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Project Overview

Lake Munson is a 225-acre cypress rimmed lake resulting from the historic impoundment of Munson Slough. Topographic data and Spanish exploration records suggest that Munson Slough originally joined the Wakulla River and discharged to the Gulf of Mexico. Various karst features, such as Ames Sink and the Wakulla Springs system, apparently developed to capture the slough. Munson Slough currently terminates at Ames Sink after flowing through approximately three miles of the Apalachicola National Forest downstream from Lake Munson. The hydrology of the Munson system was altered by the construction of "mosquito control ditches" to drain many of the isolated wetlands in the 1940's and 1950's. Natural creeks were extended to provide the outfalls, making it difficult to be certain what the original drainage area may have encompassed. The urban development within the City of Tallahassee also increased the rate and volumes of discharges in the system until the implementation of stormwater rate control regulations. Ames Sink, as the receiving water for 72 square miles of drainage area, can be overwhelmed by the runoff from either a single high-intensity event (March 2-3, 1991) or a long-duration, high-volume series of events (May through October 1994). There is only 18 feet of fall between the Munson dam and the normal water elevation at Ames Sink three miles south. Consequently, repeat flooding of the slough vicinity becomes a more pressing and difficult issue as the basin continues to develop without volume restrictions.

The review and adoption of the Lake Munson Action Plan occurred during record flooding throughout Leon County from a series of tropical storms and depressions. The series of studies on the system were used to prepare a flood-mitigation project proposal to utilize federal disaster funds. The $1.96 million in federal Community Development Block Grant flood mitigation funds provided the up-front monies needed to prepare the surveys, design drawings and specifications, soil samples, wetland and upland habitat evaluations, hydrologic and hydraulic models (including groundwater), and other analyses necessary to obtain the local, state and federal permits required for the project. The federal funds were also used to acquire some of the necessary project sites and relocate the affected residents.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission provided $456,000 to date for the upstream improvements, and $366,000 was awarded through the USEPA Section 319 Nonpoint Source Management Grant Program. The Leon County Solid Waste Facility funded $600,000 in hauling costs of sediments suitable for daily cover. The City of Tallahassee agreed to allow the County to construct some of the improvements on City property, including a temporary material handling site. The U.S. Forest Service has permitted the use of adjacent Apalachicola National Forest property for a material handling site and access to the sediment delta. The bulk of the funding for the project is through capital improvement bonds issued by Leon County. Project costs from concept through construction total $13.3 million, of which $3.1 million was related to land acquisition and relocation of the residents. The County Commission recognizes the need to restore and protect the water bodies within its jurisdiction and is committed to a $26 million Lakes Restoration Program, with the Lake Munson Restoration Project as our showcase.



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Contact Info:
Leon County Public Works
Engineering Services
2280 Miccosukee Road
Tallahassee, FL 32308



Project Manager:
Theresa Heiker