Harris Chain of Lakes - Restoration Council

 
Harris Chain of Lakes - Restoration Council
Harris Chain                               of Lakes
    Restoration                              Council

  2017 Report to the Florida Legislature
       Executive Summary enclosed within this report.

            harrischainof lakescouncil.com
Harris Chain of Lakes - Restoration Council
Issued by:

Harris Chain                               of Lakes
   Restoration                                Council
     harrischainof lakescouncil.com

         Bob Johnson, Chairman
       Skip Goerner, Vice Chairman
        Don Nicholson, Secretary
          Stephanie J. Bishop, PE
               John Stump
              Keith Truenow
                 Sid Grow

             About the cover photographs
     Left: Cypress tree along the shore of Lake Harris
           Top right: Boat house on Lake Harris
              Bottom right: Purple gallinule
Harris Chain of Lakes - Restoration Council
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The Harris Chain of Lakes Restoration Council (Council) was established by the Florida Legislature in
2001 with the powers and duties to (a) review audits and all data specifically related to lake restoration
techniques and sport fish population recovery strategies, including data and strategies for shoreline
restoration, sediment control and removal, exotic species management, floating tussock management or
removal, navigation, water quality, and fish and wildlife habitat improvement, particularly as they may
apply to the Harris Chain of Lakes; (b) evaluate whether additional studies are needed; (c) explore all
possible sources of funding to conduct the restoration activities; and (d) report to the President of the
Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives each year on the progress of the Harris Chain of
Lakes restoration program, and any recommendations for the next fiscal year.
The mission of the Council is to maximize successful restoration of the Harris Chain of Lakes, by
ensuring sensible efforts to restore clean water quality, sound environmental policy, ecological diversity,
and economic stability, now and into the future. The Council met regularly during the reporting period
of November 2016 through October 2017. The Council received technical presentations throughout this
period on studies and initiatives to restore and manage the Harris Chain of Lakes. This report represents
the recommendations of the Council to the Legislature.
To maximize successful restoration of the Harris Chain of Lakes in 2017, the Council specifically supports
and recommends the following:

   Lake Apopka Restoration:
    1) Dredging in Lake Apopka to create areas for vegetation.
    2) Against aeration projects intended for lake-wide restoration
    3) Initiation of an Office of Policy Analysis & Government Accountability (OPPGA) Review of restoration
       activities by SJRWMD, FWC and LCWA for Lake Apopka and other lakes within the Harris Chain of
       Lakes.

   Lake Level Management and Minimum Flows and Levels (MFLs):
    1) Maintaining the highest water levels possible during the dry period of the year as fisheries benefit by
       higher water levels during the spawning season.
    2) Closely maintaining the Harris Chain of Lakes regulation schedule during hurricane season.
    3) SJRWMD and pertinent Council technical advisory group agencies (FWC, FDEP, LCWA) to provide
       current scientific data in a presentation to the Council that allows the North Shore Restoration Area
       (NSRA) to either be connected or not connected to Lake Apopka. If reconnection is an option, the
       presentation should include required steps, cost and timeline.

   Aquatic Vegetation:
    1) Establishing additional aquatic vegetation in Lake Apopka and the Harris Chain of Lakes.
    2) Expanding funding for invasive aquatic plant management.

   Fish Attractors:
    1) Installing additional artificial fish attracting structures in the Harris Chain of Lakes.

   Fishery Research
     Collecting game fish samples (n = 7 or more) from the NSRA to provide fillets for pesticide analysis by
        FDOH, to develop a human health risk assessment for consumption of those fish in the NSRA.

   Water Quality:
    1) Expanding studies of septic tank influences on water quality in the Harris Chain of Lakes.
    2) Providing legislative funding for unfunded proposed projects that will help to restore the water quality in
       the Harris Chain of Lakes.

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Harris Chain of Lakes - Restoration Council
TABLE OF CONTENTS
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ....................................................................................................................3
LIST OF TABLES...............................................................................................................................5
LIST OF FIGURES .............................................................................................................................5
LIST OF ACRONYMS ........................................................................................................................5
1.0       ENABLING LEGISLATION .....................................................................................................6
2.0       REPRESENTATION ................................................................................................................7
3.0       2017 MEETINGS AND PRESENTATIONS ................................................................................7
4.0       SUMMARY OF PRESENTATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS .................................................9
   4.1       Harris Chain of Lakes Restoration ...............................................................................9
   4.2       Lake Water Level Management ..................................................................................11
   4.3       Aquatic Vegetation........................................................................................................12
   4.4       Fish Attractor Program ................................................................................................12
   4.5       Fishery Research ...........................................................................................................12
   4.6       Water Quality ................................................................................................................13
5.0       2017 FUNDED PROJECTS BY PARTNERS ............................................................................13
6.0       2017 NON-FUNDED PROJECTS BY PARTNERS ...................................................................17
7.0       APPENDICES .......................................................................................................................19
   7.1       Appendix A: Statutory Authority ................................................................................19
   7.2       Appendix B: Copy of Letter to Senator Baxley ..........................................................21
   7.3       Appendix C. Email correspondence between Dr. Kendra Goff, Florida State Toxicologist,
   and Chairman Johnson, dated January 3, 2017. ..................................................................24
   7.4       Appendix D. Email correspondence between Dr. Kendra Goff, Florida State Toxicologist,
   and Chairman Johnson, dated January 11, 2017. ................................................................25
8.0       MEETING INFORMATION....................................................................................................25
          Meeting 1: November 4, 2016, Meeting Information
          Meeting 2: January 13, 2017, Meeting Information
          Meeting 2: February 10, 2017, Meeting Information
          Meeting 3: March 3, 2017, Meeting Information
          Meeting 4: April 7, 2017, Meeting Information
          Meeting 6: June 9, 2016, Meeting Information
          Meeting 8: August 11, 2017, Meeting Information
          Meeting 9: September 8, 2017, Meeting Information
          Meeting 10: October 6, 2017, Meeting Information

                                                                          4
Harris Chain of Lakes - Restoration Council
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1: Harris Chain of Lakes Restoration Council Members .............................................. 7
Table 2: Technical Presentations from November 2016 to October 2017 ............................... 7
Table 3: 2017 Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Members ..................................................... 8
Table 4. Agency Expenditures on Lake Apopka and the Harris Chain of Lakes Restoration from
1998-2016. .................................................................................................................................... 9
Table 5. 2017/2018 Funded Projects for the Harris Chain of Lakes...................................... 13
Table 6. 2017 Funded Projects for the Harris Chain of Lakes ............................................... 16
Table 7. 2018 Unfunded Projects for the Harris Chain of Lakes ........................................... 17

LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1: Map of the Harris Chain of Lakes ...............................................................................6

LIST OF ACRONYMS
EMCA                 Emeralda Marsh Conservation Area
FDEP                 Florida Department of Environmental Protection
FDOT                 Florida Department of Transportation
FDOH                 Florida Department of Health
FWC                  Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
LANS                 Lake Apopka North Shore
LCWA                 Lake County Water Authority
MFLs                 Minimum Flows and Levels
NSRCWTF              North Shore Reclaimed Water Treatment Facility
NSRA                 North Shore Restoration Area
P                    Phosphorus
RCW                  Reclaimed Water System
SAV                  Submerged Aquatic Vegetation
SJRWMD               St. Johns River Water Management District
TAG                  Technical Advisory Group
TMDL                 Total Maximum Daily Load
TP                   Total Phosphorus
UF                   University of Florida
UORB                 Upper Ocklawaha River Basin

                                                                        5
Harris Chain of Lakes - Restoration Council
1.0 ENABLING LEGISLATION
The Florida Legislature enacted legislation in 2001 creating the Harris Chain of Lakes Restoration
Council (Council) to review audits and all data specifically related to lake restoration techniques and
sport fish population recovery strategies, including data and strategies for shoreline restoration, sediment
control and removal, exotic species management, floating tussock management or removal, navigation,
water quality, and fish and wildlife habitat improvement, particularly as they may apply to the Harris
Chain of Lakes (Figure 1), evaluate whether additional studies are needed, explore all possible sources
of funding to conduct the restoration activities, and report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker
of the House of Representatives before November 25 of each year on the progress of the Harris Chain
of Lakes restoration program, and any recommendations for the next fiscal year. Statutory authority, as
amended in July 2016, is included as Appendix A.

       Figure 1: Map of the Harris Chain of Lakes

                                                     6
Harris Chain of Lakes - Restoration Council
2.0 REPRESENTATION
The council consists of nine voting representatives listed in Table 1. The council includes a
representative of waterfront property owners, a representative of the sport fishing industry, a person with
experience in environmental science or regulation, a person with training in biology or another scientific
discipline, an attorney, a physician, an engineer, and two residents of the county who are not required to
meet any additional qualifications for membership, each to be appointed by the Lake County legislative
delegation. In February 2017 Robert (Bob) Johnson was elected Chairman, Skip Goerner was elected
Vice-Chairman, and Don Nicholson was elected Secretary. The Harris Chain of Lakes Restoration
Council is currently seeking to fill the attorney and physician vacancies through advertising on the
Council website at http://harrischainoflakescouncil.com.

       Table 1: 2017 Harris Chain of Lakes Restoration Council Members

                     Member                              Representative
         Robert (Bob) Johnson, Chairman        Science/Biology
         Skip Goerner, Vice-Chairman           Sport Fishing
         Don Nicholson, Secretary              Waterfront Property Owners
         Stephanie Bishop, PE                  Engineer
         Sid Grow                              Member at Large
         Keith Truenow                         Member at Large
         John Stump                            Environmental Science/Regulation
         Vacant                                Attorney
         Vacant                                Physician

3.0 2017 MEETINGS AND PRESENTATIONS
The Council conducted nine meetings during the 2017 reporting period (November 2016 to October
2017). Meetings were cancelled in December 2016, May 2017, and July 2017. The Council received
scientific information and presentations (Table 2) on restorative measures for the Harris Chain of Lakes
and data concerning water quality and aquatic ecological conditions during the reporting period.
Representatives from St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD), Lake County Water
Authority (LCWA), Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), the Florida
Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), and the University of Florida (UF) provided technical
presentations and information to the Council.

       Table 2: Technical Presentations from November 2016 to October 2017

       Meeting Date                                   Presentations
                              Review of SJRWMD Technical Memorandum 56, Water Quality
                               Changes in Lake Apopka, Florida, and the St. Johns River Water
     January 13, 2017
                               Management District’s Restoration Program, Rolland Fulton, Ph.D.,
                               SJRWMD
                              Discussion of SJRWMD Response to Harris Council Letter Dated
     February 10, 2017         August 29, 2016, Regarding Policy Positions and Programs, Erich
                               Marzolf, Ph.D., SJRWMD
                              Discussion of LCWA Response to Harris Council Letter Dated
       March 3, 2017
                               August 29, 2016, Mike Perry, Executive Director, LCWA
                                                    7
Harris Chain of Lakes - Restoration Council
Meeting Date                                     Presentations
                             Discussion of FWC Response to Harris Council Letter Dated August
       April 7, 2017
                              29, 2016, Dennis Renfro, FWC
                             Update on State Efforts to Remediate Impacts from Onsite
       June 3, 2016           Wastewater Systems Located in Impaired Waters, Kevin Coyne,
                              FDEP
     August 11, 2017         Update on Aquatic Plant Management, Nathalie Visscher, FWC
    September 22, 2017       Discussion of Hurricane Irma, Harris Council Members
     October 6, 2017         Update on Lake Apopka Dredging, Bob Naleway, P.E., SJRWMD

Members of the Council’s Technical Advisory Group (TAG) (Table 3) also provided periodic updates
to the Council on various topics related to lake water quality and restoration issues.

       Table 3: 2017 Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Members

                    Agency                       Representative
        FDEP                             Kevin Coyne
        FDOT                             Vacant
        FWC                              Dennis Renfro
        LCWA                             Michael Perry
        SJRWMD                           Rolland Fulton
        UF                               Mark Hoyer
        U.S. Army Corps of Engineers     Vacant

All Council meetings were noticed in the Florida Administrative Weekly and open to the public.
Members of the public regularly attended Council meetings and provided information and feedback to
the Council. Information from the technical presentations, TAG member updates, and the public was
reviewed and discussed in detail by the Council. This information was used by the Council as the basis
for developing recommendations for future restorative measures and management practices for the
Harris Chain of Lakes.

Copies of the Council meeting minutes and technical presentations for the reporting period may be
downloaded from the Council’s website at harrischainoflakescouncil.com.

                                                  8
Harris Chain of Lakes - Restoration Council
4.0 SUMMARY OF PRESENTATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

The Council received technical presentations and updates in a variety of areas of interest during the
reporting period of November 2016 through October 2017. These presentations are summarized by area
of interest as follows:

   4.1 Harris Chain of Lakes Restoration
   The Council heard presentations from SJRWMD (in February), LCWA (in March), and FWC (in
   April) representatives in response to the Council request for input from the agencies regarding their
   policy positions and what programs they expect to recommend to the Legislature within the next ten
   years. The request was made in the form of a letter submitted to agency executives, dated August 29,
   2016.

   In January 2017, Council TAG members reviewed reports on an experimental restoration project on
   Lake Apopka in which microporous ceramic diffusers were installed to aerate and oxidize flocculent
   bottom sediments. The general consensus of TAG respondents was that the process did not work to
   expectations, and suggested sediments were simply moved to other locations in the lake and not
   actually oxidized. Council recommended that until further review, it did not support the expenditure
   of any more money on aeration projects for such lakewide restoration.

   Dr. Fulton discussed a different aeration project in February 2017, in which UF, under contract to
   SJRWMD would be planting and monitoring the growth of Vallisneria planted behind 3 aeration
   curtains and 3 outside areas. The intent of this aeration project is to evaluate so-called aeration
   curtains effectively keep flocculent sediments away from areas of planted submerged aquatic
   vegetation (SAV).

   In February, April and August 2017, Dr. Fulton updated Council on Lake Apopka sump dredging
   and vacuum dredging. In October, Bob Naleway, SJRWMD, provided an update of SJRWMD Lake
   Apopka dredging projects. Mr. Naleway discussed the current approved and funded dredging
   projects, including sump dredging, vacuuming, and Newton Park Channel dredging.

   Council discussed the restoration funding history of Lake Apopka and the Harris Chain of Lakes at
   several Council meetings during the reporting period, and requested a summary of agency
   expenditures on restoration efforts from 1988-2016. Table 4 lists the agency expenditures for Lake
   Apopka and the Harris Chain of Lakes using the best available information provided by each agency.
   Data sources for listed expenditures are included as numbered notes below the table. Separate
   expenditures by FWC on the Harris Chain of Lakes did not begin until 2012 therefore no data prior
   to 2012 is listed.

   Table 4. Agency Expenditures on Lake Apopka and the Harris Chain of Lakes Restoration
   from 1998-2016.

         Fiscal Year                Agency                    Funding Amount
           1988-1998               SJRWMD                       $131,199,190
           1998-1999               SJRWMD                       $45,000,000
            1999-2000               LCWA1                         $3,231,951

                                                  9
Harris Chain of Lakes - Restoration Council
Fiscal Year    Agency              Funding Amount
              SJRWMD                 $11,000,000
  2000-2001    LCWA1                  $3,231,951
              SJRWMD                 $2,444,555
  2001-2002    LCWA1                 $3,231,951
              SJRWMD                 $2,125,719
  2002-2003    LCWA1                 $3,231,951
              SJRWMD                 $2,728,011
  2003-2004    LCWA1                 $3,231,951
              SJRWMD                 $2,075,535
  2003-2004    LCWA1                 $3,231,951
              SJRWMD                 $2,772,040
  2005-2006    LCWA1                 $3,231,951
              SJRWMD                 $2,533,822
  2006-2007    LCWA1                 $3,231,951
              SJRWMD3                $2,211,715
  2007-2008   LCWA1                  $3,231,951
              SJRWMD3                $4,296,137
                      1
  2008-2009   LCWA                   $3,231,951
              SJRWMD3                $5,615,056
  2009-2010   LCWA1                  $3,231,951
              SJRWMD3                $2,456,995
  2010-2011   LCWA1                  $3,231,951
                          3
              SJRWMD                 $1,841,305
                      1
  2011-2012   LCWA                   $3,231,951
              SJRWMD3                $4,300,000
  2012-2013   LCWA1                  $3,231,951
               FWC2                  $4,800,000
                          3
              SJRWMD                 $4,700,000
                      1
  2013-2014   LCWA                   $3,231,951
               FWC2                  $2,000,000
              SJRWMD3                $3,850,000
  2014-2015   LCWA1                  $3,231,951
               FWC2                  $3,000,000
                          3
              SJRWMD                 $1,933,820

                              10
Fiscal Year                   Agency                      Funding Amount
        2015-2016                   LCWA1                         $3,231,951
                                  SJRWMD3                           $5,127,815
                                     Total                         $302,954,882
1
  LCWA average expenditures from FY99-00 through FY15-16 for the Harris Chain of Lakes: summary data provided
in a presentation to the Harris Chain of Lakes Restoration Council by Mike Perry in March 2017.
2
  FWC appropriations for FY12-13 through FY14-15: data provided in a presentation to the Harris Chain of Lakes
Restoration Council by Dennis Renfro in April 2017.
3
  SJRWMD expenditures from Comprehensive Annual Financial Report FY06-07:pg. 58, FY07-08:pg. 56, FY08-09:pg.
58, FY09-10:pg. 58, FY10-11:pg. 60, FY11-12:pg. 53, FY12-13:pg. 53, FY13-14:pg. 53, FY14-15:pg. 53, FY15-
16:pg. 57

Agency estimates of expenditures on Lake Apopka and the Harris Chain of Lakes are approximately:
$236 million by SJRWMD since 1988, $54 million by LCWA since 1998, and $10 million by FWC
since 2012. This estimate may not include all state and federal expenditures. Council is concerned
that the over $300 million that has been expended has not resulted in adequate restoration of the
targeted areas. In August 2017, Council requested Senator Dennis Baxley, as Chair of the Florida
Senate’s Committee on Governmental Oversight and Accountability contact the Florida
Legislature’s Office of Program Policy Analysis & Government Accountability (OPPAGA) to
initiate a review of Florida’s on-going lake restoration programs. Specifically, Council requested a
review of restoration activities by SJRWMD, FWC and LCWA for Lake Apopka and other lakes
within the Harris Chain of Lakes (Appendix B). Council has made this request because the actions
or inactions of the involved agencies are making it very difficult for the Council to meet its statutory
obligations and the agencies continually fail to implement Council recommendations. Response
letters by SJRWMD, LCWA, and FWC were submitted to Senator Baxley.

Council recommendations 2017:
   Council supports dredging in Lake Apopka to create areas for vegetation.
   Council recommends against aeration projects intended for lake-wide restoration.
   Council requests an OPPAGA review of restoration activities by SJRWMD, FWC and LCWA
    for Lake Apopka and other lakes within the Harris Chain of Lakes.

4.2 Lake Water Level Management
As part of frequent updates on water levels, Mr. Mike Perry, LCWA, and Dr. Rolland Fulton,
SJRWMD, discussed the regulation schedule, seasonal rainfall, and changes in Lake Apopka lake
level and the Harris Chain of Lakes during the reporting period.

Council also received periodic briefings from both Dr. Fulton and Mr. Perry on developments with
SJRWMD minimum flows and levels (MFLs) development for the lower Ocklawaha River and lakes
Apopka, Beauclair, Dora, Eustis, Griffin and Harris.

Council recommendations 2017:
 Council supports MFLs maintaining the highest water levels possible during the dry period of
  the year as fisheries benefit by higher water levels during the spawning season.
 Council recommends closely maintaining the Harris Chain of Lakes regulation schedule during
  hurricane season.

                                                   11
   Council requests SJRWMD and pertinent Council technical advisory group agencies (FWC,
    FDEP, LCWA) to provide current scientific data in a presentation to the Council that allows the
    North Shore Restoration Area (NSRA) to either be connected or not connected to Lake Apopka.
    If reconnection is an option, the presentation should include required steps, cost and timeline.

4.3 Aquatic Vegetation
Ms. Nathalie Visscher, FWC, provided an update on aquatic plant management in the Harris Chain
of Lakes over the past 2 years in August 2017. Ms. Visscher reported the current funding priorities
in the Harris Chain are floating water hyacinth and water lettuce, and submersed hydrilla
management, with $20 million allocated statewide in Fiscal Year (FY) 16/17, and $18,297,000
allocated statewide in FY 17/18.

Ms. Visscher reviewed maps showing areas treated on Lake Harris, Little Lake Harris, Lake Griffin,
Haines Creek, Lake Eustis, Lake Dora, Lake Beauclair, Lake Apopka, and Lake Yale, and presented
detailed information on the types of vegetation treated, acres treated by lake, and the costs of
treatment for FY 15/16 and FY 16/17

In November 2016, and January, February, March April, June and August 2017 Mr. Dennis Renfro,
FWC, updated the Council on FWC’s progress in reconnecting portions Area 3 of the Emeralda
Marsh on the east side of Lake Griffin.

Council recommendations 2017:
 Council continues to support efforts to establish additional beneficial aquatic vegetation in Lake
  Apopka and the Harris Chain of Lakes.
 Council supports expanded funding for invasive aquatic plant management.

4.4 Fish Attractor Program
Mr. Renfro discussed elements of the FWC fish attractor program in the Harris Chain of Lakes at
Council meetings in November 2016, and March and August 2017. Mr. Renfro also briefed Council
on fish attractor installation schedules and FWC involvement with bass fishing tournaments in the
area. Mr. Renfro noted the tournaments represent about $1.3 – $1.5 million in value each, to the local
economy.

Council recommendation 2017:
 Council supports the installation of additional artificial fish attracting structures in the Harris
  Chain of Lakes.

4.5 Fishery Research
In January 2017, Florida State Toxicologist Dr. Kendra Goff, DOH, responded via two emails to a
request by Chairman Johnson to provide a human health risk assessment on the consumption of game
fish from the NSRA (Appendices 7.3 and 7.4). Human consumption advisory assessments have not
been done for game fish from the NSRA because of the limited numbers of game fish present in the
NSRA. Florida Department of Health (FDOH) declined to review the SJRWMD organochlorine data
provided for the minnow Gambusia as FDOH only collects data from game fish. Gambusia is not
used for human consumption. FDOH further noted the sample size was too small, and data was
provided from whole minnows, whereas FDOH analyzes filleted samples only, not whole fish.
SJRWMD uses these data as the current reason not to reconnect the North Shore to Lake Apopka.

                                               12
Council recommendation 2017:
    Council recommends the collection of game fish samples (n = 7 or more) from the NSRA to
     provide fillets for pesticide analysis by FDOH, to develop a human health risk assessment for
     consumption of those fish in the NSRA.

   4.6 Water Quality
   In January 2017, Dr. Fulton presented an overview of water quality changes in Lake Apopka based
   on SJRWMD Technical Memorandum 56, produced by Mike Coveney, Ph.D., former SJRWMD
   scientist. SJRWMD’s expectation is a reversal of eutrophication of Lake Apopka. Reduced
   phosphorus (P) loading is resulting on lower P concentrations and lower levels of phytoplankton,
   which should provide greater water transparency, increased SAV, and increased game fish
   populations.

   In conclusion, Dr. Fulton reported annual total phosphorus (TP) loading to Lake Apopka has been
   reduced from ~62 to ~11 MT (2010-14), reduced P loading has led to reduced TP concentrations
   with reduced Chlorophyll-a, increased transparency, and increased SAV. Neither wind resuspension
   nor sediment P stores have prevented the recovery. Extreme low lake stage results in poor water
   quality, interrupting or reversing improvements, so sustained improvements will require sustained
   water levels within normal ranges.

   Mr. Kevin Coyne, FDEP, provided Council and overview of septic tanks and springs, and how inputs
   are addressed, during a presentation in June 2017. Mr. Coyne concluded his presentation with
   discussion of septic tank remediation plans, which are intended to help achieve total maximum daily
   load reductions reduction for these sources within 20 years. Mr. Coyne noted efforts are currently
   underway to secure funding to study septic tanks in lake areas.

   Council Recommendation 2017
    Expanding studies of septic tank influences on water quality in the Harris Chain of Lakes.
    Providing legislative funding for unfunded proposed projects that will help to restore the water
     quality in the Harris Chain of Lakes.

5.0 2017 FUNDED PROJECTS BY PARTNERS

The Harris Chain of Lakes Restoration Council has developed a database to monitor the progress of
current funded agency projects in the Harris Chain of Lakes. The database lists projects, waterbodies
affected, project descriptions, project partners, project costs, funding sources, and project progress. Table
5 provides a summary of FY 17 funded projects for the Harris Chain of Lakes. Funding for FY 17 totals
$12,971,662. Table 6 provides a summary of FY 18 funded projects, totaling $14,876,347.

Table 5. FY17 Funded Projects for the Harris Chain of Lakes
                                                          Funding                      Project
               Project                   Funding
                                                           Source                     Partner (s)
 Lake Apopka NSRA bird monitoring        $21,000         SJRWMD                       SJRWMD
 Upper Ocklawaha River Basin (UORB)
                                         $52,000         SJRWMD                        SJRWMD
 Vegetation Mapping
 UORB Hydrilla Surveillance              $14,100         SJRWMD                        SJRWMD
 UORB SAV Surveillance                   $19,200         SJRWMD                        SJRWMD

                                                     13
Funding          Project
               Project                   Funding
                                                          Source         Partner (s)
Lake Apopka/UORB Gizzard Shad
                                         $675,000        SJRWMD          SJRWMD
Removal
Aerial Reconnaissance Lake
                                          $10,000        SJRWMD          SJRWMD
Apopka/UORB
Phytoplankton and Zooplankton
                                          $12,320        SJRWMD          SJRWMD
Analyses
Fish Attractors                           $40,000     Legislative/FWC      FWC
Emeralda Conservation Area 3                                             SJRWMD,
                                         $473,000      AHRES/FWC
Reconnection Project                                                       FWC
Emeralda Conservation Area 3                                             SJRWMD,
                                         $229,000        SJRWMD
Reconnection Project                                                       FWC
Fish Stocking                             $200,000    Legislative/FWC      FWC
Longterm Monitoring                        $70,000    Legislative/FWC      FWC
Invasive Plant Treatment                  $860,812    Legislative/FWC      FWC
Lake Apopka Sump Dredging                $3,144,329   Legislative/FWC    SJRWMD
Lake Apopka Unconsolidated Floc
                                         $930,547     Legislative/FWC      FWC
Removal
Lake Apopka Water Quality Treatment                                       FDEP,
                                         $516,939     Legislative/FDEP
Techniques -Garney (pilot project)                                       SJRWMD
Lake Apopka Water Quality Treatment
                                                                          FDEP,
Techniques – 3rd Party Verification of    $55,892     Legislative/FDEP
                                                                         SJRWMD
Garney project
Bubble Curtain to Enhance Aquatic
                                                                          FDEP,
Vegetation in Lake Apopka (pilot         $433,190     Legislative/FDEP
                                                                         SJRWMD
project)
Controlled Cavitation Enhanced
Sediment Treatment System (pilot         $360,000     Legislative/FDEP     FDEP
project)
Lake Apopka Newton Park Dredging
                                         $460,000     Legislative/FDEP   SJRWMD
Project
Lake Apopka Marsh Flow-way
                                         $115,000     Legislative/FDEP   SJRWMD
Improvements
Lake Apopka North Shore Levee
                                         $100,000     Legislative/FDEP   SJRWMD
Improvements
Lake Apopka Targeted Lake Wide
                                         $500,000     Legislative/FDEP   SJRWMD
Restoration-Dredging
LANS Fish Contaminant Analysis            $74,000     Legislative/FDEP   SJRWMD
Controlled Cavitation Enhanced
                                          $68,790     Legislative/FDEP   SJRWMD
Sediment Treatment System
McDonald Canal Improvements &
                                          $12,000        SJRWMD          SJRWMD
Boat Ramp
Duda Lake Water Alum Treatment
                                         $118,455        SJRWMD          SJRWMD
System
Alum Treatment - Lake Apopka,
                                         $300,000        SJRWMD          SJRWMD
Emeralda and Sunnyhill
                                              14
Funding         Project
                Project                    Funding
                                                             Source        Partner (s)
 Fudge Road Levee Improvement              $93,575      Legislative/FDEP   SJRWMD
 Emeralda Marsh Conservation Area
 (EMCA) Area 3 Boat Ramp Pad and           $120,000      AHRES/FWC           FWC
 Parking & Wildlife Drive Parking
 EMCA Area 3 Telemetry Installation        $12,000         SJRWMD          SJRWMD
 Duda Mowing for Habitat Conversion        $10,000         SJRWMD          SJRWMD
 Duda East Pond Weir Replacement           $71,500         SJRWMD          SJRWMD
 Removal of the ABC Weir                   $68,250         SJRWMD          SJRWMD
 Moss Bluff Spillway Rehabilitation       $1,936,863       SJRWMD          SJRWMD
 Site Preparation for Vegetation
 Restoration (EMCA, SMCA, OPCA,            $462,400     Amendment One      SJRWMD
 LANS)
 Native Vegetation Planting                $331,500     Amendment One      SJRWMD
                                  Total   $12,971,662

Table 6. FY18 Funded Projects for the Harris Chain of Lakes

                                                            Funding         Project
                Project                    Funding
                                                             Source        Partner (s)
 UORB Vegetation Mapping                    $61,000     Legislative/FDEP   SJRWMD
 UORB Hydrilla Surveillance                 $14,100     Legislative/FDEP   SJRWMD
 UORB SAV Surveillance                     $19,200      Legislative/FDEP   SJRWMD
 Lake Apopka Tributary Improvements        $125,000     Legislative/FDEP   SJRWMD
 Lake Apopka SAV Restoration               $250,000     Legislative/FDEP   SJRWMD
 LA/UORB Gizzard Shad Removal              $675,000        SJRWMD          SJRWMD
 Aerial Reconnaissance LA/UORB              $10,000        SJRWMD          SJRWMD
 Phytoplankton and Zooplankton
                                            $10,360         SJRWMD          SJRWMD
 Analyses
                                                                              FWC,
 Lake Apopka Sump Dredging                $2,000,000     Legislative/FWC
                                                                            SJRWMD
 Lake Apopka Unconsolidated Floc                                              FWC,
                                           $500,000      Legislative/FWC
 Removal                                                                    SJRWMD
 Lake Apopka Newton Park Dredging
                                          $3,596,000    Legislative/FDEP    SJRWMD
 Project
 Lake Apopka Marsh Flow-way
                                           $150,000     Legislative/FDEP    SJRWMD
 Improvements
 Inlake and North Shore Improvements
                                           $590,000     Legislative/FDEP    SJRWMD
 to Recover SAV
 Lake Apopka Targeted Lake Wide
                                           $500,000     Legislative/FDEP    SJRWMD
 Restoration-Dredging
 LANS Fish Contaminant Analysis             $70,000     Legislative/FDEP    SJRWMD
 Apopka Flow Way - 10 Pack Rehab           $750,000     Legislative/FDEP    SJRWMD
 Lake Apopka Habitat Transition and
                                           $250,000     Legislative/FDEP    SJRWMD
 Development
 Sunnyhill Canal Plugs                      $50,000         SJRWMD          SJRWMD
                                               15
Funding       Project
              Project                    Funding
                                                          Source      Partner (s)
Alum Treatment - Lake Apopka,
                                         $300,000       SJRWMD        SJRWMD
Emeralda and Sunnyhill
Apopka AB Canal Culvert
                                         $70,287        SJRWMD        SJRWMD
Replacement
Site Preparation for Vegetation
                                                      SJRWMD/Amend
Restoration (EMCA, SMCA, OPCA,           $375,400                     SJRWMD
                                                         ment One
LANS)
Native Vegetation Planting               $451,0000    Amendment One   SJRWMD
                                Total   $14,876,347

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6.0 2017 NON-FUNDED PROJECTS BY PARTNERS

The Harris Chain of Lakes Restoration Council has begun a process to review proposals for restoration
projects from federal, state, and local agencies that benefit Harris Lakes, but that have not yet been
funded. Table 5 lists priority projects that demonstrate economic benefit, improve water quality, enhance
aquatic vegetation, or improve fisheries. Following Table 5 are more detailed descriptions of the projects
and include project consistency with Council missions, and Council recommendations on each project.
Council supports these innovative projects, and encourages the Legislature to dedicate funding.

Table 7. Priority Projects Not Yet Funded for the Harris Chain of Lakes

                  Project                       Funding Request           Project Partner (s)
  Assessment of Septic Tanks and Package
                                                     $50,000               SJRWMD, FWC
                   Plants
      Post Septic Tank Package Plant
                                                     $900,000                  SJRWMD
          Assessment Abatement
   Lake Apopka North Shore Solar Panel
                                                     $100,000                  SJRWMD
                Evaluation
  City of Apopka North Shore Reclaimed
   Water Treatment Facility (NSRCWTF)                $250,000                  SJRWMD
          Optimization Evaluation
                                     Total          $1,300,000

PROJECT: Assessment of Septic Tanks and Package Plants

Estimated Funding Request: $50,000

Project Description: An assessment of the impact of septic tanks and package plants has never been
conducted for Lake Apopka. Over 4,000 septic tanks are estimated to be located within the Lake Apopka
Watershed (JEA 2012), which corresponds to a potential annual loading of 40,800 kg of N (Eller and
Katz 2014). This loading does not include impacts from package plants.

Council Recommendation: This project is consistent with the Council missions “To restore the Harris
Chain of Lakes water quality to nothing less than pristine”, and “To evaluate and identify areas of human
health concerns, resulting from the deterioration of our lakes”.

PROJECT: Post Septic Tank/Package Plant Abatement

Estimated Funding Request: $900,000

Project Description: This project would implement abatement activities following the assessment. The
assessment is a separate project.

Council Recommendation: This project is consistent with the Council missions “To restore the Harris
Chain of Lakes water quality to nothing less than pristine”, and “To evaluate and identify areas of human
health concerns, resulting from the deterioration of our lakes”.

                                                   17
PROJECT: Lake Apopka North Shore Solar Panel Evaluation

Estimated Funding Request: $100,000

Project Description: Portions of the Lake Apopka North Shore (LANS) are too high in elevation for
wetland restoration and upland restoration has begun. In some areas, the potential for solar power
generation may be an appropriate alternative land use that provides some environmental benefits in
addition to revenue from electricity production. SJRWMD staff will work with a consultant to evaluate
the potential benefits and costs of utilizing a portion of the LANS for a photovoltaic solar panel farm to
generate electricity, and may implement a pilot project based on the results of the evaluation.

Council Recommendation: This project is consistent with the Council missions “To recommend and
develop projects that substantially improve the economic benefit to the local communities.

PROJECT: City of Apopka North Shore Reclaimed Water Treatment Facility (NSRCWTF)
Optimization Evaluation

Estimated Funding Request: $250,000

Project Description: The purpose of this project is to evaluate alternate discharge options from the City
of Apopka's NSRCWTF. The City of Apopka is currently constructing a +/- 260 million gallon reclaimed
water storage pond, with possible expansion to 300 million gallons at their Golden Gem Water Storage
Facility. The pond provides storage within the Reclaimed Water System (RCW) to optimize the use of
RCW in place of groundwater withdrawals. As the City develops their distribution system, stormwater
from the NSRWTF could be conveyed to the Golden Gem facility via the RCW transmission main along
Golden Gem Rd from Ponkan Rd to the West Reuse Pump Station.

Council Recommendation: This project is consistent with the Council missions “To recommend
lasting and viable solutions to the legislature for appropriations of funds and resources”, and “To
restore the Harris Chain of Lakes water quality to nothing less than pristine”.

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7.0 APPENDICES

    7.1 Appendix A: Statutory Authority

                               2016 Florida Statutes
                                   Title XXVIII
            NATURAL RESOURCES; CONSERVATION, RECLAMATION, AND USE
                                   Chapter 373
                              WATER RESOURCES

   SECTION 467 The Harris Chain of Lakes Restoration Council—There is created within the St.
Johns River Water Management District, with assistance from the Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission and the Lake County Water Authority, the Harris Chain of Lakes Restoration Council.
   (1)(a) The council shall consist of nine voting members which shall include a representative of
waterfront property owners, a representative of the sport fishing industry, a person with experience in
environmental science or regulation, a person with training in biology or another scientific discipline, an
attorney, a physician, an engineer, and two residents of the county who are not required to meet any
additional qualifications for membership, each to be appointed by the Lake County legislative
delegation. The Lake County legislative delegation may waive the qualifications for membership on a
case-by-case basis if good cause is shown. A person serving on the council may not be appointed to a
council, board, or commission of any council advisory group agency. The council members shall serve
as advisors to the governing board of the St. Johns River Water Management District. The council is
subject to chapters 119 and 120.
   (b) There shall be an advisory group to the council which shall consist of one representative each from
the St. Johns River Water Management District, the Department of Environmental Protection, the
Department of Transportation, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Lake County Water
Authority, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, and the University of Florida, each of whom
shall be appointed by his or her respective agency, and each of whom, with the exception of the
representatives from the Lake County Water Authority and the University of Florida, shall have had
training in biology or another scientific discipline.
   (2) Immediately after appointment, the council shall meet and organize by electing a chair, a vice
chair, and a secretary, whose terms shall be for 2 years each. Council officers shall not serve consecutive
terms. Each council member shall be a voting member.
   (3) The council shall meet at the call of its chair, at the request of six of its members, or at the request
of the chair of the governing board of the St. Johns River Water Management District. Resignation by a
council member, or failure by a council member to attend three consecutive meetings without an excuse
approved by the chair, results in a vacancy on the council.
   (4) The council shall have the powers and duties to:
   (a) Review audits and all data specifically related to lake restoration techniques and sport fish
population recovery strategies, including data and strategies for shoreline restoration, sediment control
and removal, exotic species management, floating tussock management or removal, navigation, water
quality, and fish and wildlife habitat improvement, particularly as they may apply to the Harris Chain of
Lakes.
   (b) Evaluate whether additional studies are needed.
   (c) Explore all possible sources of funding to conduct the restoration activities.

                                                      19
(d) Report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives before
November 25 of each year on the progress of the Harris Chain of Lakes restoration program and any
recommendations for the next fiscal year.
   (5) The St. Johns River Water Management District shall provide staff to assist the council in carrying
out the provisions of this act.
   (6) Members of the council shall receive no compensation for their services, but are entitled to be
reimbursed for per diem and travel expenses incurred during execution of their official duties, as
provided in s. 112.061. State and federal agencies shall be responsible for the per diem and travel
expenses of their respective appointees to the council, and the St. Johns River Water Management
District shall be responsible for per diem and travel expenses of other appointees to the council.

  SECTION 468 The Harris Chain of Lakes restoration program—
   (1) The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the St. Johns River Water Management
District, in conjunction with the Department of Environmental Protection, pertinent local governments,
and the Harris Chain of Lakes Restoration Council, shall review existing restoration proposals to
determine which ones are the most environmentally sound and economically feasible methods of
improving the fish and wildlife habitat and natural systems of the Harris Chain of Lakes.
   (2) To initiate the Harris Chain of Lakes restoration program recommended by the Harris Chain of
Lakes Restoration Council, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, with assistance from the
St. Johns River Water Management District and in consultation and by agreement with the Department
of Environmental Protection and pertinent local governments, shall develop tasks to be undertaken by
those entities for the enhancement of fish and wildlife habitat. These agencies shall:
   (a) Evaluate different methodologies for removing the extensive tussocks and buildup of organic
matter along the shoreline and of the aquatic vegetation in the lake.
   (b) Conduct any additional studies as recommended by the Harris Chain of Lakes Restoration Council.
   (3) Contingent on the Legislature’s appropriating funds for the Harris Chain of Lakes restoration
program and in conjunction with financial participation by federal, other state, and local governments,
the appropriate agencies shall, through competitive bid, award contracts to implement the activities of
the Harris Chain of Lakes restoration program.
   (4) The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is authorized to conduct a demonstration
restoration project on the Harris Chain of Lakes for the purpose of creating better habitat for fish and
wildlife.

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7.2 Appendix B: Copy of Letter to Senator Baxley

                                          21
22
23
7.3 Appendix C. Email correspondence between Dr. Kendra Goff, Florida State
    Toxicologist, and Chairman Johnson, dated January 3, 2017.

                                         24
7.4   Appendix D. Email correspondence between Dr. Kendra Goff, Florida State
Toxicologist, and Chairman Johnson, dated January 11, 2017.

8.0 MEETING INFORMATION

Meeting information including agendas, minutes, and presentation information may be found in digital
format and downloaded from the Council’s website at harrischainoflakescouncil.com.

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