic vegetation, and restoring wetlands.
A Corps team is starting the project design this month and estimates its completion in June 2019. According to Project Manager Jason Harrah, the team will be ready to advertise a construction contract in July 2019 barring any unforeseen issues.
The Corps will host a community meeting in August to provide an update on the project, and the public will have an opportunity to comment. Harrah said that the Corps will announce the meeting details in late July.