Community Budget Issue Requests - Tracking Id #855FY0001

Mitigation Impacts of Increased Lake-Level Fluctuations Including Reduction of Structural Flooding Potential in The Burrell Subbasin












Gene Molnar, Chair


Lake County Water Authority











Project Title:

Mitigation Impacts of Increased Lake-Level Fluctuations Including Reduction of Structural Flooding Potential in The Burrell Subbasin

Date Submitted:

2/13/01 12:08:07 PM












Anna Cowin














Statewide Interest:

Water quality and natural system improvements to highly degraded chain of lakes system.













St. Johns River Water Management District


Carol Senne


P.O. Box 1429

Contact Phone:

(904) 329-4447



Palatka 32178-1429































Service Area:

Government Entity
















Project Description:








Forty years of artificially stabilized water levels in the Harris Chain of Lakes has resulted in poor water quality and the loss of lakeshore habitats for fish and wildlife.  The District is proposing to restore more-natural water level fluctuations in the lakes to help mitigate this damage.  This effort will be accomplished by implementing new schedules for regulating the three water control structures in the chain of lakes.


Higher water levels predicted by the proposed schedules would impede operation of some permitted stormwater projects on the Harris Chain of Lakes.  Part of the requested funding $500,000, will be used to redesign and reconstruct projects potentially affected by high water levels.  Local match for this effort will be solicited.


Public hearings on increasing lake-level fluctuations revealed significant concern about lost boat access from canals to the lakes during low-water periods predicted by the proposed schedules.  To address this concern for fluctuating water levels, the District and the Lake County Water Authority have partnered to dredge existing canals on the Harris Chain of Lakes to improve boat access during droughts.  A 1999 Legislative appropriation funded a feasibility assessment of canal dredging on Lake Griffin, to be completed in the summer of 2001.  A 2000 Legislative appropriation funded dredging of the top priority canals, to begin in the fall of 2001.  Part of the requested funding, $2,400,000, will be dedicated to dredging the remaining canals on Lake Griffin.


Under both the existing and proposed schedules for regulatng water levels in the Harris Chain of Lakes, the greatest potential for structural flooding exists on Lakes Dora, Eustis and Harris, upstream of the Burrell water control structure on Haines Creek.  Modifying the Burrell structure to increase peak flow is an undesirable option because such a modification would increase flooding downstream along Haines Creek.


To reduce structural-flooding potential in the Burrell subbasin, the District is developing additional means of discharging floodwaters by restoring the natural flow-path that existed between Lakes Harris and Griffin before being severed in the 1920s by U.S. Highway 441.  Most of this former flow-path still exists at the District's 400 acre Lake Harris Conservation Area.  The District is evaluating options for moving Lake Harris' floodwaters across the Lake Harris Conservation Area, under Highway 441, and into the south end of Lake Griffin.  Part of the funding, $425,000, will complete construction to recreate this historic flow-path.


Most of the structural flooding in the Burrell subbasin occurs on Lake Dora, which drains through the Dora Canal to Lake Eustis.  The District is assessing conveyance through the Dora Canal and developing viable modifications to increase flows.  The final $750,000 in funding will allow for implementation of modifications recommended after consultation with Lake County Water Authority.


Project Parnters:  Lake County Water Authority and the St. Johns River Water Management District.












Measurable Outcome Anticipated:






Water quality improvements (e.g., lower phosphorus levels); acres of restored shoreline habitat; increased number of recreational fishing days and increased discharge of floodwaters along the natural flow-path that existed between Lakes Harris and Griffin before the 1920s'; modifications along the Dora Canal to reduce structural flooding.











Amount requested from the State for this project this year:






















Total cost of the project:
















Request has been made to fund:

Operations and Construction














Type of funding match:








Total Cash Amount:















Was this project previously funded by the State?





Fiscal Year:















Is future-year funding likely to be requested?













Purpose for future year funding:


Recurring Operations and Non-recurring Construction



Will this be an annual request?
















Was this project included in an Agency's Budget Request?






Environmental Protection, Department Of

Was this project included in the Governor's Recommended Budget?













Is there a documented need for this project?






Upper Ocklawaha Basin Surface Water Improvement and Management Plan











Was this project request heard before a publicly noticed meeting of a body of elected officials (municipal, county, or state)?




Hearing Body:

Lake Griffin Restoration Task Force/Lake Cty. Water Authority


Meeting Date: