U.S. Army Corps of Engineers seeks public input on north central Florida lake restoration activities

Published Sept. 18, 2014

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District has issued a Public Notice concerning an application by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) for a Department of the Army permit to conduct restoration activities on 11 lakes and water bodies in the FWC’s North Central Region.  The Army Corps of Engineers regulates these activities under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899.

This request is part of an overall initiative for routine restoration work in 94 lakes and water bodies throughout Florida. The following water bodies within the FWC's North Central Region are included in the current application:

• Cross Creek, Little Lochlossa Lake, Lochlossa Lake, Newnans Lake and Orange Lake in Alachua County;
• Orange Creek Recreation Area in Alachua and Marion counties;
• Withlacoochee River in Pasco, Hernando, Sumter, Citrus, Marion and Levy counties;
• Alligator Lake in Columbia County;
• Mystic Lake in Madison County;
• Suwannee Lake in Suwannee County;
• Tsala Apopka Chain of Lakes in Citrus County.

The FWC is seeking authorization for routine mechanical aquatic plant maintenance activities related to habitat restoration and navigation maintenance within the above-listed water bodies for a period of 15 years. The proposed maintenance techniques include mechanical harvesting of floating vegetation, shredding floating vegetation and using earth-moving and tilling equipment on vegetated areas during dry conditions. The proposed aquatic habitat enhancement activities would improve habitat for fish and wildlife, and provide outdoor opportunities for boating, angling and wildlife viewing.

The Army Corps of Engineers permitting process provides the opportunity for public comment. The Public Notice for the proposed work, which includes instructions on how to provide comments, is available on Jacksonville District’s website at: http://1.usa.gov/YVNaHi. Learn more about mechanical control of aquatic plants at http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/manage/control-methods/mechanical-control.
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Nancy J. Sticht

Release no. 14-058