After working together for almost a decade, five Florida agencies are slowly reducing fecal coliform levels from a median of 2,000 to 8,000 counts/100 ml to 400 counts/100 ml in 10 of the 75 tributaries that feed Lower St. Johns River.

Containing 480 projects representing at least $95 million in capital and ongoing costs, their basin management action plan has received a Spirit Award from the Coastal America Partnership.

“We're not all the way there yet, but we've accomplished quite a bit,” says John Abendroth, an environmental administrator for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). The Lower St. Johns River basin is just one of 24 that the department has identified as impaired.

Consultants PBS&J coordinated the plan's development with the city, FDEP, electric utility JEA, Duval County Department of Health, and the Florida DOT.