WUFT News

$2 Million Project Begins To Restore Water Levels In Mallory Swamp

By on October 30th, 2013

Workers began restoring the water levels of Mallory Swamp in Lafayette County Wednesday.

The Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD), Department of Environmental Protection and officials in Dixie County introduced the $2 million project.

Artificial draining and drought brought down the swamp’s water levels over the years, and residents are concerned about their water supply.

“As a farmer, being able to water a crop when I need to water it determines where (or whether) I make a living or not,” said Rod Land, a local farmer.

Starting this week, geologists set up wells to help manipulate water levels in the swamp and aquifer.

“We’re trying to rehydrate it first,” said Tom Greenhalgh, a geologist from Florida Geological Survey. “Then, the water that comes out of it will go into the aquifer on the edges of the swamp.”

The project will expand both residential and agricultural water supplies in Lafayette and Dixie counties, according to a SRWMD press release.

Geologists are also digging up limestone and taking samples back to the lab to better understand the aquifer system. The samples are used to determine permeability, giving geologists an idea of where to place each well.

The second plan of action will be to close ditches that have caused water to flow outside the swamp’s usual boundary.

“It’s important for us to have a sustainable means of rehydrating … so that we have sustainable agriculture and sustainable natural resources,” said Ann Shortelle, SRWMD spokesperson.

Although Land believes it’s a step in the right direction, he said he doesn’t believe sustainability will last if water continues to be drained from the swamp.

“These God-created areas, such as what is now Mallory Swamp, (were) put here for a reason,” Land said. “My belief is that they (were) put here for recharge in drought times.”


This entry was posted in Environment and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Environment

Attendance at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park increased by more than 100,000 visitors in the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

State Park Commercialization Plan Contributor Appointed DEP Secretary

State parks were identified by former interim secretary of the DEP Jon Steverson in a draft strategic plan as test cases for allowing commercial businesses to graze cattle, timber and hunt in the parks. Gov. Rick Scott appointed Steverson as DEP secretary today.


Billy McDaniel (left), Tommy Hines (right) catch a gag grouper at Cedar Key, trolling in 50 feet of water.

FWC Surveys Local Fishermen About Gulf Species

The FWC is conducting surveys to discover trends in species of fish being caught in the Gulf of Mexico. Local fishermen agree that monitoring the fish is important, but some question the method of data collection.


Gina Hall, the current president of the Gainesville Alachua County Association of Realtors, said that residential sales in the Stephen Foster neighborhood have been improving. Local realtor Darlene Pifalo said the home pictured above sold in an average amount time on the market after the price was lowered slightly.

Stephen Foster Residents Hope For Neighborhood Revival

The Cabot-Koppers wood treatment plant became an EPA Superfund site in 1983 after dioxins contaminated the soil and underground aquifer. Now that cleanup of residential property was completed in November, the residents look toward the future.


Frosted elfin butterfly

Butterfly Study Calls Attention To Prescribed Burning Practices

A recent study by a University of Florida graduate researches the effects of prescribed fires on the elfin frosted butterfly. The species requires fire to survive, but is also prone to damage from excessive burning.


Containerized longleaf pine seedlings are removed from a growing tray. They are then counted and placed in a wax coated cardboard shipping box.

Longleaf Pine Restoration Helps Environment And Economy

Longleaf pine is being reintroduced into the United States ecosystem. If the restoration plan is successful, this type of pine would benefit the environment and the economy.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments