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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Land swap helps St. Johns River stay wild

Published August 21, 2009 - Orlando Sentinel
Public agencies had already acquired all but 1 1/2 miles of St. Johns River shoreline between State Road 50 at the east end of Orange County and S.R. 46 at the east end of Seminole County in an effort that began with the purchase of a ranch back in 1981.

Now, the missing 1 1/2 -mile-long piece of shoreline is about to be acquired by the St. Johns River Water Management District through a property swap with the Clonts family, longtime ranchers in the area.

Protecting such a large swath of land along the St. Johns River serves several purposes. The natural landscape of marsh and forested swamp sponges up floodwaters that regularly surge down the river. Those wetlands also cleanse waters flowing downstream and provide habitat for varied wildlife, from bears to bald eagles.
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