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Wekiva River aquatic preserve management plan approved by Acquisition and Restoration Council

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TALLAHASSEE – The Acquisition and Restoration Council today approved the 10-year management plan for Wekiva River Aquatic Preserve located in central Florida and encompassing 6,000 acres of sovereign submerged lands. These lands include a 22-mile portion of a federally designated American Heritage River and a 19-mile section of a federally designated Wild and Scenic River.

The Wekiva River Aquatic Preserve Management Plan characterizes each of its issues and delineates unique goals, objectives and strategies that set the framework for meeting the challenges presented by the issues. The purpose of this management plan is to incorporate, evaluate and prioritize all relevant information about the site into a cohesive management strategy, allowing for appropriate access to the managed areas while protecting the long-term health of the ecosystems and their resources.

Objectives include protecting and improving water quality, enhancing public experience in aquatic preserve waters by providing a variety of education opportunities, improving natural habitats by decreasing exotic species and reducing the amount of debris in the aquatic preserve.

As the public continues to enjoy this important natural resource, smart growth initiatives, science-based sustainable land-use strategies and low-impact recreational opportunities will be employed along with continued education and outreach efforts to visitors of the preserve.

“The Wekiva River Aquatic Preserve is a natural resource of historic, environmental and economic significance,” said Deborah Shelley, manager of Wekiva River Aquatic Preserve. “Striving to keep this area close to pristine is the primary goal of this management plan.”

Wekiva River Aquatic Preserve Fact Sheet »