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Status Reports

Status Report - 3/20/2001

Final Report on the Lake Jackson Restoration Project.

Status Report - 10/21/1999

Project Purpose:
To remove nutrient enriched sediment (organic muck) from Lake Jackson during naturally low water levels.  The muck that has accumulated in Lake Jackson is the result of stormwater runoff discharges from developed areas of the watershed.

Implementation Status:
The muck removal project is being implemented in two phases.  The initial phase is currently underway and entails muck removal in Meginniss and Fords Arms in the southern portion of the lake.  These areas have the highest nutrient concentrations due to their proximity to major stormwater discharge conveyances from the Tallahassee urban area.   Phase II is currently in the design and permitting stage and all necessary approvals are expected by the end of November 1999.

Phase I

Project Management:  Leon County
Amount of Muck:  
175,000 cubic yards over approximately 104 acres
Current Status:  
Muck being stockpiled; hauling from lake will begin by 11/1/99   

Approximately $1.25 million - $300,000 for sediment dewatering, access construction and stockpiling and approximately $954,000 ($5.45 per cubic yard) for hauling and disposal at remote locations.   

Higher cost is due to long distance hauling of the muck (to west side of Tallahassee)


Project Management:
Florida Fish and Wildlife conservation Commission

Amount of Muck:
150,000 cubic yards over approximately 37 acres

Current Status:
Approximately 1/3 Complete 

Approximately $174,000 or $1.16 per cubic yard 

Lower cost is because the disposal area location is close enough to the work area to use large-capacity off-road dump trucks. Additional disposal area may be needed to complete Fords Arm work. Increased distance to disposal areas will increase project cost. If FWC funding is not adequate to meet additional cost, a budget amendment will need to be expedited to allow FWC receive and expend available funds from Leon County.  

Phase II

- Phase II will involve the southern portion of Lake Jackson outside of the Phase I area, with the initial priority being the areas immediately adjacent to Meginniss and Fords arms.  Planning level calculations indicate the Phase II could involve over 500 additional acres of lake bottom with sediment quantities in excess of 1.5 million cubic yards.

Funding - Because the designs are not complete, it is difficult to provide specific quantities of muck to be removed in Phase II.  It is also difficult to accurately estimate cost before all of the logistics concerning disposal sites, project dewatering needs, and equipment requirements are known.  The best current estimate is that approximately $2.5 to $3 million in additional funding is needed to complete a significant amount of Phase II.  However, funding in smaller amounts can be used, since the project can be completed incrementally as funds become available.

Important Issues:
   Leon County: $2,000,000 (Muck Removal)
FWC:   $150,000 (Muck Removal)
NWFWMD:    Approx. $100,000 (Design, Permits, Sediment Analysis, Coordination)
FDEP:    Approx. $20,000 (Sediment Analysis)
 Sustained wet weather will cause the lake to refill and the project to be discontinued.
The last natural drawdown lasted only four months; however, previous dewatering events have lasted more that 9 months
Sediment Quality:
 The sediment targeted for removal from the lake is enriched with nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorous) at levels that upset aquatic ecosystems by causing excessive plant growth, including algae blooms.  While harmful in an aquatic system, the levels of nutrients in the muck are not harmful if applied to the land surface.  Testing of the muck for heavy metals and pesticides has revealed that no special handling or disposal is required.
Stormwater Runoff:
 A coordinated effort is currently underway to capture and treat stormwater runoff before it enters the lake.  Five regional stormwater treatment facilities have been constructed and four additional regional facilities are planned and budgeted for construction.

Project Partners 

Lake Jackson Designations 

  • Outstanding Florida Water (OFW)
  • State Aquatic Preserve
  • Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) Priority Waterbody
  • Florida Nonpoint Source Pollution Priority Waterbody (U.S. EPA designation)

Economic Value of Lake Jackson

An economic study of Lake Jackson was completed in 1995.  This study, titled: The Economic Value of Lake Jackson, was prepared by the A.L. Burruss Institute of Public Service of Kennesaw State College and the Florida State University Department of Economics.  The report indicates that in Leon County, Lake Jackson generated about $10.6 million in lake-related purchases in 1993, and that this spending created about $1.9 million in wages, supporting 96 jobs in the county.

It should be noted that the surveys that formed the basis of this study were administered during a time when the level of Lake Jackson was low enough to severely limit access to the lake.  Thus, many lake managers in the area regard the economic values reported in this study to be quite conservative. 


Leon County Public Works
Stormwater Maintenance
2280 Miccosukee Road
Tallahassee, FL 32308
Telephone: 850-606-1400
Fax: 850-606-1401