Special Publication SJ93-SP7
                                 A WETLAND MANAGEMENT
                               STRATEGY FOR THE ST. MARYS
                                        RIVER BASIN
Prepared For:

St Johns River Water Management District
P.O. Box 1429
Highway 100 West
Palatka, Florida 32178-1429
Prepared By:

KBN Engineering and Applied Sciences, Inc.
1034 NW 57th Street
Gainesville, Florida 32605

June 1993

This project has been funded wholly or in part by the United States
Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreement CD004932-91-0
to St Johns River Water Management District.  The contents of this document
do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Environmental
Protection Agency nor does mention of trade names or commercial products
constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.

This document was prepared as a result of a cooperative effort among the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the St. Johns River Water
Management District (SJRWMD), and the Georgia Department of Natural
Resources (GDNR) under EPA Grant No. CD004932-91-0. The project budget
was $59,1104, of which EPA provided TSpercent  The remaining 25 percent
was shared between SRJWMD and GDNR. SJRWMD provided project and
contract management services.
                     — Printed on Recycled Paper —

                             TABLE OF CONTENTS

LISrrOFTABLBS                                                              v
LIST OF FIGURES                                                             vi
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY                                                      ES-1

1.0   INTRODUCTION                                                        1-1

 1.1 PROJECT HISTORY                                                      1-1

 1.2 OBJECTIVES                                                           1-2

 13 STUDY AREA                                                          1-2

2.0   METHODS                                                             2-1

 2.1 HYDROLOGY - METHODS                                                2-1

 22 ECOLOGY - METHODS                                                   2-2

 23 LAND USB                                                            2-3

3.0   IDENTIFICATION OF BASIN RESOURCES                                    3-1

 3.1 HYDROLOGY                                                          3-1

 3.2 ECOLOGY                                                             3-6

     3.2.1     NATURAL COMMUNITIES                                         3-6

      Headwatent                                              3-7
             32.1.2   Blufib                                                  3-7
             32.13   Freshwater River Systems                                    3-7
             32.1.4   Flalwooda                                               34
             32.13   Tidal Systems                                            3-8

     322     ANIMALS                                                      3-8

     3.23     PLANTS                                                       3-9

 33 CONCLUSIONS                                                         3-9

4.0   ASSESSMENT OF LAND USE TRENDS                                       4-1


                             TABLE OF CONTENTS

5.1  WETLAND MANAGEMENT                                                5.1-1

            JURISDICTION                                                  5.1-1

    5.1.2     WETLAND (DREDGE AND FILL) PERMITTING PROGRAMS               5.1-5

    Federal                                                 5.1-5
            5.1.22  Florida                                                 5.1-9
            5.1.23  Geonria                                                5.1-11

52  WATER pusQuarBs



5.4  LAND ACQUISITION PROGRAMS                                           5.4-1

    5.4.1     FEDERAL                                                      5.4-1

    5A2     FLORIDA                                                       5.4-1

            5.42.1  Preservation 2000                                          5.4-1
            5.422  Conservation and Recreation Lands                              5.4-1
            5.423  Save Our Rivera                                           5.4-2

    5.43     GEORGIA                                                      5.4.3

            5.43.1  Preservation 2000                                          5.4.3

    5.4.4     COUNTY AND LOCAL                                            5.4.4

    5.43     PRIVATE                                                       5.44

            5.45.1  The Nature Conservancy                                     5.44
            5.432  Tnist for Public Land                                       5.4.4
            5.433  Georgia Conservancy                                        5.4-5
            5.43.4  Local Land Trusts                                          5.4.5

53  LAND MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS                                          5.5-1

    53.1     OKEFENOKEB NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE                         53-1

    532     OSCEOLA NATIONAL FOREST                                      53-1

                           TABLE OF CONTENTS

    5.53    ST. MARYS CONSERVATION AREA                                53-2

    5.5.4    PINHOOK SWAMP                                             55-2

                   Non-Industrial Forests                                     53-3
            5332   Industrial Forests                                        53-4
            5333   Private Preserves                                        53-4

 5.6  SILVICULTURAL BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES                          5.6-1

     5.6.1    SITE PREPARATION                                           5.6-1

     5.&2    STREAMSTOE MANAGEMENT ZONES                              5.6-2

     5.63    ACCESS ROAD CONSTRUCTION                                  5.6-3

     5.6.4    TIMBER HARVESTINO                                         5.6-4

     5.65    BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES COMPLIANCE                      5.6-4


7.0   REGULATORY AND MANAGEMENT ALTERNATIVES                          7-1

 7.1  AMEND EXISTING REGULATIONS                                        7-1

 7.2  NATIONAL WILD AND SCENIC RIVER DESIGNATION                          7-3

 73  LOCALLY COORDINATED BASIN REVIEW AGENCY                           7-7
     DISTRICT                                                           7-7

 73  PUBLIC EDUCATION                                                  7-8

 7.6  PROMOTE IMPROVEMENTS IN FOREST MANAGEMENT                        7-8

 EASEMENTS                                                            8-1

 8.1  NEEDS AND OPPORTUNITIES                                            8-1

                           TABLE OF CONTENTS

 &2  KEY RESOURCES                                                   8-1

 83  ECOLOGICAL CONNECTIONS                                          8-2

 8.4  IMPORTANT STIES                                                  84

 85  PRIORITIES                                                        8-7

     83.1    PROTECT THE ST. MARYS BLUFFS CORRIDOR                       8-7

            AND FOR BASEMENT NEGOTIATION                              8-7

            BASIN                                                    8-7

9.0   RECOMMENDATIONS                                                9-1


     WATERS DESIGNATION                                              94

     BASEMENTS                                                       9.3

 9.4  PROMOTE IMPROVEMENTS IN ff»BOT MANAGEMENT                       9-3

     DISTRICT                                                         914

REFERENCES                                                         REF-1



                                       LIST OF TABLES

1-1          Land Area of the StMaiys River Basin in Each Stale and County                       1-4

5-1          Regulation of Wetland Alteration (Dredge and Fill) Activities                         5.1-2

5-2          \J& Amy Corps of Engineers Regulatory Program Regulations
             33 CFR, Parts 320-330                                                           5.1-6

5-3          Existing Water Resource Regulations                                              5.2-2

5-4          Beneficial Use Classifications of Surface Waters Used in
             Florida and Georgia                                                             5.2-4

5-5          NPDES Dischargers in St Marys River Basin                                     52-12

5-6          Agencies, Responsibilities, and Legislation That Impact Land
             Use in the St Marys River Basin                                                  53-2

6-1          Resource Protection Programs Available in Florida and Georgia                         6-2

                                      LIST OF FIGURES

1-1          Location Map of St Marys Rivet Basin Study Area                                  1-3

3-1          St Maiys River Basin Subareas                                                   3-2

3-2          Areas of Recharge to Surficial Aquifers, St Marys
             River Basin                                                                    3-4

4-1          Generalized Land Use and Cover Map of the St Marys River Basin                    4-2

4-2          Extent and Location of Large Tract (Greater
             Than 1 Mfle Square) Ownership  in St Marys River Basin                             4-3

8-1          Public Lands and Areas of Conservation Interest                                     8-3

8-2          Potential Ecological Corridors in the St Marys River Basin                           8-4

                                EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

In April 1992, KBN Engineering and Applied Sciences, Inc. (KBN) was contracted by the St
Joans River Water Management District (SJRWMD) to conduct a study to develop a wetlands
management strategy for the St Marys River basin.  The project was to be jointly funded by
SJRWMD, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GDNR), and the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA).

The purpose of the project was to provide background information about the physical and
biological character of the region, examine existing regulatory and management programs in place,
assess land use trends, and propose recommendations for more effective long-term management
The ultimate goal is to develop a long-term strategy for protecting the basin's resources.

The methodology included the compilation and analysis of hydrologic and ecological data to
identify significant environmental resources within the basin, review of planning documents to
assess existing land uses and future land use trends, and compilation  of relevant federal, state and
local regulations regarding environmental protection and growth  management

The St Marys River basin contains a variety of different types of wetlands. These wetland types
include intertidal salt marsh near the mouth of the river at Cumberland Sound, tidally influenced
forested floodplains farther upstream, seepage slope forests along creeks draining high pine-
covered sandhills, wet pine flatwoods, and hardwood and cypress forests of the Okefenokee

Hydrologically, the St Marys River basin can be divided into three subareas based on hydrologic
       1.   A headwaters subarea with  large floodplain wetlands which provide substantial  storage,
      2.   A middle St Marys subarea characterized by narrow floodplains confined to the main
           stem of the river, and
      3.   A lower St Marys subarea  which  is tidally influenced and poorly drained.

The existing good water quality of the river is attributed to die undeveloped state of die riverbank
and immediately adjacent areas.  Large-tract ownership, such as silviculture and natural forest
management, has preserved water quality, streambank vegetation, and remaining natural
communities and wildlife, but there will be increased pressure on large landowners to subdivide,
especially in Camden County, Georgia, and Nassau County, Florida.  Appropriate economic
incentives must be provided to encourage landowners to continue leaving these areas intact

Although current water quality conditions are good, sitvicultural activities along the river have the
potential to affect water quality.  High compliance with siMcultural Best Management Practices
(BMPs) in both Florida and Georgia must be maintained.

The dominant land use and cover within the St. Marys River basin has been and will continue to
be silviculture and upland forest, primarily managed pine forests.  In addition, wetland forests are
also managed for timber products. Approximately S3 percent of the basin was found to be large
tracts in private ownership, primarily the timber products industry.  Large tracts in public
ownership account for another 20 percent of the basin, with the remaining 27 percent parcelized.

Despite the overall rural character of the basin and dominance by sirvicultuial land uses,
significant urban expansion is projected to continue in the St Marys-Kingsland area in Camden
County due to continued growth of the Kings Bay Naval Base.  Flood damage potential to the St
Marys and King Bay areas has greatly increased because of increased development These
downstream areas are protected by flood storage in the headwaters subarea of the basin.

Moderate growth is also projected to continue in eastern Nassau County in the vicinity of Yulee
and Fernandina Beach. This growth will be driven in part by Kings Bay to the north and by the
attraction to coastal Florida.  Baker and Cbarlton counties are projected to remain largely
unchanged and will continue to be dominated by silviculture.

The basin is mostly forested, but much of the native vegetation and habitat has been fragmented
by  development and silviculture, especially in uplands.  Due to the intensive widespread
sUvicultural activities in the basin, relatively little natural pineland or xeric upland habitat remains.

Currently, the basin is under the jurisdiction of a number of federal, state and local governments
and agencies which have a variety of resource protection programs in place.  Hie existing
regulations and policies of these agencies were surveyed and found to be generally adequate to
address growth management and many resource protection issues.  However, there are gaps hi
resource protection and there is no formal coordination mechanism for these existing programs.

For example, wetland protection is uneven in the basin because of differing state policies. In
Florida, wetlands are protected by the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation (FDER)
and SIRWMD. In Georgia, only coastal wetlands are protected by the state.  On a federal level,
the basin is split between two U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USAGE)  districts. The St Marys
River basin lies in two separate districts of USAGE, with the Georgia side in  the Savannah district
and the Florida side in the Jacksonville district USAGE is the only agency that regulates
activities in Georgia's freshwater wetlands, since there is no state regulatory program.
Coordination, enforcement and consistency are therefore more difficult than if the basin were
located in a single USAGE district

Long-term protection of the basin's wetland resources will depend more on coordination of
existing regulations and programs than on promulgation of new regulations. To this end, several
regulatory and management alternatives are presented.  These alternatives provide possible
mechanisms for development of a comprehensive management program  and include amendment of
existing regulations, Wild and Scenic River designation under local control, formation of a locally
coordinated basin review agency, consolidation of the basin under one USAGE district and the
promotion of public education.

In addition to regulatory and management alternatives, opportunities to protect key lands through
voluntary acquisitions and easements are also discussed. The goal of these acquisitions and
easements would be to maintain the existing ecological linkage system.  Specific recommendations
for corridors are made which call for preservation of connections from the St Marys River basin
southeast to the Nassau River, south to Upper Black Creek, and north to the Okefenokee Swamp
and the Satilla River.

Finally, specific recommendations for implementation of a long-term management strategy for me
St Marys River basin are provided.  These recommendations call for pursuit of Wild and Scenic


River designation under the control of a local Cooperative Management Committee. The
Cooperative Management Committee would then serve as the institutional foundation directly
responsible for development of the river management plan required under the Wild and Scenic
River designation. The plan would include provisions for establishment of a consistent river
corridor and special waters designation by both Florida and Georgia, implementation of a
comprehensive land acquisition study and possible establishment of a regional land trust, and
promote review of silvicultural BMPs to identify potential improvements to facilitate long-term
protection of the basin's wetlands and  other natural resources.

                                 1.0  INTRODUCTION

The St Marys River and its associated wetlands are generally recognized as a signiGcant resource
to both Florida and Georgia.  The St Marys River has been described as one of the highest quality
blackwater stream systems in Florida [Honda Department of Natural Resources (FDNR) 1989].
The overall quality of the St Marys River has been attributed in large part to the lack of urban
development along most of the river corridor.  However, concerns have been expressed (FDNR
1989; Lynch and Baker 1988) regarding the future of the St Marys River, as development
pressures increase within the drainage basin. The recent completion of the Dames Point Bridge
and the continued expansion of the Kings Bay Naval Base are examples of projects mat could
increase development pressure and subsequently result in detrimental land use changes within the

Previous assessments of the St Marys River (FDNR 1989; Lynch and Baker 1988) identified
integrated resource management policies between Florida and Georgia as the foundation for long-
term protection of the basin's natural resources.  The relative lack of urban development within die
basin provides a rare opportunity to develop and implement practical resource management
strategies to provide such long-term protection.

As the first step in development of a management strategy for resources within the St Marys
River basin, this study was undertaken as a jointly funded effort by the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA), the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GDNR) and the St
Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD). The purpose of the study is to inventory die
basin's resources and evaluate the effectiveness of the regulatory and planning framework
currently in place. The goal of this study is to provide practical recommendations for long-term
protection of the unique qualities of the St Marys River.

While the federal government and both Florida and Georgia have various regulatory, land use
planning and land acquisition programs in place, no integrated approach to protect water and
related land resources currently exists.  The existing good quality of the St Marys River and the
lack of urban development within the basin provide a rare opportunity to develop a meaningful
long-term strategy for resource protection. Due to the basin's location in both Florida and


Georgia, implementation of such a strategy also provides a rare opportunity to foster interstate

In April  1992, the KBN Engineering and Applied Sciences, Inc. (KBN) project team was
contracted to conduct a study to provide the basis for subsequent development of an integrated
management strategy for protecting wetlands, water, and related land resources in the St Marys
River basin.  The three major objectives of the study were:
      1.   To conduct an inventory and assessment of regionally significant wetlands, water and
           related land resources of the St Marys River basin.
      2.   To identify and assess existing planning, regulatory and land acquisition programs
           which protect wetlands, water and related land resources.
      3.   Develop recommendations for interstate cooperation, land use, regulation, and land
           acquisition activities to protect wetland, water and related land resources in the St
           Marys River basin.

This report presents the results of the study, including an identification of basin resources
(Chapter 3), assessment of land use trends (Chapter 4),  description and evaluation of existing
planning, regulatory and acquisition programs (Chapter  5), a summary of major issues that
confront the basin (Chapter 6), regulatory and management alternatives to address these issues
(Chapter 7), strategies for voluntary acquisition of lands and easements to protect key lands
(Chapter 8), and recommendations for future actions (Chapter 9).

The St Marys River is located in northeast Florida and southeast Georgia and forms a portion of
the border between  the two states (see Figure 1-1). The river originates in the waters of the
Okefenokee Swamp and flows  first south, then north and finally east for approximately 125 miles
before discharging to Cumberland Sound and the Atlantic Ocean.  Along  its course, the river
receives flow from numerous tributaries originating in extensive networks of headwater wetlands
and seepage slopes.

The St Marys River has a drainage basin approximately 1,585 square miles in size (see
Table 1-1).  Because the river comprises a portion of the Florida-Georgia border, the basin is


Figure 1-1

Table 1-1.  Land Area of the St. Marys River Basin in Each State and County
Gulden County
Charltan County
Ware County
•Nassau County
Baker County
Columbia County
Duval County
Union County
Basin Land
(sq miles)


Percent of


Source: KBN, 1992.

divided between the two states. Approximately 942 square miles (59 percent) of the basin is in
Florida and 643 square miles (41 percent) is in Georgia.

The St Marys River basin extends into eight counties, three in Georgia and five in Florida, fa
Georgia, the basin includes portions of Gamden, Chariton and Ware counties.  In Florida, the basin
includes portions of Baker, Columbia, Duval, Nassau, and Union counties.

While the complete drainage basin of the St. Marys River extends into eight counties in both
Florida and Georgia, the primary river corridor is within only four counties. These counties
consist of Gamden and Chariton in Georgia and Baker and Nassau in Florida.

Approximately 7 percent of the St Marys basin is in Ware County, Georgia. This portion lies
entirely within the Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.  Columbia, Duval and Union
counties in Florida contain only small portions of the perimeter of the drainage basin. For these
reasons, the study was focused primarily on the basin within Baker, Camden, Chariton and Nassau
counties. This study area represents 86 percent of the basin and the entire length of the river

                                     2.0 METHODS

The inventory of hydrologically important areas in the basin focused on floodplains and
groundwater recharge areas.  Floodplains are of regional significance because then- alteration can
have regional implications for local flood damage prevention, the protection of downstream areas
from flooding, and water quality impacts due to erosion and filtration.

The primary maps of the 100-year floodplain are published by the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) as part of the federal flood insurance program.  These maps are
generally considered to be the best information source on floodplain location, and are consistent
between counties and states. Since transferring information from FEMA maps for the entire basin
was not within the scope of this project, the location of large floodplain areas that are contiguous
with the St. Marys River and its tributaries was determined from county comprehensive plan maps
of the 100-year floodplain. These comprehensive plan maps used FEMA as their original
floodplain information source and allowed large floodplain areas to be identified relatively quickly.
Large floodplain areas were all roughly mapped on U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) 1:100,000
topographic maps. It was decided that the method's accuracy was sufficient for a regional-scale
study, although it would not be sufficient for site-specific information. A higher level of accuracy
could be obtained by using individual FEMA maps for small areas.

Recharge areas are of regional significance because their wise use allows protection of drinking
water supplies, which can be sensitive to pollution and over-pumping. The Floridan aquifer is the
predominant large-scale water source in bom the Georgia and Florida portions of die St Marys
basin.  Aquifers in shallow surfioial deposits also are used on a smaller scale especially to provide
water for domestic uses.  Recharge areas to the Floridan aquifer were identified using digital
USGS data provided by SJRWMD.  Surficial aquifer recharge areas were identified using
SJRWMD and Georgia Geologic Survey publications (Huff and McKenzie-Arenburg 1990; Davis
et al. 1990).  Recharge area locations were transferred to USGS  1:100,000 maps.

Water quality information that was obtained included a listing of point sources within the basin
from EPA's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program in Atlanta

(Region IV) and water quality assessments by the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation

(FDER) and counties.


To identify ecologically significant resources, KBN supplemented information extracted from

SJRWMD land cover Geographic Information System (CIS) maps and GDNR Landsat imagery .

with available location data on rare natural community variations, threatened and endangered

species occurrences, old-growth forests, wildlife habitats, and other ecological resources.

Information on important ecological features was sought from a variety of sources, including the


      Florida Natural Areas Inventory
      Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission
      US. Fish and Wildlife Service
      Florida Museum of Natural History
      Northeast Florida Regional Planning Council
      Florida Conservation and Recreational Lands Program
      The Nature Conservancy
      The Trust for Public Land
      Planning departments of the study area counties
      The St Marys River Management Committee
      Georgia Department of Natural Resources
      The Georgia Conservancy
      Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge
      Southeast Georgia Regional  Development Center
      Georgia Natural Heritage Inventory
      Osceola National Forest
      Florida Division of Forestry
      .Florida Greenways Project
      National Park Service
      Oilman Paper Company

The Nature Conservancy's report, Natural Areas Inventory of the St. Marys River, Florida-Georgia

(Lynch and Baker 1988), proved to be an extremely valuable source of information. KBN

discovered that very little information not already adequately synthesized in this report was

available and therefore based most of the ecological evaluation on its contents.

Detailed site-specific information, which was largely limited to Florida Natural Areas Inventory
(FNAI) data and Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission (FGFWFC) wading bird
rookery locations, was recorded on 1:24,000 USGS topographic quad maps.

Important natural areas identified by The Nature Conservancy, existing preserves, regionally
significant ecological features (population concentrations, for example), and lands that appeared to
be in natural condition on land use maps and aerial imagery were mapped at 1:100,000. These
maps were used to determine regional patterns and suggest ecological corridors.

Existing land uses and future trends in land use and development patterns were determined by
review of comprehensive plans and other planning data.  Information was also obtained from
planning agency  personnel with the Coastal Georgia and Southeast Georgia Regional Development
Centers, Northeast Florida  Regional Planning Council, GDNR, Georgia Department of Community
Affairs, Florida Department of Community Affairs and the planning offices of the four counties hi
me study area.

Large land tracts with single ownerships were identified by review of plat data. In Florida, plat
maps commercially available for real estate purposes were used to identify  tracts 640 acres or
larger in size.  In Georgia, such commercially available plat maps are not available for the study
area. Identification of large ownerships in the Georgia portion of the study area required visits to
county tax assessors offices in Charlton and Camden counties. County tax maps were reviewed
and ownership information transferred to USGS 1:24,000 or 1:100,000 topographic maps.  This
information was then digitized into a  CIS.

A generalized hud use and cover map was prepared by adapting digital data acquired from both
Georgia and Florida.  A classified Landsat image produced through the Freshwater Wetlands and
Heritage Inventory Program was obtained from the GDNR.  In addition, photointerpreted land use
and cover data were obtained from SJRWMD. The Landsat image data was converted into a
format compatible with the SJRWMD data. The two data sets were then combined. Due to
differences in classification systems employed by Florida and Georgia, land cover classes were
combined into eight common classes, as shown on Figure 4-1.


According to the 3Q5(b) report (FDER 1990), the St Marys River generally has excellent water
quality.  Because of its extensive wetlands, the St Marys River is a blackwater stream with
naturally high color and low dissolved oxygen. Prolonged periods of low flow have occurred on
the St Marys River. The most severe period of low flow was in 1954-55 (USAGE 1988), which
was the year of a severe fire in the Okefenokee Swamp.

The top of the Floridan aquifer in the St Marys basin vicinity is 200 to 500 ft below sea level
(Stewart 1980).  Water within the Floridan aquifer moves generally Gram west to east toward the
coast There are no high recharge areas to the Floridan aquifer in the St Marys River basin.
Areas with very permeable soils are likely to provide recharge for surfidal aquifers (Huff and
McKenzie-Arenburg 1990).

As the basin assessment progressed, it became clear that the St Marys River basin has three
subareas with distinct bydrologic attributes (Figure 3-1). These consist of a headwaters subarea,
the middle portion of the basin in which the river flows northward, and the lower river to the east
of Folkston. The three subareas are described more fully below.

This subarea includes the following tributaries of the St Marys Riven
      North Prong
      Middle Prong
      Cedar Greek
      South Prong
      Deep Greek
      Baldwin Bay-Brandy Branch

The subarea includes the south and western part of the St Marys basin and extends to the pout
where the river course turns northward, northeast of Macdenny. Included in this subarea are
portions of the Okefenokee Swamp and the Osceola National Forest, which are predominantly

Figure 3-1

publicly owned.  Tlie eastern boundary of the subarea runs along the top of the Trail Ridge. The
largest municipality in the headwaters subarea is Macclenny.

Within die headwaters subarea, floodplain widths vary from narrowly confined tributary stream
margins to approximately two miles wide in the vicinity of Deep Greek and Brandy Branch. This
subarea also includes large floodplain wetlands associated with the headwaters of tributary streams,
such as the South Prong Swamp, an extensive floodplain system which comprises the headwaters
of the South Prong of the St Marys River.  Other large floodplain wetlands hi the subarea include
Pinhook Swamp, Moccasin Swamp, Ellis Bay, Sparkman Bay, Mud Lake Swamp, and floodplain
wetlands assoa'atfd with Cedar Creek and Deep Creek.

The large floodplain wetland areas hi this subarea have an important storage function for the St.
Marys basin as a whole. Storage in the headwater swamps and river floodplains reduces and
delays the flood peaks hi downstream areas of the river.  As headwater floodplain storage is
reduced, flooding problems and streambank erosion may result downstream because of increased
peak flood levels and velocities. Fortunately, one of the largest flood storage areas in this subarea
is the Okefenokee Swamp, which is relatively well protected from floodplain alteration due to its
status as a National Wildlife Refuge.

In the headwaters subarea there is a potential area of surfitial recharge north of Macclenny (Figure
3-2), but soils in almost all of the headwaters subarea are relatively impermeable.  Most of the
headwaters subarea can be expected to provide low to medium recharge to the Floridan aquifer
(Stewart 1980; Spencer 1991; SJRWMD 1992). Areas immediately adjacent to the river provide
no recharge to the Floridan aquifer.

According to the 305(b) report (FDER 1990), the South Prong tributary is considered an area of
concern because of high bacteria and nutrients.  Compared to other subbasins of the St Marys, the
South Prong has more anthropogenic influences, especially in the vicinity of Macclenny. Two
wastewater treatment plants (NJE. Florida State Hospital  and City of Macclenny) discharge into
Turkey Creek, which flows from east to west and joins the South Prong upstream of Macclenny.
Floodplain encroachment also has been noted in the vicinity of Macclenny, and agricultural
activities also may be affecting water quality.

Figure 3-2

 SOURCES:  HtfmlMdCwfe-Annlug. 19(0:
          Dt»lnl 11.1990.

At the North Prong of the St Marys River in Moniac there have been periods of no flow for many
days in some years (USGS 1991). This suggests that water quality here may be sensitive to
disturbance because of low dilution capability.

Middle St Marvs
The major tributary in this subarea is Spanish Greek. Most of the numerous tributaries in the
Middle St Marys are short and originate on the Trail Ridge. The Snwannee Canal is located in
this subarea, flowing from the Okefenokee Swamp east through the Trail Ridge and joining the
river in the north portion of the subarea.

In contrast to the headwaters subarea, floodplains here are largely confined to the main stem of the
river. The notable exceptions are Baldwin Bay Swamp and floodplain wetlands around Deep
Greek and Brandy Branch, in the southeastern part of the snbarea.

There are two areas of surfitial aquifer recharge to the south of Folkston (Figure 3-2).  Recharge
to the Floridan aquifer is low to medium in  this subarea except directly adjacent to the main stem
of the river. These areas provide no recharge.

This middle region of the St Marys River has the best water quality in the basin. Median
dissolved oxygen concentrations showed 79 percent saturation in ten water quality samples from
the river collected between 1980 and 1986 at a station located due west of Callahan (FDER 1990).
This suggests very favorable conditions for  fish and other aquatic organisms. The median total
suspended solids concentrations of 3 mg/L at this station also indicates excellent water quality.

t .(Twer St. Marvs
The major tributary hi this subarea is the Little St. Marys River. The St Marys River is affected
by tide in much of this subarea, with tidally influenced flows measured as far as 21 miles
upstream of the river mouth (USGS 1991) and reported as far upstream as Folkston and Traders

Floodplains cover much of the basin subarea, comprising approximately SO percent of the land
area. The low topography and slope of the  snbarea, combined with tidal effects, make this the
most poorly drained of the three subareas. The area's poor drainage has limited development in


much of the lower St Marys River, primarily due to the lack of soil suitability for septic systems
in the floodplain areas.  Higher banks in this area are moderately suitable for septic systems and
have been developed. Kingslahd has a history of flooding problems especially on Catfish, Little
Catfish and May creeks (USAGE 1988). In coastal portions of this subarea, however, the largest
potential for flood damage is from hurricane storm surges, which could cause substantial damage
even above the I-9S river crossing (USACE 1988).

Most of the lower St Marys River subarea provides no recharge to the Floridan aquifer. Two
areas of low to medium recharge to the Floridan occur in the eastern portion of the subarea, in and
around Fernandina Beach and west of Chester.  Several industrial water users are located in
Fernandina Beach and it is possible that the withdrawal of large volumes of water is inducing
recharge in the vicinity. Much of the St Marys-Kingsland vicinity provides recharge to the
surficial aquifer (Figure 3-2).  Other small areas of surfictal aquifer recharge lie south of the river
     St Marys.
Water quality in this reach of the river is not as good as in the middle portion of the St Marys
River, as shown by median dissolved oxygen and total suspended solids concentrations (FDER
1990). Point source  discharges include wastewater treatment plants at Kingsland and St Marys.
Hie Oilman Paper Company discharges to the North River and is the largest user of groundwater
in the basin (USACE 1988).

The Little St Marys  River and Amelia River near Fernandina Beach are mentioned as areas of
concern in the 3QS(b) report (FDER 1990).  In the Little St Marys, limited sampling showed tew
dissolved oxygen and elevated nutrient concentrations, which are thought to be due to a discharge
from a small wastewater treatment plant and a fruit growing company. The Amelia River is
affected by numerous discharges from wastewater treatment plants and industrial facilities.
Detailed ecological descriptions of the St Marys River basin have been published in Natural Anas
Inventory aftheSt Marys River, Georgia • Florida prepared by I. Merrill Lynch and W. Wilson
Baker for The Nature Conservancy (Lynch and Baker 1988). The following is a description of me
major natural communities, natural areas, and plant and animal species of conservation interest

occurring in the basin. The reader is encouraged to use the Lynch and Baker 1988 publication for
more detailed descriptions of these resources.

Except as noted, the following natural community types follow the classification presented in The
Nature Conservancy report (Lynch and Baker 1988). They have been grouped according to the
ecological segments of the river basin (see Figure 3-1) of which they are most characteristic, but
many of them also occur in other parts of the basin.  Headwaters
The headwaters of the Si Marys River lie in a relatively flat wetland region called the Northern
Highlands or the Okefenokee Basin. This area is characterized by the swamp-bog—waterlily
prairie wetland complexes of the Okefenokee-Pinhook system and extensive wet flatwoods.
Typical plant communities include the following:
      Carolina Bay-Shrub Bog
      Pond Pine Pocosin
      Prairie  Bluffs
The bluQs segment of the St Marys River generally runs between the Duval Uplands and Trail
Ridge.  Here, sandhills and xeric flatwoods dominate the natural upland vegetation and seepage
through the porous soil supports slope forests, seepage slopes, and bay swamps downslope. Plant
communities include:
      Longleaf Pine/Turkey Oak Sandhill
      Live Oak-Laurel Oak Upland Forest
      Seepage Slope1
      Bay Forest
    'Not in The Nature Conservancy table.  The community is described hi The Nature
 Conservancy site reports, but a natural community category is not provided.

3.2«1«3  Freshwater River Systems
Hie middle section of the St. Marys River is characterized by extensive riverine ecosystems with
broad forested wetland floodplains.  Natural communities include:
      Blackwater River Cypress-Gum Swamp
      Blackwater River Levee Forest
      Blackwater River Bottomland Hardwoods
      Creek Swamp
      Floodplain Lake  Flatwoods
Throughout the basin and particularly upslope of the floodplain wetlands along the river's central
stretches, flatwoods dominate much of the landscape. As digfiirnml in regards to silviculture, most
of the native pinelands have been converted to pine plantation. However, remnants of the
following natural communities can still be found:
      Longleaf Pine/Blackjack Oak/Wiregrass
      Longleaf Flatwoods
      Slash Pine Flatwoods
      Pond Pine Flatwoods
      Cypress Pond
      Open Depression Pond

3.2.L5  Tidal Systems
From the Sea Islands west into the St Marys Meander Plain is a zone of estuarine influence
characterized  by saltmarsh and maritime hammock. Typical natural communities are:
      Smooth Cbrdgrass (Spartina alterniflara) Marsh
      Black Needlerush (Juncus roemerianus) Marsh
      Sawgrass-Wild Rice (Cladum-Zuaniopsis) Marsh
      Wax Myrtle-Yaupon Holly-Saltbnsh Shrub Marsh
      Tidal Cypress-Gum-Maple Swamp Forest
      Maritime Forest

Tables A-l through A-5 in Appendix A list the species that characterize the fauna of the St. Marys
basin.  Threatened, endangered or rare animals documented within the St Marys River basin are
listed in Table A-l.

The critical habitat functions provided by the St Marys River basin include important travel
corridors for the Florida Black Bear (Ursus americanus floridanus), dry sandhills for the
Sherman's Fox Squirrel (Sciurus niger shermanu), open pine habitat for me Southeastern
American Kestrel (Falco sparverua paulus), Red Cbckaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis), and
Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus pofyphemus), and valuable foraging, roosting, and nesting habitat for a
wide variety of wading birds.  Populations of wading birds in north Florida and south Georgia are
increasing, possibly as a result of the extensive habitat degradation in south Florida.  As habitat
degradation continues, wetland habitats in north Florida and south Georgia will continue to
increase in importance for survival of wading bird populations.

3.23  PLANTS
The rich flora of the St Marys region is reflected in the site descriptions provided in The Nature
Conservancy report (Lynch and Baker 1988). Analysis of this report and other regional
information makes it dear that protection of this flora must be based on habitat-oriented programs
to an even greater extent than is normally the case in most regions.  It is the native plant
communities, rather than individual spedes, that are endangered here. The pineland groundcover
is of particular concern because it tends to be extremely rich in rapidly dedining spedes that have
not yet been documented  as rare enough to deserve individual conservation attention.

Numerous moderately threatened or rare plant spedes occur in the St Marys basin, but very few
of them are seriously endangered and none are endemic to the region. No federally endangered
plants have been documented  here.  Table A-6 in Appendix A gives the listed spedes expected to
occur in the St Marys basin.

Review of hydrologic and ecological information on the St Marys River basin indicates mat
wetlands within the basin are  fundamental to maintenance of flows and water quality in the river
and are an important component in the diverse habitats found in the basin. However, no discrete


wetland areas considered of exceptional significance were identified.  Rather, the wetland resources
of the basin that are widely distributed within a complex mosaic composed of wetlands and
uplands were collectively found to be regionally significant.  This mosaic is illustrated in the land
use and land cover map shown on Figure 4-1. Review of this map clearly shows the complex
interrelationship between the forested wetlands and upland areas. These upland areas are primarily
tree plantation with some remaining areas of natural forest

The largest expanses of contiguous wetlands shown on Figure 4-1 are represented by the non-
forested wetlands of the Okefenokee Swamp and the tidal salt marshes near the mouth of the river.
With  the exception of these areas, the remainder of the wetlands in the basin are forested. For this
reason the wetland resources of the basin are more appropriately identified in terms of functional
categories, as discussed in the hydrologic component section above, than specific geographic

As a result of the wide distribution of wetlands and uplands and a relative lack of urban
development, good quality habitat for a wide range of plants and animals, including a number of
threatened and endangered species, is found throughout the basin.  Regionally, the St. Marys River
basin provides significant expanses of undeveloped area that provides ecological connections
between the Satilla River basin to the north, the Okefenokee Swamp system to the west, and the
Upper Black Creek basin to the south. A detailed discussion of these ecological connections is
provided in Section 8.0.

In addition to the overall good quality habitat found throughout the basin, Lynch and Baker (1988)
identified areas of exceptional habitat along the length of the river corridor.  These areas of
exceptional habitat comprise the remaining high quality natural areas within the basin.
Preservation of the overall habitat values of the basin will depend not only on preservation and
management of the exceptional natural areas but also on management of surrounding areas so that
existing ecological connections are preserved and enhanced.  Therefore, a basinwide or regional
perspective is necessary when discussing the habitat contributions-provided by the wetland
resources of the St Marys River basin and the subsequent development of a wetland management

                       4.0 ASSESSMENT OF LAND USE TRENDS

Figure 4-1 is a map showing the existing land uses and vegetative cover within the St. Marys
River basin. As indicated by the map, silviculture is the dominant land use in the basin and is
considered the primary management objective by landowners.  Forests and timberland cover 90
percent of Baker County, 80 percent of Nassau County, 75 percent of Camden County, and 98
percent of Charlton County.

Intensive timber harvesting has occurred within the St Marys basin since the early 1900's. The
vast majority of original flatwoods have been harvested, with most of the existing forests being
composed of third and fourth generation slash pine.  Pinelands within the St. Marys basin are
typically dominated by young, even-aged stands. While the majority of the harvested timber is
pine, substantial quantities of cypress are also harvested.

Compilation of plat data revealed that a high percentage of the land in the St Marys  River basin is
in large-tract ownership (Figure 4-2). These large tracts include federal, state, and private lands.
The predominant land use on these large tracts is management for the production of forest
products.  In total, four large tracts of land are in federal ownership, and two large tracts in state
ownership.  Within the Florida counties of Nassau and Baker, approximately 68 percent of the
total land area in the basin is in  large-tract ownership. Similar to Florida, the land ownership
patterns in the Georgia counties  of Charlton and Camden are predominantly large-tract parcels.
The portion of Ware County that is included in the St Marys River basin is within the Okefenokee
National Wildlife Refuge and, therefore, under the jurisdiction and management of the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service.

Ownerships other than the large  tracts illustrated in Figure 4-2 tend to be moderately sized,
ranging from 5 to 10 acres to a half section or more. Most of the small subdivided tracts, or
residential developments, are confined to areas in the vicinity of the small cities and towns.

Figure 4-1

  ^H  oevEiorto BASHEN

               UHJU* FORK! 00
               FREE Pl«NTAT»W

         nd Hvugt DvMoy Piogmn LmDui
         kxgi 1W 
Figure 4-2

       I MUCLMOS


To assess future land use trends within the four counties in the basin study area, local
comprehensive plans or other available planning documents were reviewed.  Planning personnel
from various state, regional and local agencies were also consulted for additional
information.Within Baker County, future land use trends indicate continued dominance of
silviculture.  Baker County experienced an approximate 21 percent population increase from 1980
to 1990, but the growth rate is expected to slow by 2005.  The minimal growth in the county is
expected to surround the incorporated areas and existing subdivisions and to occur along the
transportation corridors. While the county is expected to grow, causing pressure to change
agricultural forest land to residential and commercial development, overall forest coverage is not
expected to decline appreciably.  The comprehensive plan indicates that approximately 13,542
acres of land will be dedicated to improved cropland and grazing and 141,488 acres to forest and
commercial timber over the next 10 years. Therefore, the growth trends within Baker County
indicate a continuation of the existing agriculture and silviculture activities.

Nassau County has experienced moderate growth over the past 10-year planning period (with a
current population estimate of 48,900 residents) and is projecting a population of 66,800 by 2005.
The county is expected to continue to grow at a moderate rate in towns and communities and
along major transportation corridors.  Future changes in land use designations from rangeland,
silviculture, and forest to residential, commercial, or industrial are expected to occur hi the vicinity
of existing communities and major transportation corridors. The two municipalities that are within
the SL Marys River basin are Billiard and Femandina Beach. The Nassau County Comprehensive
Plan indicates that approximately 9,187 acres of unincorporated county lands are anticipated to be
required for residential uses and  167 acres will be needed for commercial uses.

Nassau County's growth has been attributed to the pulp industry, transportation, and tourism.  Past
and projected future growth trends occur as a result of economic activities to the south and north
of the county. These trends  are attributed to the City of Jacksonville and improved transportation
to the employment centers within the city and to the development of the Kings Bay Naval Base in
Camden County. The  Dames Point Bridge across the SL Johns River in Jacksonville greatly
enhances access to northern Duval and southern  Nassau counties. A number of bridges cross the

St Marys River. The bridges at Interstate 95 (1-95) and U.S. Highway 17 are heavily used and
provide important transportation linkages.

For Nassau County as a whole, urban expansion is projected to occur in the Yulee area. Yulee is
located at the intersection of UJS. Highway  17 and SR 200 and is easily accessible from 1-95.
Projected growth in the Yulee area is the result of improved access to Jacksonville to the south.
While Yulee itself is  located just outside of the St. Marys basin, urban growth in the Yulee area
would be expected to spill over into nearby portions of the St Marys basin.
The lands in Gamden County that are included in the St Marys River basin are sparsely populated
except for St Marys  and Kingsland.  The population in Gamden County has more than doubled
from  1980 to 1990 and is expected to continue to grow into the next century, mainly as a result of
the Kings Bay Naval Base.  The majority of the, existing land use designations in the St Marys
River basin are Vacant/Undeveloped and Agriculture/Forest  Residential and Commercial land use
designations in the St Marys River basin are found in or near Kingsland and St Marys. There are
only a few small state-owned parcels hi Camden County, used for recreation and historical sites.

The Kings Bay Naval Base has spurred rapid growth in the Cities of Kingsland and St Marys.
The anticipated growth in Camden County is expected to be centered around the naval base, towns
and communities, and transportation  corridors.  The SR 40 corridor between Kingsland and the
City of St Marys has the greatest potential  for urban development

Charlton County is located west of Camden County, with the St Marys River predominantly
forming the county's eastern and southern border. The population of Charlton County has risen
slightly from approximately 7,500 in 1985 to approximately 8,500 in 1990.  The potential for
future growth is small.  The major land use in Charlton County is silviculture, and is anticipated to
remain so for years to come. Nearly 98 percent (488,109 acres) of Charlton County is forested.
Of this amount, nearly one-third lies within the boundaries of the Okefenokee National Wildlife
Refuge.  The largest  municipality and the county seat is Folkston; Homeland and St George are
smaller communities within the basin.  Residential development is clustered around the small
communities  and the major roads, with the  future need for increased residential developments
remaining small.



The SL Marys River basin contains a variety of different types of wetlands. These wetland types
include intertidal salt *nnr|?h near the month of the river at Cumberland Sound, tidally influenced
forested floodplains farther upstream, seepage slope forests along creeks draining high pine-
covered sandhills, wet pine flatwoods, and hardwood and cypress forests of the Okefenokee

Hydrology is a major determining factor in the formation of different wetland types.  Different
types of hydrology that support different types of wetlands include tidal regime, fluctuations in
river water level resulting hi flooding of adjacent floodplain forests, slow runoff or infiltration
from areas after rainfall, high groundwater tables, and seepage of groundwater from the base of
steep slopes.  The frequency and duration that an area remains wet or flooded determines what
type of wetland mat area will support

A number of different government agencies, including federal, state and regional agencies, regulate
activities in wetlands within the SL Marys River basin (see Table 5-1). Due to differences hi
legislation mandating an agency's involvement in wetland regulation, and differences in rules and
policies which implement wetland  legislation, each of these agencies may have a different
interpretation of what constitutes a wetland.

USAGE is charged with regulating waters of the United States. Waters of the United States are
defined in 33 CFR, Part 328, and include coastal  and navigable inland waters, lakes, rivers and
streams; other intrastate lakes, rivers and streams  (including intermittent streams), mudflats,
sandflats, wetlands, sloughs, wet meadows, and certain impoundments. While waters of the United
States are not necessarily wetlands, certain wetlands are a subset of waters of the United States.  In
order to be more specific regarding wetlands, USAGE and EPA jointly define wetlands as follows:
      Those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency
      and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do

TtWe 5-1.  Regulation of Wetland Alteration (Dredge and Fill) Activities
                                                                                Amdfaxbflitv ta Land U«eB
  Agency            Regulation                                Sflvicnltnre         Agricalture        lAban/Indostiial

USAGE*     Dredge and Fill
                 Rivers and Haibore Act of 1899"                NA                 NA                Applies
                    Sections 9 and 10

                 Clean Water Act, Section 404°                  Exempt1            Exempt'           Applies
                    (33 CFR Parts 320-330)

                 Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act of 1956°

                 Endangered Species Act of 1973'

State of Florida
FDER/       Dredge and Fill
 SJRWMD*     Warren S. Henderson Wetlands Protection
                 Act of 1984                                    Exempt"            Exempt"           Applies
                    (4Q3.92-.938, FS)

SIRWMD    Management and Storage of Surface Water*        Exempt*            Exempt           Applies
                 (Ch. 40C-4, Co. 40C-40, and Ch. 40G-41,
                 F.A.C, Sec 403, FS)

State of Oeonda
GDNR       Dredge and Fill                                   NA                 NA                Applies
                 Coastal Marshlands Protection Act of 1970*
                    (GA Code 12-5-280 et seq.)

                 Endangered Wildlife Act of 19731
                    (OA Code 27-3-130 et seq.)
  Jacksonville District in Florida, Savannah District in Georgia.
  FnhMtB uwoborised oonatructioo fa or over navigable waters of the United States.
  Governs discharge of dredged or GO material into waters of the United States.
  33 CFR Part 232.4(a). Exemption applies to established (le, on-going) farming, silviculture or ranching operations. Activities which bring •» we» into
  fuming, aOvicnlnira, or ranching use an not able to use the exemption.
  Reqaires USAGE to coordinate permit applications with state and federal fish and wildlife agencies.
  Far protection of endangered or threatened speeiea.
  Certain aspects of program delegated by FDER to SJRWMD.
  Chapter 403.927. Florida Statutes: Exemption incfades all necessary farming and fcrettry operations which are nominal aad customary for aa area, such a
  •to piejiaialiOQt clesiiitgt frirHiHi confounng to pievaul sou erosion^ soil prepsratkinw pkwng, plant fag, harvcstnig, coasBfoctioB of acoeas losdftj and
  9OB0 •CtlVlUCS sW9 COUBpff ODCtt mpIITO BOtlC0 pCfOItt OT 2CB"*U pfTBIltBi
* Qosed syttton tn couinpt; othflr aunptioiis niy ilso ipply.
" Wthin the St. Marys Basin, applies only to salt marshes within Camdea County.
             are eacenpt and tewt to impede constraction in any way.


      support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions.
      Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas.

As a consequence of this definition, USAGE has developed criteria by which an area may be
determined to be a wetland classified as a water of the United States.  In order to be classified as a
wetland by USAGE, an area must (1) be dominated by wetland plants, (2) have hydric (i.e,
wetland) soils, and (3) display evidence of wetland hydrology. USAGE has developed an
extensive list of plants that indicate the presence of wetlands and established procedures for
evaluating soils for hydric characteristics. In practice, areas that have both wetland plants and
soils are assumed also to possess wetland hydrology.

As an agency of the federal government, USAGE has wetland jurisdiction in both Florida and
Georgia.  However, USAGE is divided into districts.  The Florida side of the basin is administered
by the Jacksonville District The Georgia side of the basin is administered by the Savannah
District  Both the Jacksonville District and  the Savannah District are within the USAGE South
Atlantic Division, which is headquartered in Atlanta.

In Florida, the state government, acting through FDER, regulates activities in wetlands  considered
to be waters of the State.  As with USAGE, determination of a wetland by the state of  Florida is
dependent upon the dominance of listed plant species and the presence of hydric soils.

An important distinction between USAGE and state of Florida methodology is that in Florida a
wetland must have a direct hydrologic connection to a listed state water body such as a bay,  river,
stream or tributary. Such waters of the State are listed in Rule 17-301, F.A.C. (Surface Waters of
the State).

While hydrologic connections may not be immediately obvious at all times, in order for a wetland
to be considered a water of the state of Florida, the hydrologic connection must indeed exist
Such a connection may be direct or through an adjacent wetland or an excavated water such  as a
man-made lake or even a drainage ditch. Wetlands that are connected to waters of the  State are
within the jurisdiction of the State. Wetlands that are not hydrologically connected to a water of

me State are considered isolated and are not within the state's regulatory jurisdiction for dredge
and fill activities. Cypress domes are examples of wetland areas that often are not connected to
any other wetland or water body.

USAGE has no requirement for hydrologic connections between wetland areas and other waters
such as rivers or streams. Accordingly, USAGE often will have jurisdiction over isolated wetlands
mat the state of Florida does not

Another important distinction between USAGE and state of Florida wetland methodology regards
the lists of wetland plants used by each agency. USAGE has adopted a wetland phut list that is
more extensive than that utilized by Florida. An important item of the USAGE list that is not
present on the Florida list is slash pine (Pinus elliottii).  Inclusion of slash pine on the USAGE
wetland plant list allows USAGE wetland jurisdiction to extend into wet pinelands and even
planted pine plantations. The absence of slash pine from the Florida list prevents the State from
exerting wetland jurisdiction into areas dominated by slash pine, in most cases.

USAGE'S more comprehensive wetland plant list and ability to exert jurisdiction  into isolated
wetland areas often results in USAGE having more extensive wetland jurisdiction in a given area
than that exerted by the state of Florida.  In some cases, areas several square miles in size may be
entirely within USAGE jurisdiction with little or no corresponding jurisdiction by the state of

A final consideration in discussing the extent of wetland jurisdiction in the Florida portion of the
study basin involves SJRWMD.  SJRWMD is one of five regional water management districts m
Florida which have broad authority from the state legislature to regulate water-related activities
such as drainage, flood prevention, irrigation and water supply. The St. Marys River basin is
within the boundaries of SJRWMD.

Through its Management and Storage of Surface Waters (MSSW) permitting program, SJRWMD
is involved in reviewing and permitting environmental impacts associated with construction of
water management systems for many types of developments. Included in these reviews are


consideration of impacts to wetlands.  When delineating wetlands under the MSSW program,
SJRWMD uses the state of Florida's wetland plant list and/or a list of wetland soils adapted by
rule for each county. However, under the MSSW rules a bydrologic connection to waters of the
state is not necessary and, consequently, SJRWMD may exert wetland jurisdiction over isolated
wetlands during the MSSW permitting process.  Due to differences in rules used by USAGE,
FDER, and SJRWMD, up to three separate wetland jurisdiction lines can be delineated on a single
tract of land. However, in most instances a joint USACE/SJRWMD line is used for isolated
wetlands and a joint FDER/SJRWMD line for contiguous wetlands.

In addition to Florida, Georgia conducts a wetland regulatory program. However, the Georgia
program, mandated through the Coastal Marshlands Protection Act of 1970, is restricted to coastal
marshlands within coastal counties.  Within the St. Marys River basin, this limits application of the
Coastal Marshlands Protection Act to salt marshes within Camden County.  Activities in
freshwater wetlands further inland in Camden and Charlton counties are not regulated by the State
of Georgia.  However, such wetlands would still be within the jurisdiction of USAGE.

USAGE has been involved in regulating certain activities in the nation's waters since  1890. Until
1968, this regulatory responsibility was primarily restricted to protection .of navigation. Since that
time however, judicial decisions and new legislation have led to development of a more
comprehensive resource protection program.

The USAGE regulatory program regulations for activities in waters and wetlands are found in 33
CFR, Parts 320-330. The tides for each individual part are listed in Table 5-2.  Typical activities
requiring USAGE permits include construction of structures such  as piers, wharves, docks,
deckhouses, boat hoists, boathouses, floats, dolphins, marinas, boat ramps, marine railways,
bulkheads (and backfill); construction of revetment, groins, breakwaters, levees, dams, dikes,
berms, weirs, and outfall structures; placement of wires, cables or pipes in or over the water;
dredging, excavation and depositing of fill and dredged material;  construction of fill roads and
placement of riprap.


Table 5-2.  VS. Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory Program Regulations 33 CPU,
           Parts 320-330
Part 320
Part 321
Part 322

Part 323
Part 324
Part 325
Part 326
Part 327
Part 328
Part 329
Part 330
General Regulatory Polides
Permits for Dams and Dikes in Navigable Waters of the United States
Permits for Structures or Work in or Affecting Navigable Waters of the United
Permits for Discharges of Dredged or Fill Material into Waters of the United States
Permits for Ocean Dumping of Dredged Material
Processing of Department of the Army Permits
Public Hearings
Definition of Waters of the United States
Definition of Navigable Waters of the United States
Nationwide Permits

The legislative authority for the USAGE regulatory program is derived primarily from the Rivers

and Harbors Act of 1899, the dean Water Act and the Marine Protection, Research and

Sanctuaries Act of 1972. These laws provide USAGE with the following authorities to issue

      (a) Section 9 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 United States Congress
      [U.S.C] 401), regulates construction of dams or dikes across navigable waters.

      (b) Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C 403), regulates
      construction of structures in  or over navigable waters, excavating or filling in such waters,
      and any other activities which may obstruct navigation.  This section regulates construction
    '  of small boat structures such as piers, boat docks, moorings, and platforms.

      (c) Section 11 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C  404), authorizes
      USAGE to establish haibor lines waterward of which construction of piers, wharves,
      bulkheads and other works is prohibited.

      (d) Section 13 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C 407), regulates
      discharge of refuse into navigable waters to protect anchorage and navigation.

      (e) Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C.  408), provides for
      temporary use of government piers and bulkheads.

      (f) Section 404 of the dean Water Act (33 U.S.C 1344), regulates discharge of
      dredged or fill material into  waters of the United States.

      (g) Section 103 of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972, as
      amended (33 U.S.C 1413), regulates transportation of dredged material for ocean

Using these authorities, USAGE may issue several kinds of permits.  These permits include:

      (1) Individual permits-required for major projects, involves a project speciGc review
      and formal public notice procedures. In some cases may involve public hearings and
      preparation of Environmental Impact Statements.

      (2) Letters of Permission-used to authorize Section 10 activities such as minor
      structures and limited dredging operations with contained disposal areas.

      (3) General Permits-provide a streamlined permitting procedure for specific
      categories of projects which are expected to have little or no significant
      environmental impact.  These permits are developed by USAGE districts and reflect
      the types of minor activities common in  that district For example, the Jacksonville
      District has developed 42 general permits for use with private and commercial docks,
      riprap revetments, boat ramps and slips, outfall structures and similar activities. If an
      activity is covered by a general permit, an application to the USAGE is not


      necessary.  A person utilizing a general permit must only comply with the specific
      requirements stated for use of that permit  In some cases pre-construction notification
      may be necessary.
      (4) Nationwide Permits—Provide approval on a nationwide basis for a large group of
      minor activities such as repair of certain structures, construction of structures in
      residential canals, and minor road crossing fills.
The decision to issue a permit is based on a public interest review during which a number of
factors are considered including: the overall need for the activity and possible alternatives; effects
on wetlands, fish and wildlife habitats and threatened and endangered species; degradation of water
quality; effects on historic, scenic and recreational values; potential to cause coastal erosion or
shoaling; obstruction of navigation; cumulative impacts to floodplains; water supply and
conservation; possible environmental benefits; and economics.

The Section 404 program for discharges to waters of the United States is the primary USAGE
wetland permitting program and most comprehensive in scope.  Through this program the USAGE
regulates activities hi all of the wetlands within the St. Marys basin.  This permit program would
apply to any project which proposed to place fill in wetland areas. Examples of such projects
would be road crossings of wetland  areas and commercial and residential developments which
need to encroach into wetlands to create a buildable and economically viable site.

As part of the permitting process, comments are solicited from the VS.  Fish and Wildlife Service
(USFWS) regarding potential adverse impacts to fish and wildlife habitat and endangered and
threatened species.  As with the split in the USAGE districts between Savannah and Jacksonville,
the USFWS districts are also split along the Florida-Georgia border within the St Marys River
basin. In Florida, the USFWS office with responsibility over the SL Marys basin is in
Jacksonville.  The applicable USFWS office in Georgia is in Brunswick.

Should threatened or endangered species be potentially impacted by a proposed activity, USAGE is
required to consult with USFWS. The proposed activity may not be authorized unless USFWS
determines under the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act and Endangered Species Act the project
is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the threatened or endangered species or result


in die destruction or adverse modiGcation of the habitat of such species.  USFWS prepares a
separate biological opinion for this determination.

The Section 10 program regulating construction of structures in navigable waters would also have
wide applicability to the St Marys River. Through the Section 10 program, structures such as
boat docks and boat houses along the river and its navigable tributaries would be regulated.

Specifically exempted from the requirement for a permit under the 404 program are normal
silvicultural activities such as plowing, seeding, cultivating, minor drainage, and harvesting for the
production of forest products.  Minor drainage does not include drainage associated with the
immediate or gradual conversion of a wetland to a non-wetland.  To qualify for the exemption, the
activities must be part of an established (i.e, ongoing) silvicultural operation. Activities which
bring an area into silviculture are not part of an established operation.

5.L2J  Florida
Activities in waters and wetlands in the state of Florida are regulated under the Warren S.
Henderson Wetlands Protection Act of 1984. This act is found in Sections 403.92-.938 of the
Florida  Statutes.  The implementing rule for this legislation is Rule 17-312, FA.C, entitled
Dredge  and Fill Activities.

The Florida agency! with the primary responsibility for carrying out the mandate of the Henderson
Act is FDER. However, for the  past several years, SJRWMD has been delegated much of FDER
permitting authority and has been conducting much of the program.  The delegation applies to
projects which would require both a dredge and fill permit and a surface water  management (U,
drainage)  permit Example of such projects include residential and commercial developments and
road projects.

In general, any construction hi, on or over waters of the state of Florida requires a permit Such
projects include construction of jetties, breakwaters, revetments, marinas, docks, wharves, piers,
marine railroads, walkways, mooring structures, boat ramps, canals, locks, bridges, causeways and
any dredging and filling.  A number of exemptions are provided for minor activities such as


private docks of limited size, maintenance dredging, certain boat ramps, and construction of
seawalls and revetments in limited situations.  In addition, a number of general permits are
provided which authorize certain activities if conducted in accordance with the specific design
criteria listed in the permit. General permits cover such activities as boat ramp construction,
installation of riprap, certain private docks, and certain types of utility crossings.

In determining whether to issue a dredge and fill permit under the Henderson Act, the state of
Florida considers a two-part test which considers water quality and public interest  A project may
not cause violations of water quality standards and in some instances may cause no degradation of
ambient water quality.  If a project complies with water quality requirements, h must also be
determined to be either clearly in or not contrary to the public interest  In determining public
interest, the Henderson Act, provides similar guidelines to what USAGE considers in its public
interest review. In the case of the Henderson Act the public interest criteria are listed in Section
403.918, FS (criteria for granting and denying permits) and require consideration of:
      1.   Public health, safety or welfare and the property of others;
      2.   Conservation of fish and  wildlife, threatened or endangered species or their habitats;
      3.   Navigation, flow of water, erosion, or shoaling;
      4.   Fishing, recreational values and marine productivity;
      5.   Whether the impacts of the project will be temporary or permanent;
      6.   Historic and archaeological resources; and
      7.   The current condition and relative value of functions being performed by areas affected
           by the proposed activity.

In the state of Florida the Henderson Act (Sections 403.91-403.929, FS) exempts fanning and
forestry activities from wetland permitting requirements otherwise applicable to non-agricultural
activities. The exempt activities include all necessary farming and forestry operations which are
normal and customary  for the area, such as site preparation, clearing, fencing, contouring to
prevent soil erosion, soil preparation, plowing, planting, harvesting, construction of access roads,
and placement of bridges and culverts, provided such operations do not impede or divert the flow
of surface water.

The silviculture! exemption in the Henderson Act defaults responsibility for agricultural operations
on the water management districts under the authority of Chapter 373, FS, and implemented under
Rule 40C-4 and 40C-43, FAC  Under Chapter 373, the presumption is made that use of Best
Management Practices (BMPs) developed through the FDACS Division of Forestry will minimize
impacts of the agricultural operation.

One source of debate in interpretation of the FDER agricultural exemption provided by Chapter
403, FS, is what constitutes a normal and customary agricultural operation. For example,
harvesting of floodplain forest is a legitimate silviculture! activity of which the normal and
customary practice is to harvest during the dry season.  If logging occurs during periods of high
water, regulatory enforcement action may be taken due  to violations of water quality standards,
primarily turbidity.  As another example, logging roads constructed through wetland areas are a
normal and customary practice. However, such roads need to reflect their use as logging roads
and not be over-designed to accommodate a more intensive future use not related to silviculture.
In other words, the exemption may not be used to construct logging roads which will in turn
service a future residential development.

Section 404(b) of the dean Water Act allows the Administrator of the EPA to transfer
administration of the Section 404 permit program for discharges into certain waters of the United
States to certain states.  Florida is currently studying the feasibility of accepting the 404 program.
If implemented, administration of the 404 program by Florida will allow consolidation of the
federal and state wetland permitting programs that now function independently within Florida.
Once  Florida's 404 program is approved and in effect, USAGE will suspend processing of Section
404 applications hi the applicable waters and will transfer pending applications to the state
5.1.23  Geonda
As previously stated, Georgia's wetland regulatory program is restricted to the Coastal Marshlands
Protection Act of 1970, and focuses exclusively on the coastal marshlands within coastal counties.
Within the St. Marys River basin, this limits application of the Coastal Marshlands Protection Act
to salt marshes within Gamden County.  Activities hi freshwater wetlands further inland hi  •


Gunden and Charleton counties are not regulated by the State of Georgia. However, such
wetlands would still be within the jurisdiction of USAGE.

The Federal Water Pollution Control Act, also known as the dean Water Act, is die cornerstone
legislation for the preservation and restoration of water quality in the waters of the United States.
The Federal Water Pollution Control Act was initially passed in 1967 but has been amended
several times over the yean. It is usually titled with reference to one of its amendments, for
example, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972. Other amendments were
made in 1977,1980 and 1988.  Therefore, the title "dean Water Act" or "Clean Water Act as
Amended" refers to the latest amendment of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act

Section 303 of the Clean Water Act mandates states to establish and enforce water quality
standards. This mandate consists of three main components:
      1.   Establishment of a classification system to designate the most beneficial uses of
           surface waters in a  state,
      2.   Establishment of water quality criteria which protect those beneficial uses, and
      3.   Establishment of antidegradation policies.

EPA is the federal agency with the responsibility for ensuring that the states comply with the
mandates of the Clean Water Act (see Table 5-3). EPA must approve the water quality protection
criteria established by the states.  While EPA publishes recommendations for water quality
standards, the states may propose more stringent  limitations for approval by EPA.

In Florida, the state agency responsible for establishing and enforcing water quality standards for
surface waters is FDER.  FDER's rules for surface water quality standards are contained in Rule
17-302, FA.C

In Georgia, the state  agency responsible for establishing and enforcing water quality standards for
surface waters is GDNR, Environmental Protection Division (EPD).  Georgia's surface water
quality standards are contained in Section 391-3-6-.03.

Table 5-3. Existing Water Resource Regulations
                                                                       Amflkabilitv to Land Uses*
NPDES Pennit (40 CFR Pads 122,123,124)
  Federal dean Water Act
     Wastewater                              NA

     Stormwater                              Applies

     Construction Stormwater                   5


State of Florida
FDER       OFW Program (Ch. 17-3, Co. 17-301, and
             Ch. 17-302, F.A.C.)
                Industrial Wastewater (Cb. 17-301, Ch. 17-660,
                and Ch. 17-302, F.A.C.)                      NA

HRS        Septic Systems (Ch. 10D-6, F.A.C.)              NA

SJRWMD    Consumptive Use Permit (Co. 40C-2, FA.C.)     NA

                (Co. 40C-4, Ch. 40C-40, and Ch. 40C-41,
                F.A.C, Sec 403, FS)                        5

             Agricultural 40C-44
                Surface Water Management Systems           NA






 State of Georgia
 GDNR-EPD     Mountain and River Corridor Act
                  (Ch. 391-3-16)

                Water Use Permit (Co. 391-3-6)

                Industrial Wastewater
                  (Ch. 391-3-6)




 • Applicability:
  1.  Required for concentrated annual feeding operations.
  2.  Required for industrial operations.
  3.  Required where operations disturb more than 5 acres of total land area.
  4.  Required for withdrawals >100,QOO gallons per day.
  5.  Some activities are exempt; others require notice permits or general permits.
  6.  Closed systems are exempt; other exemptions may also apply.
 NOTE:  OFW = Outstanding Florida Waters

Classification of Surface Waters
In response to the mandate of the Clean Water Act and subsequent implementing regulations and
policies of EPA, both Florida and Georgia have established classification systems for surface
waters in each state. These classification systems designate specific uses for all surface waters.

In Florida, this classification system is established in Rule 17-302.400, F.A.C (Surface Water
Quality Standards). In Georgia, the classification system is established in Section 391-3-6-.03(4)
(Rules and Regulations for Water Quality Control).  Table 5-4 lists the classifications used in
Florida and Georgia.

Most surface waters in Florida are designated as Class m, i.e., their designated use is for
recreation and the propagation and maintenance of a healthy, well-balanced population of fish and
wildlife. This designation, and all of the classifications, extends to the landward extent of waters
of the state, as defined by Rule 17-301, F.A.C, and includes associated water bodies such as tidal
creeks, coves, bays, and bayous.  In other words, in Florida, a classified water body extends to the
landward extent of any associated wetlands.  Such wetlands may extend a great distance  from what
would be considered open water.  Examples of such wetlands include forested floodplains of
rivers, tributaries and headwater wetlands, sloughs and swamps.

With the exception of Class IV Agricultural Water Supplies,  for a surface water in Florida to be
classified as other than Class m, it must be expressly designated as Class I, U or V in Rule 17-
302.600, FA.C  A narrow definition is provided in Rule 17-302.600, FA.C, for what constitutes
a Class IV Agricultural Water Supply, i.e., wholly artificial secondary or tertiary canals or ditches
wholly within agricultural areas, behind water control structures and permitted by a water
management district  No specific designations are otherwise  provided for Class IV water supplies.
Confirmation that an agricultural water supply meets the Class IV definition would be required
from the appropriate water management district  With the exception  of a small portion of Baker
County that is within the Suwannee River Water Management District, the Florida portion of the
St Marys River basin is located entirely within SIRWMD.

With the exception of some agricultural systems that may meet the Class IV definition, Baker
County does not have any surface waters with any designation other than Class m.  Nassau
County has several water bodies that are designated as Class  n (Shellfish Propagation or


Table 5-4. Beneficial Use Classifications of Surface Waters Used in Florida and Georgia

FLORIDA  (Rule 17-302.400, Florida Administrative Cbde)

         CLASS I     Potable Water Supplies (Drinking Water)
         CLASS n     Shellfish Propagation or Harvesting
         CLASS in    Recreation, Propagation and Maintenance of a Healthy, Well-Balanced
                       Population of Fish and Wildlife
         CLASS IV    Agricultural Water Supplies
         CLASS V     Navigation, Utility, and Industrial Use

GEORGIA [Section 391-3-6-03(4)]

         (a)  Drinking Water Supplies
         (b)  Recreation
         (c)  Fishing, Propagation of Fish, Shellfish, Game, and Other Aquatic Life
         (d)  Agricultural
         (e)  Industrial
         (f)  Navigation
         (g)  Wild River
         (h)  Scenic River
         (i)  Urban Stream
         (j)  Coastal Fishing

Harvesting).  However, these waters are located in the Nassau River, South Amelia River, and
Alligator Greek and are not located within the Si Marys River basin. Therefore, all surface
waters in the St Marys River basin within the boundaries of Florida are designated as Class in
(Recreation, Propagation and Maintenance of a Healthy, Well-Balanced Population of Fish and

In Georgia, "Surface waters) of the State" or 'surface waters" are defined in Section 391-3-6-.07
and mean any and all rivers, streams, creeks, branches, lakes, reservoirs, ponds, drainage systems,
springs producing in excess of 100,000 gallons per day, and all other bodies of surface water,
natural or artificial, lying within or forming a part of the boundaries of the State which are not
entirely confined and retained completely upon the property of a single individual, partnership or
corporation.  All surface waters in Georgia are designated as for Fishing, Propagation of Fish,
Shellfish, Game and Other Aquatic Life unless specifically classified as otherwise in
Section 391-3-6-.03(12). Within the St Marys River basin, all littoral waters on the ocean side of
Cumberland bland  have been classified as Recreation.  In addition, Section 391-3-6-.03(14) also
lists certain waters within the St Marys River basin as potential shellfish areas.  These areas are in
the estuary area at the confluence of the St Marys River with Cumberland Sound.

Establishing classifications for surface waters allows water quality standards to be developed which
reflect the designated use of the water. Water quality classifications in Florida are arranged in
order of the degree of protection required, with Class I waters having generally the most stringent
water quality criteria and Class V the least.  However, Class I, H and m surface waters share
water quality criteria established to protect recreation and the propagation and maintenance of a
healthy, well-balanced population of fish and wildlife.

In many ways the classifications and standards for Florida and Georgia are similar, reflecting their
common origin in the mandate of the dean Water Act and subsequent implementing regulations
and policies of EPA.  Georgia has chosen to define a larger number of more specialized categories
man Florida; however, both sets of standards provide for minimum and general criteria which
apply to all surface waters without regard to any particular classification, as well as additional or
more stringent standards specifically established for a particular classification.

For Florida, Rule 17-302500, FA.C, stipulates minimum criteria which must be met for all
surface waters regardless of their classification.  Rule 17-302510, FA.C, lists general criteria also
applicable to all surface waters regardless of their classification. Rule 17-302520, F.A.C, lists
thermal surface water criteria applicable to heated discharges from industrial operations. Rule 17-
302560, F.A.C, lists additional or more stringent water quality criteria specific to the Class ffl
waters of the St. Marys River basin in Florida.

For Georgia, Section 391-3-6-.03(5) stipulates general criteria mat must be met for aD surface
waters regardless of then- classification. This section is analogous to both the Minimum Criteria
and General Criteria sections in the Florida standards. Section 391-3-6-.03(6)(c) lists additional or
more stringent criteria specific to "Fishing: Propagation of Fish, Shellfish, Game and Other
Aquatic Life; secondary contact recreation in and on the water; or for any other use requiring
water of a lower quality"; the section is applicable to the classification of waters of the St. Marys
River basin in Georgia.

Water quality criteria applicable to a particular classification are designed to maintain the
minimum conditions necessary to assure the suitability of the water for its designated use. In other
words, the water quality standards reflect the lowest quality a water may have and still be
    sistent with its designated use.
Antidegradation Policies
Surface waters in both Florida and Georgia may actually have higher water quality than the
minimum levels set by the water quality standards. This means that some water quality
degradation may occur and the water still will meet water quality standards applicable to its
designated use.  In recognition of this situation, the dean Water Act, both Florida and Georgia
have established antidegradation policies in association with their water quality standards.
Florida's antidegradation policy  is contained in  Rule 17-302300, FA.C; Georgia's antidegradation
policy is contained in Section 391-3-6-.03(2)(b).

Georgia's antidegradation policy states that waters that have existing water quality higher than the
minimum standards will be maintained at high quality. However, new developments may be
approved if a lowering of existing water quality is justified to provide necessary social or
economic development Such development would be required to protect existing beneficial uses


by providing the highest and best practicable level of treatment for any discharge. Even with
development, existing instream water uses and the level of water quality necessary to protect the
existing uses shall be maintained and protected.

Florida's antidegradation policy, as stated in Rule 17-302300, FA.C, is focused on protection of
beneficial uses of waters by compliance with water quality standards and does not address waters
with higher water quality than that provided through  the standards. If water quality is higher man
required by standards, and a proposed activity will not reduce the quality of the receiving water
below the classification established for them, FDER is required to  issue a permit authorizing the
activity.  Degradation of water quality may be allowed as bug as the degradation is not so severe
mat standards are violated.

This concept is important to FDER when it considers permit applications for activities which may
degrade water quality. Examples of such activities include discharge of effluent from a wastewater
treatment plant, channel dredging, construction of a marina or bridge, or dredging and filling
wetland areas  for commercial development.  Such activities may be authorized if there is a
reasonable expectation they will not result in violations of water quality standards even though
substantial degradation of water quality may result

Special Designations of Surface Waters
While Florida's antidegradation policy allows degradation of water quality as long as standards for
the applicable use classification are not violated, Florida does provide a separate mechanism
through which the highest protection of water quality is afforded.  This maghnntaip, found in Role
17-302.700, FA.Q,  provides for designation of Outstanding Florida Waters (OFWs). Within
waters designated as OFWs, no degradation of water quality is allowable.

Rule 17-302.700, FA.C, also provides for designation of Outstanding Natural Resource Waten
(ONRWs). In Florida, the Everglades National Park  and Biscayne National Park have been
designated as ONRWs.

OFWs are waters designated by FDER as worthy of special protection because of their natural
attributes.  In general, an automatic designation is provided for surface waters in National Parks,
Preserves, Wildlife Refuges, Seashores, Marine Sanctuaries, Estuarine Research Reserves, certain

National Monuments, and certain waters in National Forests, as well as waters in the State Park
system, Wilderness Areas, and waters in areas acquired through the Environmentally Endangered
Lands (EEL) Bond Program, Conservation and Recreation Lands (CARL) Program, Land
Acquisition Trust Fund (LATF) Program and Save Our Coast (SOQ Program, Wild and Scenic-
Rivers and State Aquatic Preserves.

Waters that are not protected as above may also be designated as OFWs if they are determined to
have exceptional recreational or ecological significance, by Environmental Regulatory
Commission. Such OFW designations are called "Special Waters."

Specific criteria for issuance of an FDER permit or water quality certification are provided hi Rule
17-4242(2), FA.C (Standards Applying to Outstanding Florida Waters), for projects or activities
proposed within an OFW, or which may contribute to degradation of an OFW.  According to these
criteria, such projects must be determined to be clearly in the public interest and not to lower
existing ambient water quality.

The procedures for designation of Special Waters OFW are listed in Rule 17-312.700(4), FA.C.
In general, the process is  initiated by a request to FDER for designation by an individual, citizens
group, local government, or other interested entity.  A study to document the recreational or
ecological significance of the water is conducted, as well as at least one public workshop.
Notification of local government officials, public notice and an economic impact analysis are
included  in the designation procedure. Should the water be found to be of exceptional
recreational  or ecological  significance and that the environmental, social, and economic benefits of
the designation outweigh  the costs, the water may be officially designated as an  OFW. The
process generally takes approximately one year to complete.

Within the Florida portion of the St Marys River basin, several water bodies have been designated
as OFWs. These OFWs are listed in Rule 17-302.700(9) and consist of the Florida portion of the
Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, the Middle Prong of the SL Marys River  (within the
Osceola National Forest), the Amelia Island State Recreation Area, and the Fort Clinch State Park
Aquatic Preserve.

As discussed previously, in Florida, when considering whether or not to grant a dredge and fill
permit under the provisions of the Warren S. Henderson Wetlands Protection Act, FDBR is
required to subject die permit application to a two-part test  This test, contained in Rule 17-
312.080, F.A.C., requires (1) an evaluation of water quality impacts, and (2) consideration of the
public interest

Application of the two-part permitting test in Florida  is different for OFWs and non-OFWs. In a
non-OFW, under the water quality portion of the two-part test, reasonable assurance must be
provided that the proposed project will not violate water quality standards. If such reasonable
assurance  cannot be provided, then FDER is required to deny the permit  Conversely, if it is
determined that water quality standards will not be violated, and the project is also determined to
be not contrary to the public interest, FDER is required to issue to permit The two-part test is
more restrictive for projects located within OFWs.  Within OFWs, no degradation of ambient
water quality is allowed. In addition, the project must be clearly in the public interest

The analogue to OFWs in Georgia is the designation  of water bodies as Outstanding Georgia
Resource Waters (OGRWs) as provided by GDNR in Chapter 391-3-6.03(6)(g).  These water
bodies are designated by the state and the designation includes uses which are specified for each
individual water body.  OGRWs are classified as Wild Rivers and, through this classification, no
alteration of natural water quality from any source is  allowed. A specific OGRW designation
procedure is not provided  in Chapter 391-3-6; however, GDNR would be the lead agency in
coordination of such a designation.

Section 401 Certification
With regard to the federal government, Section 401 of the dean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1341)
requires any applicant for  a federal license or permit, such as Section 404 wetland fill  permit from
USAGE, to obtain a certification from the applicable state that the proposed activity will not
violate that state's water quality standards. This is known as a Section 401 Certification.

Under the 401 Certification process, states must review applications for federal licenses or permits
and subsequently grant or  deny certification for the proposed activities. If a state denies
certification, the federal  agency processing the application is in turn required to deny the permit

If a state grants water quality certification, it is assumed the proposed project will comply with
mat state water quality standards.

In Florida, where both a state and federal permit may be required, issuance of a dredge and fill
permit under the Henderson Act constitutes the 401 Certification.  USAGE may not issue its
permit prior to issuance of the 401 Certification.

In Georgia, when an applicant applies for a permit, such as a Section 10 or Section 404 permit
fiom USAGE, USAGE forwards a copy of the application to ODNR. GDNR determines if the
project will comply with Georgia's water quality standards and antidegradation policies.
Notification is provided to USAGE by GDNR.
The Federal dean Water Act prohibits discharge of any pollutant from a point source to navigable
waters unless the discharge is authorized by the EPA through the NPDES program.  A point
source is a defined outfall such as a pipe, ditch or culvert.  The NPDES program has recently been
expanded to include regulation of stonnwater as well as process wastewaters. This expansion of
the scope of the NPDES program was undertaken because as point source discharges became
better controlled following implementation of the dean Water Act, it became dear that diffuse (or
nonpoint) sources that include stonnwater are more detrimental to water quality throughout the
nation man was previously thought

Under the NPDES program, proposed dischargers submit permit applications 180 days prior to the
commencement of the discharge for new facilities, or before an existing NPDES permit expires.  A
draft permit is prepared by the issuing agency, based on information contained in the application
and any other information that is requested by the agency.  A 30-day public notice and comment
period follows the issuance of the draft permit and is announced in the Federal Register and local
newspapers. The permit is either issued or denied following the comment period.

EPA has encouraged delegation of the NPDES program to each .state, but not all of the states have
accepted delegation.  In the St Marys River basin, the state of Georgia has been delegated the
authority  to carry out NPDES permitting, while the state of Florida has not This provides
Georgia with more local control of NPDES permitting than Florida, at least for the permitting of


industrial and municipal wastewater discharges. However, Florida's stormwater regulations are
implemented by SJRWMD, whose rules provide a more comprehensive set of guidelines for design
and system performance than under NPDES.  In addition, inspection and enforcement of
stormwater treatment systems are done by SJRWMD as well as by EPA in me Florida portions of
the basin.

In the SL Marys River basin, the list of dischargers with current NPDES permits includes three
pulp and paper processors, five municipal sewage treatment plants, and an institutional sewage
treatment plant (Table 5.5). The majority of these discharges are located in the lower St. Marys
River subarea (Figure 3-1).

Water Quality Restoration Programs
The Surface Water Management and Improvement (SWIM) program, administered by FDER, was
begun in 1987 and provides funding for restoration and conservation of surface water bodies under
the Surface Water Management and Improvement Act Each water management district has
prepared a  listing of water bodies to be considered by FDER for SWIM funding.  Ranking of
water bodies is done by considering numerous criteria, including the degree to which water quality
standards are violated, current water quality conditions, threats to water supplies, the restoration
plan developed by the district, and the feasibility of restoration.

Restoration efforts at Lake Apopka near Orlando are being partially funded by the SWIM program
and include an 1,850-acre demonstration marsh that removes nutrients and suspended sediments
from water flowing into the lake. Other SWIM projects are ongoing in the Everglades, die Indian
River Lagoon, Lake Okeechobee and Lake Jackson north of Tallahassee. Because the program is
relatively new, much of its funding to date has been used for the preparation of studies that
address the feasibility of restoration activities, rather than  actual implementation of those activities.
The Florida legislature originally appropriated $15 million for the SWIM program in 1987, but
legislative support for the program has substantially diminished. The most recent SWIM
appropriation was for $3 million, and prospects for future funding appear bleak.

SJRWMD  includes most of the Florida side of the SL Marys basin, although a small area of the
basin in western Baker County lies in the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD).
The water management districts regulate the consumptive use of water and MSSW.


Table 5-5. NPDES Dischargers in St Marys River Basin
Container Corp
DOT Rest Area, MO
Eastwood Oaks Apartments
Femandina Beach
Oilman Paper St Marys
ITT Femandina
Kingsland WWTP
Macclenny WWTP
Marsh Cove Apartments
Northeast Florida State
St Marys WWTP
St Marys Scrubby Bluff
Okefenokee NWR
Amelia River
Drainage ditch
Polishing pond
Amelia River
North River
Unnamed stream
Amelia River
Little Catfish Creek
Turkey Creek
Amelia River
Turkey Creek
St Marys River
St Marys River
Okefenokee Swamp
Fernandina Beach
Baker County
Fernandina Beach
City of St Marys
Femandina Beach
• Kingsland
Femandina Beach
St Marys
Charlton County
Note:          D = Domestic wastewater.
                I s Industrial wastewater.
               M B Municipal and industrial wastewater.
          WWTP = Wastewater treatment plant

Source:     EPA, 1992.  Information in agency files.

Consumptive Use Permitting
Consumptive use of water is regulated by SJRWMD under Chapters 40C-2 and 40C-20, FA.C
Individual permits are required for the following thresholds:
      1.   Average annual daily withdrawals in excess of 100,000 gallons per day,
      2.   Withdrawal equipment with capacity of more than 1 million gallons per day,
      3.   Withdrawal from a combination of sources that have a combined capacity that rxftffo
           1 million gallons per day, and
      4.   Withdrawals from wells with 6 inches or greater outside diameter of the largest
           permanent water-bearing casing.

A general permit has been established by rule for all water users not exceeding individual
threshold criteria. The general-permit-by-nile essentially allows the use of water consistent win
the Water Conservation Rule (no irrigation between 10 a.m. and 4 pun* hand-held irrigation is
allowed, etc.). In cases where these rules can not be met, a variance or general permit by staff can
be applied for.

Surface Water Management Programs
The permitting program for MSSW is established by Chapters 40C-4,40C-40,40C-41, and 40C-
43, FA.C, and is administered by SJRWMD. SRWMD administers a similar program. The
permit program and application process is described in the MSSW handbook published by
SJRWMD. An individual or general permit must be obtained for construction works subject to
certain thresholds which include the following:
      1.   Impoundment of 40 or more acre-ft;
      2.   Project area of 40 acres or more;
      3.   Placement of 12 or more acres of impervious surface which constitutes 40 or more
           percent of the total project area;
      4.   Traverses a stream with a drainage area of five or more square miles upstream of the
      S.   Serves five or more acres of wetland directly connected to certain streams,
           impoundments or wetlands; or
      6.   Includes work in an isolated wetland.

These are general thresholds which apply to most areas of the District  The rules also establish
special thresholds and performance standards for certain areas of the basin which have been
determined to be especially sensitive from a water resources perspective: the Upper St. Johns River
Basin, the basins of the Wekhra, Oklawaha, and Econlockhatchee rivers, and the Sensitive Kant
Areas Basin in Alachua and Marion counties.  Activities within these areas must satisfy specific
water resource protection criteria and management standards in addition to those criteria specified
in most areas of the District These specific criteria include measures to protect gronndwater
recharge, net'flood storage, erosion/sediment control, OFWs and their abutting wetlands,
groundwater levels, riparian wildlife habitat, and karst area characteristics.

The overall objective of the MSSW program is to protect surface waters and groundwater from
changes in water quality and quantity. Criteria for evaluation are contained hi the MSSW
handbook. Evaluation criteria include:
      1.   Peak rate of discharge;
      2.   Volume of direct runoff;
      3.   Floodways, floodplains, flood levels and velocities of adjacent water bodies;
      4.   Flows of adjacent watercourses; and
      S.   Wetland functions and water quality.

In addition, stormwater treatment systems are required to store and infiltrate at least the first one
inch of runoff, in order to satisfy water quality criteria (40C42). Treatment devices may consist
of shallow dry basins, retention ponds, underdrained systems or swales. More stringent
requirements apply in the basins mentioned above.  Sediment and erosion control measures must
be used to retain sediment onsite during construction.

Septic Tanks
In Florida, private septic systems are regulated by the Department of Health and Rehabilitative
Services (MRS) under Chapter 10 D-6.  New systems must have a 75-ft setback from the mean
high water line of tidal water bodies or the ordinary high water line of non-tidal surface waters.

In Georgia, all water resource regulatory programs are administered by a single agency, GDNR's
EPD. Water quality control regulations are promulgated in Chapter 391-3-6, which includes waste
treatment permitting, surface water withdrawals, land disposal, public wastewater treatment plants,


and underground well injection.  As mentioned previously, the federal NPDES program for
regulating point-source discharges has been delegated to the state of Georgia. Since these
discharges now include stormwater, a general permit program has been developed to address
stormwater discharges (Chapter 391-3-6-.1S). This is the closest analogue to Florida's MSSW
program. However there are no performance standards that must be met by applicants for a
permit, although the permit does allow enforcement action to be taken by GDNR's EPD if water
quality violations occur.

Another regulatory program analogous to Florida's MSSW program is provided by the Georgia
Erosion and Sediment Control Act, adopted in 1975 and amended in 1989. The Act requires a
permit for land-disturbing activities, but there are many exemptions including surface mining,
agriculture and forestry. Rules under the Act are enforced by GDNR's EPD, but can be delegated
to'cities and counties that adopt standards that meet or exceed those in the state law and rules. All
sediment and erosion control plans are reviewed for approval by the appropriate Soil and Water
Conservation District, assisted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Soil
Conservation Service. Permits are issued by EPD, or by a  city  or county that has accepted
delegation of the progn
New septic tank systems must be approved by the local county health department and must satisfy
the requirements of the Department of Human Resources specified in its Manual far On Site
Sewerage Management Systems. Septic systems are prohibited in floodplains, and minimum lot
sizes are limited according to soil types in an area.

The Mountain and River Corridor Protection Act (MRCPA), passed by the legislature in 1991, has
the potential to affect the SL Marys River. The Act would apply to the river corridor inland of the
area regulated by the Coastal Zone Management program, e.g., to the west of U.S. Highway 17.
The MRCPA covers perennial streams and watercourses with an  average annual flow of at least
400 cubic feet per second (cfe).  The SL Marys River would be covered approximately to the point
of confluence of the North and South Prongs in Charlton/Baker counties, since USGS streamgage
information shows an average annual discharge of 663 cubic ft/s at its streamgage norm of
Maccleany over a 64-year period.

Under the MRCPA, ODNR's EPD has promulgated minimum criteria for river corridor protection.
The corridor is defined as the area within 100 feet (ft) of the top of the riverbank, as indicated by
a break in slope. The area between the top of the bank and the river's edge is to be treated die
same as the corridor itself in local comprehensive plans.  Comprehensive plans must adopt the
EPD's minimum protection criteria and may develop additional criteria in a River Corridor
/Protection Plan (RCPP). The Plan must be included in the next Comprehensive Plan, or must be
separately submitted If the Comprehensive Plan has already been submitted to the Department of
Community Affairs (DCA). Comprehensive plans that do not address the MRCPA leave local
governments at risk for losing qualification for state grant programs.

The minimum criteria are summarized as follows:
       1.   Maintenance of a natural vegetative buffer, except as provided below.
      2.   Single^family dwellings are allowed within the 100-ft corridor, subject to the
                Compliance with all local zoning regulations.
                Minimum lot size of two acres,  not including areas that lie below river banks.
                Only one dwelling per lot is allowed.
                Septic tanks serving single-family dwellings may be allowed within the corridor,
                but drainfields may not be located within the  corridor.
       3.   Existing industrial and commercial land uses are exempt from minimum criteria
           providing they do not impair drinking water quality of the river, and provided they
           meet all state/federal  environmental rules and regulations.
       4.   Septic tanks and drainfields for facilities other man single-family dwellings are
           prohibited within the corridor.
       5.   RCPPs must provide for road and utility crossings, provided the crossings meet
           Erosion and Sedimentation Control Act and local ordinance requirements.
       6.   The following are acceptable uses as long as they do not impair long-term functions of
           the river or corridor
                Timber production and harvesting consistent with BMPs and which do not impair
                drinking water quality of the river.
                Wildlife and fisheries management consistent with state law.
                Wastewater treatment

                Recreational usage consistent either with corridor maintenance or with river-
                dependent recreation. This would allow boat ramps and footpaths but disallow
                parking lots.
                Natural water quality treatment
                Agricultural production/management, provided it is consistent with BMPs, does
                not impair drinking water quality, and is consistent with all federal/state laws.
                Other uses permitted by FDNR or under Section 404 of the dean Water Act
                (Dredge and Fill regulations).
      7.   Hazardous waste  handling areas are prohibited within the corridor.  However, port
           facilities are exempt provided they meet all federal and state laws for handling and
           transport of hazardous waste, and such wastes are handled on impermeable surfaces
           with spill and leak protection systems.
      8.   Hazardous or solid waste landfills are prohibited within river corridors.
      9.   Uses that are unapproved by local government are not acceptable within river
      10.  Local governments may elect to exempt the following from their RCPP: existing uses,
           mining activities permitted by GDNR, utilities under certain provisions, and
           forestry/agricultural activities except as provided above.
      11.  Vegetation disturbed by allowed activities within the corridor must be restored as
           quickly as possible.
      12.  Construction within the corridor is prohibited except as noted above.

The minimum criteria of the MRCPA would discourage new commercial/industrial development
and high-density residential development on the Georgia side of the St. Marys River, particularly
since drinking water quality standards would have to be met for new discharges or stonnwater.
However, much of the potential of the Act  to protect the river corridor will depend on
implementation and enforcement by the local governments, Qunden and Otarlton counties. It may
be possible for a sophisticated developer to overcome many of the restrictions of the Act, or to
circumvent them by leaving a 100-ft buffer between the development and the river bank.

The State of Florida exerts regulatory control over all lands within the Florida portion of the river
basin through a number of regulations and programs (see Table 5-6).  The responsibilities for the
administration of these regulations are delegated to several state agencies and regional
The state agency specifically designated with responsibility for land use and development control
within the basin is the Florida Department of Community Affairs (FDCA). FDCA is the state
planning agency responsible for land planning under Chapter 163 FS and Chapter 380 FS.
Chapter 163 FS is the Local Government Comprehensive Planning and Land Development Act,
whereby all local governments are required to prepare, adopt, and implement a Comprehensive
Plan and Land Development Regulations.  Chapters 9J-S and 91-24, F.A.C, are the administrative
rules that detail the minimum criteria needed to implement the Local Government Comprehensive
Planning Act  Chapter 9J-5 outlines eight basic elements that must be included hi all
comprehensive plans: Capital Improvements Element; Future Land Use Element; Traffic
Circulation Element; Conservation Element; Recreation and Open Space Element; Housing
Element; Intergovernmental Coordination Element; and a Sanitary Sewer, Solid Waste, Drainage,
Potable Water, Natural Groundwater, Aquifer Recharge Element  The regulations controlling large
projects are provided under the Developments of Regional Impact (DRI), Chapter 380 FS.

On a regional level, the state created 11 Regional Planning Councils (RPCs). A primary function
of the RPCs is to assist FDCA in administration of comprehensive planning and growth
management The majority of the Florida portion of the St Marys River basin is within the
jurisdiction of the Northeast Florida Regional Planning Council (NEFRPC). NEFRPC has
published the Northeast Florida Comprehensive Regional Policy Plan (July 1,1987). This policy
plan establishes goals and policies that influence and direct the land use activities within NEFRPC
boundaries (the seven-county area of Nassau, Baker, Duval, Clay, Putnam, Flagler, and St Johns
counties), including most of the St  Marys River basin. This regional policy plan must be
followed by local governments as they prepare  their comprehensive plans.  Land use provisions in
the regional policy plan and controlled land use activities within the basin include:

Table 5-6.   Agencies, Responsibilities, and Legislation That Impact Land Use in the St Maiys River Basin
                    Land Use Responsibility
   Authorizing Legislation

Counties and   1. Develop comprehensive plans and land
Municipalities    development regulations
               2. Review and approve DRI
               3. Develop zoning and local ordinances
               4. Issue local permits
               1. Review and approve comprehensive plans
                 and land development regulations
               2. DRI
               1. Permitting agency
               2. DRI review
               3. Comprehensive plan review

               1. Permitting agency
               2. DRI review
               3. Comprehensive plan review

               1. Water permitting agency
               2. DRI review
               3. Comprehensive plan review

               1. Lead agency in DRI review
               2. Review local comprehensive plans
               3. Develop regional comprehensive plans
               1. DRI Review
               2. Comprehensive Plan Review
               3. Commenting Agency
Counties and   1. Develop comprehensive plans
Municipalities  2. Develop land use regulations, zoning
                 ordinances, (optional)
               1. Review comprehensive plans
               2. Assist stale m long term planning goals
                                                           1.  Co. 163 FS, 9J-5, 9J-24 F.A.C.
                                                           2.  Ch.380
1. Ch. 163 FS, 97-5,97-24 F.A.C.
2. C3». 380 FS
1. Title 16, FA.C
2. Ch.380FS
3. Ch. 163 FS

1. Ch. 373,403 FS, Tide 17, F.A.C.
2. Ch,380FS
3. Ch, 163 FS

1. Ch. 373. 403 FS; 40C-2,40C-4,
1. Ch. 186 FS
2. OL163FS
3. Ch.380 FS

1. Ch.380 FS
2. C0.380FS
                                                           1. 1989 Cn
Rule Ch. 110-3-2
                  ive Planning Act
                                                             House Bill 215, 504-1 OCOA Role
                                                             Ch. 110-3-2
                                                          2. 1989 Comprehensive Plait    Act.
                                                             House Bill 215, 50-8-1 OCGA Rule
                                                             Ch. 110-3-2

Tilde 5-6.  Agencies, Responsibilities, and Legislation That Impact Land Use in the St Marys River Basin
     Land Use Responsibility
  Authorizing Legislation

1. Review comprehensive plans
2. Develop minimum planning criteria with
   respect to critical watershed wetlands and
   aquifer recharge

1. Review comprehensive plans
2. Identify regional important resources
1. 1989 Comprehensive Planning Act
2. Co. 12-24 OCGA Rule Ch. 391-3-16
1. 1989 Comprehensive Planning Act-
   Rule Ch. 110-3-2
2. 1989 Comprehensive Planning Act
   Role Ch. 110-3-2
Source:  KBN, 1992.

      Goal 8:        Water Resources-Florida shall assure the availability of an adequate supply
                     of water for competing uses deemed reasonable and beneficial, and shall
                               maintain the function of natural systems and the overall present
                               level of surface and groundwater quality. Florida shall improve
                               and restore the quality of water not presently meeting water
                               quality standards.
      Goal 833:    By 1995, significant wetlands should be protected through a coordinated
                     management plan by Federal, State, regional and local govern
      Goal 10:       Natural Systems and Recreational Land-Florida shall protect and acquire
                     natural habitats and natural systems such as wetlands, tropical hardwood
                     hammocks, palm hammocks, and virgin longleaf pine forests, and restore
                     degraded natural systems to a functional condition.
      Goal 16:       Land Use-In recognition of the importance of preserving the natural
                     resources and enhancing the quality of life of the state, development shall be
                     directed to those areas which have in place, or have agreements to provide,
                     the hud and water resources, fiscal abilities, and services capability to
                     accommodate growth in an environmentally acceptable manner.

NEFRPC also serves a coordination role in the DRI process (Chapter 380 FS). The thresholds for
DRIs within the counties that comprise the St Marys River basin are established by population.
These thresholds are delineated in Chapter 28-24, F.A.C. These thresholds vary depending on the
types of land uses intended for development.  If residential developments are used as a typical
development type for comparison purposes, then  Baker, Bradford, and Union counties have a
threshold of 250 dwelling units.  Projects of this  size or larger would be required to undergo
regional review and approval.  The threshold for  Nassau County is 750 dwelling units, and Duval
County has a threshold of 3,000 dwelling units.

Projects that undergo DRI review must identify the intent to develop and the expected impacts on
the following environmental and physical facilities:

     Vegetation and Wildlife                    Stormwater Management
     Wetlands                                Solid Waste/Hazardous
     Water                                   Waste/Medical Waste
     Soils                                    Transportation
     Floodplains                               Air
     Water Supply                             Hurricane Preparedness
     Wastewater Management                   Housing
     Police and Fire Protection
     Recreation and Open Space
     Historical and Archaeological Sites
     Specialized Areas Warranted

Hie review of DRIs is conducted under Chapter 120 F.S, which establishes requirements for
public review and comment during the process. The reviewing agencies for a DRI include RFC,
county, FDNR, FDER, water management district, FGFWFC, Florida Department of
Transportation (FOOT), metropolitan planning organization, USFWS, and USAGE.

The regional planning council coordinates the review and recommends development order
conditions of approval to the local government with jurisdiction over the DRL The local
government is responsible for approving the project The RFC and FDCA maintain appeal rights
over the local government approval.

Land use regulations for Baker County include the comprehensive plan, zoning code, and
development regulations. The Baker County comprehensive plan has not been approved by FDCA
and is subject to revision.  Under each element within the comprehensive plan, Baker County
identiGed objectives, goals, and policies.

Future f 
set back of sanitary sewer drainfield (septic tank) from water's edge and a 20-ft vegetative buffer
required between building site and water body.

Policy A.1A18 9J-5.006(3)(c)6
Hie County shall, thrqugh available state and federal programs, promote the acquisition of
floodplains along the St. Marys River.

Objective A.1.8  9J-5.006(3)(b)9; FA 187.201(16)(b)3
Development that is adapted to natural features in the landscape such as wetlands, vegetation and
habitat, and which avoids the disruption of natural drainage patterns.

Policy A.1.93 F.A.C. 9J-5.006(3)(c)7
Land development regulations adopted to implement this Plan shall be based on the following land
uses standards!
       8.  Conservation
       Conservation Land Use shall designate land areas of the County on which development
       must proceed with restrictions.  These are areas which are ecologically or historically
       significant and so must be protected.

Conservation Element
The following are those land use goals or policies that are included in .the Conservation Element of
the comprehensive plan that relate directly to the St. Marys River basin.

Policy E.1 J.I 9-J5.013(2)(c)3,6
Fifty (SO) foot buffers of vegetation native to the area shall be required for new development
adjacent to ecological  significant waterbodies as identified in the survey conducted under policy
E.l.7.4. Development immediately adjacent to ecologically sensitive waterbodies shall be
restricted to low density/low intensity land use and non-polluting  land use activities.

Policy E.1J5 9J-5.013(2)(c)3,6
The county shall coordinate efforts with the Department of Environmental Regulations and the
Water Management Districts to enforce requirements of wetlands mitigation practices where state
agencies allow alteration of viable jurisdictional wetlands.


Policy E.L3.4  9J-5.013(2)(c)3,6
Development Orders and permits for development in wetlands shall be specific as to controlling
the density/intensity of use as well as the type of land use permitted to protect the overall integrity
and quality of wetland systems such as vegetative cover, and quality and quantity of surface water,
including such regional wetland sources as Pinhook swamp, Impassable Bay, Moccasin Swamp,
Big Gum Swamp, and New River Swamp.

Traffic Cfamlation
The following are those land use goals or policies that are included in the Traffic Circulation
Element of the comprehensive plan that relate directly to the St Marys River basin.

Policy B.l.5.2  9J-5.007(3)(b)2
Future facility access interchanges shall not be placed or constructed in a manner that would
provide access to environmental protection areas or to other areas to be conserved in order to
prevent undue pressure to development of such areas.

Policy B.l.5.2  9J-5.007(3)(b)2
If no feasible alternative exists, needed transportation facility improvements may transverse areas
mat are environmentally and/or aesthetically sensitive; however, such access should be limited and
design techniques should be used to minimize the negative impact upon the natural and community

Overall, the growth management tools, comprehensive plan, zoning, and  development regulations
mat are in place in Baker County appear to be sufficient to handle the growth and development
To protect the county's natural resources, a 50-ft buffer is required for all development adjacent to
wetlands.  This buffer requirement would apply  to the St Marys River vegetated floodplain.

Nassau County is divided into Ove planning districts: Yulee, Milliard, Amelia bland, Port of
Pemandina, and Callahan. A portion of each of these planning districts is located within the
St Marys River drainage basin.

Land use regulations for Nassau County include the adopted comprehensive plan, zoning code,
development regulations, and applicable goals and policies. Under each element within the
comprehensive plan, Nassau County identified objectives, goals, and policies.
             Use Elem
The following are those land use goals or policies that are included in the Future Land Use
Element of the comprehensive plan that relate directly to the St Marys River basin.
1.01.01    Protect estuaries by prohibiting sanitary sewer wastewater and stormwater discharge
           into Class n waters and establishing criteria for reuse as cited in Policy 1.04A.07.

1.01.02    Criteria shall be included in the Land Development Regulations to include
           requirements to preserve/replace the natural/native vegetation along county waterways
           to maintain the natural beauty of the area, to control erosion, and to retard runoff.

1.02.05    Establish the following criteria for land use development..
           H. Conservation
           The Conservation Land Use shall designate land areas of ecological or historical value
           within the County on which development must proceed with restrictions.  These are
           areas which may be altered by development and so must be protected. Conservation
           lands under private ownership shall be placed  under Limited Development Overlay.
           Conservation lands under public ownership shall be placed under a Preservation

           L Overlays
                3. Limited Development
                Conservation lands placed under the Limited Development Overlay may not be
                developed at a density greater than 1 unit per five acres with all permitted
                development clustered on the portion of the site which will be least affected by
                construction. Where underlying land use designates a lesser density; the density
                of the underlying land use shall prevail.

                Areas of Nassau County designated as •Conservation" land use to be included
                under a Limited Development Overlay, include all areas shown as wetlands on


                the Future Land Use Map except for Fort Clinch State Park and Aquatic
                Preserve, Nassau River-St Johns River Marshes Aquatic Preserve and Gary State

                4. Preservation
                This overlay will be placed on all publicly owned lands that are of significant
                ecological or historical value.  Preservation lands include wildlife and/or
                vegetative habitats that are designated as endangered or threatened.  No new
                development or expansion of existing development shall be permitted within
                areas designated as preservation.
                Lands designated as "Preservation" include Fort Clinch State Park and Aquatic
                Preserve, Nassau River-St Johns River Marshes Aquatic Preserve, Gary State
                Forest and all islands that consist of at least 85 percent wetlands/marsh that are
                adjacent to the Intracoastal Waterway, Amelia River, Bells River, Jolly River, and
                Lanceford Creek.

1.04A.Q2   The County shall restrict development in conservation areas to the maximum extent
           possible short of a "taking." Development in conservation (Limited Development) win
           be permitted with permitted density clustered on that portion of the parcel least
           affected by construction activities. Where the Future Land Use Map identifies an
           underlying land use of less density, the density of the underlying  land use will prevail
           Development will be prohibited in areas designated as Conservation (Preservation).

1.04A.Q3   c. in the case of forested wetlands consisting of cypress, hardwood swamps, bay
           swamps, bottomland hardwoods, implement the following management practices:
           (1) maintenance of overall wetland community integrity (i.e., wildlife, vegetative and
           hydrological characteristics; and
           (2) the use of select cuts, or small dearcuts, performed in a manner which does not
           significantly alter overall wetland community characteristics (i.e., plant species
           diversity, forest composition, canopy cover, and forest age structure).  Consistently
           with applicable law, this requirement should apply to site preparation and earth moving
           and ditching.

1.04A.Q3B In order to protect the functional viability and productivity of forested wetland systems
           as natural resources, silvicultural activities within forested wetlands (i) shall not
           significantly alter overall wetland community characteristics (e.g., hydrology,
           topography, plant species diversity, wetland forest composition, canopy cover, or
           average forest age structure); and (ii) shall not result in the conversion of existing
           forested wetlands into either upland systems or other types of wetlands systems, except
           pursuant to restorative silvicultural activities; and shall only be undertaken on those
           portions of the forested wetlands site on which there is no standing water.

1.04A.05   In order to protect the St Johns Marsh and  Fort Clinch State Park Aquatic Preserves,
           the County Commission shall adopt Policy 923*5 of the Northeast Florida
           Comprehensive Regional Policy Plan, which states: Developments adjacent to Class n
           Waters, Aquatic Preserves, and Outstanding Florida Waters should be required to
           provide retention or detention with filtration of the first three-quarters of an inch of
           runoff or the runoff from the first 1.5 inches of rainfall, should provide offline
           retention or offline  detention with filtration  of the first 0.5 inch of runoff of the total
           amount required to  be treated; and should be required to demonstrate that the project
           will not result in the degradation of the water quality in Outstanding Florida Waters,
           Class II Waters, and Aquatic Preserves.

Conservation Element
The following are those goals or policies that are included in the Conservation Element of the
comprehensive plan mat relate directly to the St Marys River basin.

6.01.05    The Land Development Regulations shall include criteria, such as reduced densities
           and reduced  impervious services, to protect the functions of natural drainage systems
           and natural groundwater aquifer recharge areas, as identified by the St Johns River
           Water Management District.

6.02.03    A buffer of natural vegetation as required under Chapters 373 and 403 FA
           implementing regulations and permits granted thereunder, shall be provided where
           wetlands occur.

6.03.02    Septic tanks shall be prohibited where soils are unsuitable unless adequate approved
           fill is supplied for the septic tank and drainfield. Land Development Regulations wfll
           be developed which require a minimum set back for septic tanks from waterbodies
           based on HRS minimum standards for septic tanks.
Coasfnl iyfnFi*!reiii8Pt Element
The following are those goals or policies that are included in the Coastal Management Element of
the comprehensive plan that relate directly to the St. Marys River basin.

5.09.07    Development Orders shall be designed to protect the type, nature, and function of
           floodplains, wetlands, waterways, inlets, estuaries, lakes and wildlife habitat occupied
           by endangered or threatened species by limiting encroachment, removal of native
           vegetation, pollution discharge, dredge and fill, drainage, or other impacts associated
           with development.

Traffic Circulation Element
The following are those goals or policies that are included in the Traffic Circulation Element of
the comprehensive plan that relate directly to the St. Marys River basin.

2.06.01    The Amelia Island Joint Advisory Committee shall continue to serve in an advisory
           capacity to the Nassau County Board of Commissioners and the Fernandina  Beach
           City Council with respect to Land Use and Transportation Planning issues.

The comprehensive plan, zoning, and land development regulations that have been implemented in
Nassau County appear to be adequate to deal with the anticipated population growth.  To protect
the county's resources, Nassau County established buffers for wetlands and provided setbacks for
all septic tanks from water bodies.

Both Baker and Nassau Counties have planned for future growth, regulated land use, and
implemented strict requirements to protect natural resources such as the St Marys River.
However, neither county has taken measures specifically to protect the St. Marys River basin.
While all of the federal, state, regional, and local regulations and requirements help protect the St.
Marys River basin, acknowledgement of the basin as an important resource and specific


regulations designed to protect the basin are not present  Large multiple-use developments in
Nassau and Baker counties are possible but limited because of the rural character of the counties.
Any large project that is proposed will be required to undergo DRI review. The DRI review
process would recognize the St. Marys River as a regionally significant resource and would
therefore provide a measure of protection for the river.

The 1989 Comprehensive Planning Act, Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) 50-8-1 et
seq. and O.GG.A. 50-8-7, mandates comprehensive planning at the local, regional, and state level
and requires the identification and nomination of regionally important resources. The 1989
Comprehensive Planning Act also created the Governor's Development Council to provide for the
coordination of planning between departments, agencies, commissions, and other institutions of the
state, directed by the governor.

GDCA is the state agency that oversees the development and implementation of comprehensive
plans.  Pursuant to O.CGA. 50-8-7.1, the minimum local planning standards were developed to
guide local governments in developing and implementing their comprehensive plans. Chapter 110-
3-2 GDCA Administrative Rule contains the minimum standards and procedures for all facets of
the comprehensive planning process. GDCA and the governor established statewide goals for six
topical elements to be developed in all comprehensive plans. These goals or elements are
Population, Economic Development, Natural and Historic Resources, Community Facilities and
Services, Housing, and  Land Use.

The law also provides that the Rules for Environmental Planning Criteria developed pursuant to
O.C.G.A. Chapter 12-2-8 be incorporated into the minimum planning standards. These minimum
standards as set forth in the Rules for Environmental Planning Criteria deal specifically with
protection of water supply watersheds, groundwater recharge areas, and wetlands.

The environmental planning criteria were developed by GDNR, and must be  included in the
comprehensive plan under the Natural and  Historic Resources element

The Georgia Mountains and River Corridors Protection Act is also pursuant to O.G.CA. Chapter
12-2-8 and authorizes GDNR to develop minimum planning standards and procedures for


protection of river corridors in the state.  It also requires local governments to use these standards
in developing and implementing the local comprehensive plan.  The method mandated for
protection of river corridors is the establishment of a natural vegetative buffer area for a distance
of 100 horizontal ft on both sides of the protected river.  The slate can not prohibit the building of
single-family dwelling units, including the usual appurtenances, within the vegetative buffer area,
subject to the following conditions:
       1.   Building must be in compliance with local regulations,
      2.   The dwelling unit must be located on a tract of land containing at least two acres,
      3.   Only  one dwelling unit may be built on each tract, and
      4.   Septic tanks serving the dwelling unit may be located within the buffer area, but the
           septic tank drainfields may not be located within the buffer.

Any construction activities within the buffer area must meet the requirements of the Erosion and
Sedimentation Act  Forestry and agriculture activities may not  impair the drinking water standards
as defined in the Clean Water Act

Under O.CGA. Chapter 50-8-32, the State of Georgia created 18 Regional Development Centers
(RDCs) that are given the responsibility of serving the essential public interests of the state by
promoting the establishment, implementation, and performance of coordinated and comprehensive
planning by municipal and county governments and RDC, in conformity with the minimum
standards and procedures established pursuant to the Comprehensive Planning Act RDCs must
also review the local plans for compliance with the minimum standards and procedures.

Two regional development centers have jurisdiction within the St Marys River basin.  The
Southeast Georgia Regional Development Center (SEGRDC) serves Charlton  and Ware counties
and the Coastal Georgia Regional Development Center (CGRDC) serves Camden County.

It is the responsibility of local governments to develop their local county or municipal
comprehensive plan as set forth in the Comprehensive Planning Act and to be reviewed by the
appropriate RDC The local governments must develop, establish, and implement land  use
regulations and a capital improvement plan consistent with the comprehensive plan.

A joint Camden County, Kingsland, St Marys, and Woodbine Comprehensive Plan was completed
hi April 1992 and has been adopted. The plan only identified existing laws and regulations.
During the process of developing the joint plan, there were no additional local regulations
identified to protect the St Marys River basin.

m the land use element of the comprehensive plan, goals and objectives were identified but
policies were not identified.  The county also identified regionally important resources, but the St
Marys River basin was not nominated. Zoning and land development regulations that help
regulate land use needs were established.  The natural resource element briefly mentions the St
Marys River, but does not identify the river as a Regionally Important Resource nor does it
identify policies to protect the river basin.

darlton County's comprehensive plan will not be complete for at least a year. In Charlton
County, there are no zoning or land development regulations; building and septic tank permits are
the only regulations hi place. The county does not officially recognize the river basin as an
important resource, or establish any protective measures.

Because of the location of the St Marys River basin within two states and four counties, there is a
wide variety of land use controls and growth management strategies hi effect There are also
varying degrees of development pressures that occur within the basin mat potentially can impact
the St Marys River.  Florida and Georgia have established regulatory agencies to implement
adopted comprehensive planning and growth management legislation.  However, planning and
growth management laws for Florida and Georgia differ hi intent and timing.  Florida's first
planning legislation was adopted hi 1975.  New  legislation was adopted in 1985 that strengthened
growth management provisions. Florida's growth management legislation is dynamic because it
requires comprehensive plan updates every five years and because it has established committees to
evaluate and  improve the state's growth management system. Georgia's legislation primarily
focuses on economic development, and does not require implementation of policies and land
development regulations. The Georgia program is relatively new, having been adopted in  1989.
Despite the differences in the planning processes, both  Florida and Georgia counties have


regulatory planning and growth management tools in place to direct activities within their
respective jurisdictions, based on the growth pressures experienced by the counties.  The
effectiveness of local government comprehensive plans within the basin are dependent upon the
implementation of the plans and tend development regulations, growth pressures, political support
of planning and growth management, staffing, and funding of local projects.

The implementation of Florida's planning legislation has begun in Baker  County with the adoption
of the county's comprehensive plan.  Baker County  is currently developing the county's Land
Development Regulations.  Nassau County has completed its comprehensive plan and is currently
negotiating a Stipulated Settlement Agreement with  the DCA. It is unknown how both counties'
comprehensive plans will be implemented. Similar  to most rural counties in the state that have not
yet felt tremendous growth pressures, comprehensive planning and growth management is not an
issue  of critical concern to local governments.

Gunden County currently has established zoning and land use requirements and, in 1992, adopted
a comprehensive plan in compliance with the 1989 planning legislation. Charlton County has
begun to draft a comprehensive plan but has not established zoning or land use regulation;
therefore, it is not known how the comprehensive plan will be implemented. The need for
implementing strong growth management strategies  and comprehensive plans is not recognized hi
these rural counties because of the  limited growth pressure currently experienced within these
Jurisdictions. It is important to note that Nassau, Baker,  Camden, and Charlton  counties do not
recognize the St. Marys River as a regionally significant resource.

There is a dichotomy between the growth that occurs and die regulations  in place between the four
counties in the basin. No single entity exists to coordinate tend development activities mat <
within the river basin.  The following recommendations should be considered to address l«n«* use
in the basin:
           Local governments should evaluate the resources of the St Marys River basin.
           Education programs should be implemented to increase public awareness and aid in
           resource protection efforts.
           The inclusion of specific land use regulations for protecting the river from imprc
           silviculture, agriculture, and development that does not adhere to BPMs or the best
           available technology.


The four local governments should identify the St Marys River basin as a Regional
Important Resource in their comprehensive plans.
The formation of a basin-wide entity should be considered to provide coordinated
efforts to educate the public and review the land development activities within the

There has been extensive federal land acquisition in the St Marys basin in the past, but no
conservation-related programs are currently active. Aggressive federal acquisition of lands for the
Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge and the Cumberland Island National Seashore has alienated
local citizens so that they are very apprehensive about federal tend purchases.

If the St Marys were to become a National Wild and Scenic River, some voluntary tend
acquisition might be involved. Although the Wild and Scenic Rivers program guidelines specify
mat such purchases only be for small tracts necessary for public access and visitor support
facilities, local people are concerned eminent domain would be used to acquire additional tends.

Florida has several voluntary tend acquisition programs implemented by state and regional
agencies.  These programs  include Preservation 2000 (P-2000), the Conservation and Recreation
Lands (CARL) program, and Save Our Rivers (SOR). Preservation 2000
Passed in  1990, this legislation authorized $300,000,000 in bonds per year over a 10-year period to
help fund  new and existing land acquisition programs. This major new funding program affects
all of the other major tend  acquisition programs in the state, including the Florida Communities
Trust, CARL, and SOR. However, since there is no dedicated funding source for P-2000, the
Florida Legislature must appropriate funds annually to support this program.

The St Marys River corridor is mapped  as a  P-2000 Priority Acquisition Area, and tends
extending  southeast towards the Nassau River are mapped as P-2000 Areas of Conservation

5^2*2 Conservation and Recreation Lands
Begun in 1979, the CARL Program  specifically purchases environmentally sensitive lands which
contain natural areas of relatively unaltered flora and fauna. It also targets critical habitat of
endangered or threatened species and outstanding geological features, as well as archaeological/
historical sites.  The Land Acquisition Advisory Council (LAAC) ranks projects in order of


priority. The program is funded by severance taxes on the phosphate industry and by documentary
stamp taxes.

The criteria by which potential Environmentally Endangered Lands CARL projects are evaluated
      1.   Contains native, relatively unaltered flora or fauna representing a natural area unique
           to, or scarce within, a region of Florida or larger geographic area.
      2.   Contains habitat critical to or providing significant protection for an endangered or
           threatened species of plant or animal.
      3.   Contains an unusual, outstanding, or unique geologic feature.

Other lands proposed for CARL acquisition are evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:
      1.   For use and protection as natural floodplain, marsh or estuary, if the protection and
           conservation of such lands are necessary to enhance or protect water quality or
           quantity or to protect fish or wildlife habitat which cannot adequately be accomplished
           through local, state and federal regulatory programs.
      2.   For use as state parks, recreation areas, public beaches, state forests, wilderness areas,
           or wildlife management areas.
      3.   For restoration of altered ecosystems to correct environmental damage mat has already
      4.   For preservation of significant archaeological  or historical sites.

Other than Pinhook Swamp, there have been no CARL projects in the St. Marys basin.

5A23  Save Our Rivers
This program was initiated in 1982 to buy lands important for the protection of Florida's water
resources. These include lands of broader ecological significance, as well as those necessary for
water management, water supply, and the conservation  and protection of water resources. This
program is funded through documentary stamp tax collection.

Each of the five water management  districts has a five-year acquisition plan that specifies the types
of lands sought SJRWMD uses the following criteria: proximity to headwaters, buffering
function, water storage capacity, flood conveyance, intact natural system, groundwater recharge


protection, potential to restore critical altered wetland system, management considerations,
recreation potential, development pressure, habitat for listed species or communities, and ecological

The St Marys Conservation Area (Hercules Tract) was purchased by SJRWMD. The district is
very interested in developing other St Marys projects in cooperation with the CARL Program and

5.43.1  Preservation 2000
Georgia's P-2000 Program began in 1991.  It is much more limited than Florida's, with a goal of
protecting 100,000 acres.  Lands suggested for parks, natural areas, greenways, fishing and other
recreation areas, and wildlife management areas are proposed to the Advisory Council on Land
Acquisition and evaluated by GDNR, with reviews by other boards.  Minimal public involvement
in site review and selection is planned, which raises questions about the likely effectiveness of the
program as currently managed.

According to the Governor's plan, increased hunting and fishing licenses will pay $30 million of
the costs and $30 million will come from general obligation bonds, but other funding must come
from private sources and existing state, federal, and private land acquisition efforts. User fees are
being evaluated as a funding source.

Unaltered old-growth forests and wetlands (particularly including riverbottom hardwood forests,
Carolina bays, and natural water features) are specifically sought for the Georgia P-2000 Program.
Other considerations include the following:
      1.   Proposed wildlife management areas should have at least 2£00 acres with a possibility
           of adding up to 15,000 acres over time.  Diverse, high-quality habitat is essential
      2.   Proposed state parks should have a minimum of 1,000 acres with the possibility of
           acquiring up to 3,000 acres over time. The hind must be scenic, with big trees and at
           feast one significant water feature.
      3.   Natural areas can be any size, but they must represent one of the best two or three
           sites in the state for a listed species or a significant natural community. These sites
           are expected to be internally identified by GDNR.


No sites within the St Marys basin have been proposed.

There are no active local conservation land acquisition programs operating within the St Marys
basin, although Nassau County is working with the Florida Communities Trust to develop parks
along the Nassau River and might be expected to expand such efforts into the St Marys area in
the future.

The Nature Conservancy is an international conservation organization dedicated to me preservation
of biodiversity. The Nature Conservancy operates through two main channels: science/research
and land acquisition.

The Nature Conservancy Science Division was responsible for founding both Florida's and
Georgia's heritage program databases, the Florida Natural Areas Inventory and Georgia Freshwater
Wetland and Heritage Inventory Program. They also produced the Natural Areas Inventory of the
St Marys River Basin (Lynch and Baker 1988). Through these efforts, The Nature Conservancy
has become the leading source of information on die ecological features of the St Marys basin.
Lands identified as "Standard Sites" of interest to The Nature Conservancy are described in
Section 8.0 and mapped in Figure 8-1. Additional rare plant sites are described in Lynch and
Baker (1988).  Trust for Public Land
The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national private conservation organization devoted to
preserving land for people.  Their activities emphasize protection and development of recreation
areas, historic sites, and urban greenspace. TPL works to establish and tram local land trusts, as
well as to do land protection/acquisition projects. They are concerned with using creative
mechanisms to protect important resources and recreation opportunities on bom public and private

TPL has no projects in the St Marys basin.

Hie Georgia Conservancy is a statewide membership-based organization which addresses a broad
range of environmental issues. Protection of important ecological sites has always been one of the
group's main emphases.

The Georgia Conservancy is not currently involved in any specific land protection efforts in the St
Marys basin.

Local land trusts work at a grassroots level to protect locally significant resources and landscape
features through community cooperation and creative real estate and tax law techniques.

No local land trusts have been identified in the St Marys basin.  The potential for such an
organization in mis area is *i«*™iBfd in Section 9.0.

The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is under the jurisdiction of USFWS. Management goals
focus on overall preservation of die refuge's resources, with emphasis on maintaining functioning,
dynamic ecosystems.  All plants and animals within the refuge are legally protected.

Active management practices include prescribed burning within upland and wetland communities
and limited logging and timber sales for habitat restoration.  The Refuge concentrates its efforts on
enhancing rcd-cockaded woodpecker habitat through understory hardwood reduction and careful
application of fire within colony sites.

While significant hydrologic and ecological resources within the Okefenokee National Wildlife
Refuge are legally protected, they are still threatened by surrounding land use practices.  Biologists
are concerned mat outside changes in drainage patterns, water dynamics, contaminants, and
sediment deposition have the potential for adversely affecting the plant communities, wildlife
populations and, in the long term, the natural state of die refuge as a whole.

The Osceola National Forest is owned by the United States Forest Service (USFS) and managed as
a Type I Wildlife Management Area through a cooperative agreement with FOFWFC.

The majority of the Osceola National Forest has been converted to pine plantation, with slash pine
replacing longleaf pine as the dominant tree species. While transition zones are generally logged,
wetlands are avoided due to increased public protest. Harvesting has typically involved
clearcntting. Recently, however, USFS has committed to an 80 percent reduction, nationwide, in
dearcuttmg within national  forests.  Consequently, timber managers in the Osceola National Forest
are implementing long-term stand rotations which favor old-growth forests.  Site preparation
includes shearing, chopping, plowing, bedding, and herbicide application.

Prescribed burning is usually conducted during whiter months.  As a result, woody plants dominate
the understory, and natural groundcover is limited in much of the forest

USFS is involved in a major led-cockaded woodpecker management program in the Osceola
National Forest Management activities include extensive monitoring, mowing and midstory
removal within colony sites, placement of restrictor plates on cavity trees, and installation of
artificial nest cavities.

The Osceola National Forest is also recognized as an important habitat for black bears, m order to
protect local bear populations, FGFWFC recently placed a moratorium on bear hunting within the
forest.  It is expected that this ban will remain effective until the game commission ™*n determine
that local populations have recuperated sufficiently to support public hunting.

Large areas within the northern portion of the forest that provide critical habitat Cor both red-
cockaded woodpeckers and black bears have been designated as wilderness areas. Forestry
activities are excluded from these areas, with management focusing on wildlife habitat
enhancement and preservation.

The St  Marys Conservation Area (Hercules Tract) is the only SIRWMD-owned conservation land
in the basin.  It is managed through a cooperative agreement with the Florida Division of Forestry.
SJRWMD manages it as a Type n Wildlife Management Area with enforcement assistance from
FGFWFC  Hunting and hiking are the most frequent recreational uses.  FDOF is beginning
restoration of pine plantations through selective logging.  They are also planting longleaf pines to
restore sandhill habitats that were logged prior to acquisition. Prescribed burning is conducted to
maintain the integrity of the sandhills and  flatwoods. Prescribed fire is also being utilized to
restore seepage slopes and transition zones between wetland and upland habitats.  Once restored,
the St Marys Conservation Area will be managed in a manner that will ensure the continued
preservation of the natural communities.

The Nature Conservancy has acquired 33,000 acres in the Pinhook Swamp area and expects to
acquire  a total of 40,000 acres by the end  of 1993. Portions of the swamp already acquired have
been transferred to USFS as an addition to the Osceola National Forest

Pinhook Swamp is being acquired in order to protect die important hydrologic relationship and
wildlife corridor connecting Osceola National Forest and Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.
Consequently, the USFS is planning to designate most of the acquired lands as a wilderness area.
Under this designation, Pinhook Swamp will be managed as a preserve and will be protected from
silviculture activities.

Silviculture is the dominant land use in the St Marys River basin and is generally considered the
primary management objective by private landowners. Intensive timber harvesting has occurred
throughout the region since the early 1900's and the vast majority of original pinelands has been
clear-cut at least once. Most of the forests are comprised of third and fourth generation stands
characterized by  young, even-aged trees.

Private timberland within the basin is divided between industrial and non-industrial landowners.
Industrial timber corporations and non-industrial landowners produce pulpwood and saw timber.
Both methods of production follow BMP guidelines, but the differences in management practices
result in very different forest character. Non-IndastrMI Forests
Non-industrial landowners producing saw timber generally employ selective harvesting, utilize
natural regeneration techniques, and rotate stands on a long-term basis. Prescribed burning is
typically utilized to reduce fuel  loads and control hardwood invasion.

As a result, much of the non-industrial timberland is characterized by stands of older pines with
relatively intact groundcover. Thus non-industrial timberland tends to maintain its natural integrity
and provide habitat for rare and endangered species.  Indnrtrial Forests
Industrial timber corporations growing pulpwood generally harvest stands when they are between
20 and 30 years  of age.  Pines are then mechanically replanted on sites that have undergone
extensive preparation with techniques that include chopping, KG-blading, and bedding.  Herbicides
are used on an increasingly regular basis to manage competing vegetation.  Prescribed fire is
limited to site preparation and fertilizer is commonly used for promoting timber growth.


Consequently, industrial timberlands are dominated by a wide variety of even-aged stands. Over
time, high tree density, lack of fire, and mechanical site preparation lead to changes in species
composition found in natural cover.

Harvesting within wetlands is generally limited to hardwood and cypress swamps within flatwoods
tracts.  Steep slopes and access difficulty have generally protected the wetlands adjacent to the St
Marys River.  Private Preserves
There are probably a number of family and corporate landowners who voluntarily maintain
portions of their lands as nature preserves. No such lands under conservation easement have been
identified, but a thorough search of legal records might locate some.  A regional land trust could
help to promote this type of private conservation effort.

The only private preserve identified was Oilman Paper Company's White Oak Plantation, which
stretches for several miles along the south bank of the St Marys around the mouth of the Little St

This roughly 8,000-acre area serves a wide variety of functions.  It reportedly includes not only a
nature preserve and commercial timberlands, but a racehorse breeding and training farm, a ballet
center, a golf course, and extensive facilities for raising and studying exotic and endangered

Land use/cover maps indicate that this area includes one of the basin's largest tracts of natural
pineland as well as extensive acreages of floodplain swamp.  No information is' available regarding
which of the natural lands, if any, are committed to preservation, or what management practices
are used on the timberlands.

In Florida, EPA and MJUK have agreed that certain management measures that prevent generation
of pollution should be encouraged. In the sense that these preventative management practices are
the best known means to protect water resources, they are considered BMPs. Since they are also
designed to conserve soil and associated nutrients, they are also considered to contribute to good
Similarly, Georgia created the Forestry Nonpoint Source Technical Task Force to assess the extent
of pollution caused by forestry activities in Georgia. The task force recommended practices that
are intended to eliminate or reduce silviculture-associated pollutants and are also referred to as

Even though BMPs are non-regulatory, they must still be applied as performance standards by
timber managers in order to comply with other regulatory programs. As long as BMPs are
followed, the regulation of diffuse nan-point-source pollution from maintenance activities,
construction of vegetated swales and normal silviculairal operations is exempt (Riekerk 1988).
Consequently,  BMPs should be carefully considered when recommending management strategies
for protecting regionally significant areas in the St Marys River basin.

Both the Georgia and Florida BMPs address similar management issues and provide guidelines for
reducing negative impacts associated with them. BMPs primarily focus on site preparation
techniques, Streamside Management Zones, access road construction, and timber harvesting.
Following is a brief discussion of the impacts associated  with each of these activities, as well as
BMP guidelines developed by Georgia and Florida to minimize their impacts.

When pines are harvested from an existing stand, the area to be replanted is prepared to facilitate
the processes of establishment (planting) and growth of the new pine seedlings.  Site preparation
involves mechanical, chemical, fire or a  combination of these methods in order to reduce logging
debris, control competing vegetation and promote pine growth.

Site  preparations differ greatly depending on site-specific characteristics. Similarly, the impact cm
water quality is correlated with the proximity of the practice to the water course, slope, soil


credibility and extent of bare ground exposed by the technique utilized.  BMPs are primarily
concerned with where site preparation techniques occur, such as areas within Streamside
Mechanical site preparation, often coupled with burning, hng been the most «ntntnnn technique
utilized within the St Marys River basin. Hie primary purpose of mechanical site preparation is
to control vegetation competition and to concentrate organic matter at the top of the bed, which
assists seedling survival.  Chemical application also controls vegetation, but does not concentrate
organic nurtfffTi

Chemical site preparation is often done before or shortly after pine transplantation depending on
what type of herbicide is used. If initial application is ineffective, herbicide may be repeated
several times within the first five years following transplantation.

Both Florida and Georgia BMPs recognize that areas adjacent to streams, ponds and lakes require
special management hi forestry operations.  Florida and Georgia BMPs have established guidelines
for determining buffer widths and management practices around these areas.  Hie primary goal is
to protect the water course Cram excessive sediment, nutrients, logging debris, forest chemicals and
temperature  fluctuations which adversely affect water quality, fish and aquatic vegetation.

In Florida, an area within 300 ft of open waters  of streams and lakes larger man 10 acres are
referred to as the Discretionary Zone.  Within the Discretionary Zone, the land immediately
adjacent to the water body is referred to as the site's Streamside Management Zone (SMZ).
Outward from the stream or water body, the SMZ consists of the primary and secondary SMZ.
Hie remaining land or area of the Discretionary  Zone is the area beyond the SMZ and extending
to the 300-ft boundary.

The Primary SMZ is fixed at 35 ft outward from the stream or water body. Management criteria
for the Primary SMZ allow selective timber harvesting that leaves a volume equal to or greater
man one-half the volume of a  fully stocked stand.

The Secondary SMZ has a variable width determined by the site's slope and soil credibility.
Width varies from 10 to 105 ft. Land management within this zone differs from the Primary SMZ
in that complete timber harvesting is permitted. With the exception of the harvesting guideline,
there are no other differences between the two SMZs.

Forestry practices that should be avoided within both SMZs include mechanical site preparation,
fertilization and aerial application or mist blowing of herbicides and insecticides.  Loading decks
or landings should not be located within SMZs. Additionally, access roads should be avoided
unless leading directly to or crossing a watercourse.

In Georgia, BMPs identify areas surrounding open water as SMZs.  The SMZ is divided into two
parts: (1) primary and (2) secondary.  Unlike Florida, Georgia SMZ widths are predetermined by
region.  The entire portion of the St. Marys River basin in Georgia is located within the Lower
Coastal Plain. Within the Lower Coastal  Plain, SMZ width is 20 ft. No secondary SMZ is
         ided. Any type of cutting practice, including clear cutting, is permitted within the
Primary SMZ. Practices to be avoided include building roads or trails, unless necessary; portable
sawmills and log decks; harrowing; root raking or bulldozing; gaily leveling, «•!««« immediately
seeded and mulched; and leaving logging debris in the water body.

Permanent access roads often are accompanied by adjacent ditches that drain the road surface and
transport water away from the site. As described in the 1991 Georgia Compliance Survey (Mixon
1991), forest road construction has the greatest potential of delivering sediment to water bodies
than has any other forest activity. It is estimated that 90 percent of sediment that reaches streams
from a logging site is attributed to poor road construction and location.

Both Florida and Georgia BMPs recommend that access roads have proper drainage and water
diversion measures installed to slow and divert surface  water off the road. Current BMPs discuss
in detail a variety of techniques which should be implemented to help eliminate sedimentation and
road degradation.

BMPs recommend planning roads to avoid stream crossings and SMZs. When roads cannot be
avoided within these areas, BMPs recommend crossing them at 90 degree angles in order to


minimise time spent in the stream.  Ford type crossings are acceptable where stream bottoms are
hard and flat.

The majority of environmental issues surrounding current forest practices are concerned with
timber harvesting methods.  Regulatory agencies, however, have primarily focused on silviculture
aspects that have the greatest potential  for impacting water quality (e.g., site preparation).
Consequently, BMPs for timber harvesting are limited to stream bank integrity, streamflow
impairment and skid trail erosion.  Harvest activities are acceptable on the edge of perennial and
intermittent streams.

Application of BMPs by forest managers in Florida and Georgia is reviewed on a biennial basis by
the respective Division of Forestry in each state.  BMPs will remain non-regulatory as long as
forest managers continue to abide by them. If biennial surveys indicate that BMPs are not being
practiced, EPA will recommend that a permitting program be instituted.

In 1991 FDOF conducted their sixth, and most recent, BMP compliance survey. During the 1991
survey, 150 individual forestry operations were evaluated in north and central Florida.  Of the sites
surveyed, 141 of 150 were in compliance with BMPs.  SMZs were maintained during harvesting
on 92 percent of the study sites and during site preparation on 96 percent Forest roads were
properly located on 94 percent of the study sites, and 89 percent of the stream crossings were
reported as adequately stabilized (FDOF 1992).

During 1991, the Georgia Forestry Commission conducted then- most recent BMP compliance
survey. During the survey, 349 sites were surveyed throughout Georgia. The following results
were published by the Georgia Forestry Commission (Mixon 1991). Approximately 69 percent of
the sites surveyed were in compliance with road construction BMPs. Statewide, 88 percent of
stream crossings were located properly. However, only 46 percent were adequately stabilized to
prevent erosion from entering streams.  Approximately  83  percent of harvest operations were in
compliance with BMPs. Statewide compliance for site preparation activities was 94 percent
Overall compliance was rated at 86 percent  Regional compliance was best in the coastal plain
(92 percent), which includes the St Marys River basin.



Although many resource protection programs are currently in effect in the St Marys River basin,
(here are gaps in resource protection and no formal coordination mechanism for these existing
programs. Table 6-1 provides a summary of the major resource protection programs available in
Florida and Georgia.

Wetland protection is uneven in the basin because of differing state policies,  m Florida, wetlands
are protected by FDER and SJRWMD. In Georgia, only coastal wetlands are protected by the
state.  On a federal level,  the basin is split between two USAGE districts. The St Marys River
basin lies in two separate  districts of the USAGE, with the Georgia side in the Savannah district
and the Florida side in the Jacksonville district  USAGE is the only agency mat regulates
activities in Georgia's freshwater wetlands, since there is no state regulatory program.
Coordination, enforcement and consistency are therefore more difficult than  if the basin were
located  in a single USAGE district

Flood damage potential to the St Marys and King Bay areas has greatly increased because of
increased development These downstream areas are protected by flood storage in the headwaters
subarea of the basin.

The dominant land use in the basin has been and will continue to be silviculture and upland forest,
primarily  pine plantation and managed upland forests . The good water quality of the river is
attributed to the undisturbed state of the riverbank and immediately adjacent areas. There is a
need to encourage landowners to continue leaving these areas intact   Although current water
quality  conditions are good, improper silvicultural activities along me river have the potential  to
affect water quality. High compliance with BMPs in both Florida and Georgia must be continued.
Large-tract ownership has preserved water quality, streambank vegetation, remaining natural
communities and wildlife, but there will be increased pressure on large landowners to subdivide,
especially in ffr^den and Nassau counties. In particular, growth in Camden County is
substantially higher than for other counties and is expected to continue, especially in the
Kingsland-St Marys area, due to expansion of die Kings Bay Naval Base.


Table 6-1. Resource Protection Programs Available in Florida and Georgia
Protection Program
        Governmental Protection Level
    Florida                        Georgia
Wetland Regulations

Water Quality Standards

Water Use Classification System

Antidegndatton Policies

Special Surface Water Designations

NPDES Permitting

Water Body Restoration Pit
Consumptive Use Permits

Stormwater Regulations

Surface Water Management Regulatk

Corridor Designation

Grown Management

Land Acquisition

Endangered Species
Federal, Slate






Slate (FDER SWIM program)

State (SJRWMD)

State (SJRWMD)

State (SJRWMD)


State (CARL, SOR)

Federal, State
Federal, State (only in
coastal marshes)







State (GDNR)



State, Local (Counties)

Counties, State

State (P-2000)

Federal, State
Note:        SWIM a Surface Water Improvement and Management
             CARL • Conservation and Recreation Lands.
              SOR s Save Our Rivers.

Many current regulations exempt recreation and activities associated with developing single-family
homesites for weekend use along the streambank.  The cumulative impacts of increases in
recreation and weekend homesites could threaten water quality and create conflicts among river
Although die basin is mostly forested, much of the native vegetation and habitat has been
fragmented by development and silviculture, especially in uplands. There is a need to encourage
landowners to leave these natural areas intact


As has been discussed, a variety of regulations and programs is currently in effect in the St Marys
River basin. Long-term protection of the basin's natural resources will depend more on
coordination of existing regulations and programs than on promulgation of new regulations. This
section outlines specific regulatory and management alternatives to provide improved coordination
and consistency among the existing regulations.

The St Marys River owes its good water quality in part to the fact mat streambanks and
floodplains are for the most part stiD in vegetated condition. The dominant hind use, silviculture
and managed upland forests, has significantly contributed to the overall good water quality.
Threats definitely exist, especially changing land uses and development  Of less concern, but still
important is the need to foster continued best management practices of the sitvicnltural lands.
Existing regulations could be amended so that they establish a river corridor on both sides of the
St Marys, in which primary resource protection areas are adopted, similar to the provisions of
Georgia's Mountain and River Corridor Act.  The Act adopts a 100-ft vegetated buffer to be
maintained, and limits the types of activities within the corridor.

Primary Resource Protection Areas (PRPAs) are the essential areas required to maintain
fundamental ecological and hydrologic functions.  By maintaining existing vegetation and
prohibiting alteration within the PRPA, runoff from a developed area adjacent to a water body is
slowed. The vegetated strip acts as a filter for pollutants, slows water velocities hi sheet flow, and
limits erosion and sedimentation.  PRPAs can be consistent throughout an area or can vary
according to the type of development activity.

An example of a PRPA that affects the basin was established by the Georgia Mountain and River
Corridors Act This Act establishes a 100-ft river corridor, beginning at the top of the riverbank,
and restricts activities within this area.  The Act applies to rivers with average annual flow equal
to or exceeding 400 cubic ft/s, which would include much of die main stem of the St Marys.

Although PRPAs are not applied in most areas of the SJRWMD, Chapter 40C41 establishes
Surface Water Management Basin Criteria for hydrologic basins of concern. Examples of criteria


within the Wekiva River basin include extra measures to protect wetlands and water bodies, such
as a variable Riparian Habitat Protection Zone and more stringent criteria for erosion and sediment
control, flood storage, recharge, and water table maintenance. Similar Riparian Habitat Protection
Zones are established in Ch. 40C-41 for the Econlockhatchee River.

SRWMD's Works of the District include a 75-ft minimum setback for an major rivers. Hie
setback cm be enlarged, based on the intensity of die proposed activity.  A mhihnuin setback of
75 ft  for the Suwannee River itself has its origins in the mid-1960's, when mis river was being
considered for Wild and Scenic River designation (Potts and Bai 1989).  Although the river was
not designated Wild and Scenic, the setback has been retained in the District's rales (40D-4) after
adoption into local regulations by all of the counties along the river.

Since a 100-ft PRPA has already been established for the Georgia side of the river, amendments to
Florida regulations that would establish a similar corridor should be considered. Hie most suitable
amendments would be to Chapter 40C-41, which could designate the Florida portion of the St
Marys River basin as a special hydrologic basin, with basin-specific criteria mat might include
PRPAs. Other criteria could include more stringent requirements for stormwater control systems
and more stringent floodplain storage criteria, such as requiring compensating storage for Gil in  the
100-year floodplain.  This is currently required in the Wekiva River and Econlockhatchee basins.
Thresholds mat trigger permits could also be amended so that more development projects would be
reviewed under the MSSW program.  Both states should consider extending the corridor protection
concept to tributaries of the SL  Marys River.

In Florida, MSSW criteria require that mere be no net reduction hi  flood storage within a 10-year
floodplain.  Local floodplain ordinances are also promulgated and enforced in accordance with
enrollment in the federal Flood Insurance Program (FTP). However, these regulations allow some
filling in the 100-year floodplain, and may allow filling in floodways in some cases.

In Georgia, the only floodplain regulations in effect are in local PIP ordinances similar to the local
ordinances in Florida. Therefore, in Georgia there is little to prevent floodplain storage loss, while
in Florida there is protection against flood storage loss within 10-year floodplains. However, the
large flood storage areas in the headwaters subarea are nearly all located in Florida or in the
Okefenokee Swamp.  Flood storage in floodplains located in oner subareas of  the basin have


lower regional value for protecting downstream areas and are considered to be adequately
protected by local ordinances. This means that amending local or state regulations in Georgia to
include more flood storage protection would not produce basin-wide changes in flood storage

In 1968, Congress passed the Wild and Scenic River Act (Public Law 90-542). The act
several rivers for immediate protection and authorized the study of additional riven for inclusion
in the federally protected system.

In 1990, Congress passed Public Law 101-364, which authorized the National Park Service (NPS)
to study the St. Marys River to determine the river's eligibility for National Wild and Scenic
designation. NPS began examining the St Marys River in January 1991.

In August 1991, NPS requested that the County Commission a*»irmim in each of the four study
area counties appoint three to five representatives to serve on a study advisory group to assist
NPS.  The County Commissions had created the St Marys River Management rvynmi"*"
(SMRMC) to explore local options for protecting the river immediately prior to the NPS request
Once formed, the rmtm>fttey concentrated on local management issues and alternatives and never
accepted the responsibility of the Wild and Scenic River Advisory Committee.

Local environmental interests formed a group known as the Friends of the St Marys. The primary
focus of this group is to support designation of the St Marys River as part of the National Wfld
and Scenic River System.

m September 1991,  NPS published a preliminary eligibility determination report (NPS 1991).
Preliminary studies indicate that a total of 71 river miles (RM), from approximately 1 RM
upstream of Flea Hill/Kings Ferry to the confluence of the Middle and North Prongs (upstream of
the Mcclenny Bridge), are eligible for National Wild and Scenic
As discussed in the preliminary report, the St Marys River must be determined both eligible and
suitable in order to be designated wild and scenic  An array of alternatives will be considered as
the NPS study continues in order to determine if the river is suitable. Alternatives being examined

by NFS include a Federal management alternative, a State management alternative, and an
alternative for protection at the local level If no feasible alternative for managing the river under
a national wild and scenic designation is acceptable to the local community, the river will be
considered unsuitable for designation or recommended for state designation.

Regardless of which alternative (Federal, State, or local management) is implemented, National
Wild and Scenic designation would permanently preclude any Federal water resource development
projects within the river that would result in direct and advene impacts to those natural attributes
which qualify it as a component of the system. Direct shoreline restrictions would extend only to
Federal or Federally assisted areas.

Summarized as follows is a description of the alternative strategies for managing the St. Marys
River under National Wild and Scenic designation.

Federally MftliflgA<^ Wild f^d Scfnic River
Under Federal management, designated portions of the St Marys River would be managed by NFS
as a national wild and scenic river.  NFS would be required to develop a comprehensive river
management plan and a land protection plan for the river.  NFS would manage the river in a
manner which would assure that the river and a narrow visual corridor along both banks remain
relatively unchanged.  NFS would also manage public use of the river and provide recreational
opportunities in a manner which would not impact detrimentally on the natural and cultural values
of the St Marys.

During preliminary studies, NFS concluded mat existing regulations pertaining to wetland,
floodplains, erosion, sedimentation, and water quality appear to provide sufficient shoreline
protection.  Consequently, land acquisition would primarily involve dispersed sites for access and
visitor support facilities. A foil-time staff would be hired by NFS to operate facilities and  enforce
regulations in designated portions of the river.

Federal management of the river as a national park would not prohibit growth and development
within the river area.  Development would simply have to occur in an environmentally sensitive
manner and follow guidelines established in the comprehensive river management plan.

State Managed Wfld and Scenic River
Under State management, the St Marys River would be managed through a cooperative
management agreement between FDNR and GDNR. The river would be managed in the same
manner as the Federal management alternative. Florida and Georgia, however, would have the
opportunity to develop the comprehensive river management plan and land protection plan as long
as it remained consistent with the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act Under state management, die
Federal government would expect some, if not all, funding on the state level.

State management may provide the opportunity to better address the needs and concerns of the
local community. Neither Florida nor Georgia, however, has expressed interest in accepting
management responsibilities for a National Wild and Scenic River designation. Additionally,
difficulties may arise in developing a cooperative agreement between the two states since
regulations affecting the St Marys River vary greatly between the two.  Stale management would
necessarily be expected to address both local and Federal concerns, which could ultimately serve
to complicate matters.

There currently exists strong opposition by local residents to National Wild and Scenic designation
of the St Marys River.  Primary concerns include the use of eminent domain, over-regulation, »"«i
loss of local control. There also exist concerns about the retained right to continue current
practices such as hunting and fishing along the river corridor.

Locally Managed Wild and Scenic River
Under local management, the St Marys River would be managed as a National Wild and Scenic
River by a local cooperative management committee. The committee would be responsible for
developing a comprehensive river management plan incorporating the ideas, viewpoints and needs
of the local community. NFS would establish strict guidelines for creating the committee in order
to ensure that it accurately reflects the interests of the entire community.  The membership of the
committee, would represent local landowners and commercial interests, local government, state
government, NFS, recreational interests, and conservation organizations.

The Upper Delaware River serves as an excellent example of how a National Wfld and Scenic
River Designation can be utilized to promote and enforce local river protection. Similar to the St
Marys River, the Upper Delaware falls under the jurisdiction of several States and numerous


counties. While adequate state and local regulations exist, die problem lies in cooperation for
basin-wide management Additionally, the river is located primarily within private lands, resulting
in strong opposition to outside (Federal) control.
Hie Upper Delaware River was HumgpiateH as a National Wild and Scenic River in 1978. The
final management plan for the river was completed in 1986.  The majority of management
responsibilities were delegated to a local Citizen Advisory Council, which has a full-time staff
     rted by NFS funds.  The management plan was prepared by a private consulting firm,
selected by the Council and paid with NFS funds.

A similar approach could be applied to the St. Marys River.  NFS funding and technical assistance
would be utilized to support the Cooperative Management Committee, to develop a comprehensive
management plan and to assist local river protection efforts.  Under local management, designation
could be accomplished with little or no shoreline acquisition. Indeed, the local cooperative
     gement wmaP*!** would have die ability to shape legislation for designating the river by
removing condemnation authority and establishing a ceiling on acquisition funds.

In essence, the Federal government would provide die means necessary for establishment of a local
cooperative authority which would be responsible for developing and implementing a
comprehensive river management plan which specifically addressed the concerns of local citizens.
Once me river was designated as a National Wild and Scenic River, Federal involvement would be
limited to reviewing proposed management plans to ensure dial tiiey adequately address protection
of die river's natural resources.

The success of Wild and Scenic River Designation in protecting die St Marys River natural
integrity would be directly determined by me effectiveness of me comprehensive river
management plan. The management plan should address die concerns of local residents and
satisfy die national interest while maintaining effective river management The development of die
management plan should be carefully considered in order to avoid creating anotiier layer of
regulations and associated bureaucracy further complicating management of die river. Indeed, die
management plan should focus on coordinating existing agencies and governments and current

The management plan also provides an effective manner in which to address local concerns
regarding property rights. Key provisions in the management plan could include protection against
over-regulation, retaining local control, continuation of traditional activities (hunting, fishing) and
protection against eminent domain.  In fact, NFS has offered the people of the St Marys River
area the opportunity of developing a management plan prior to designation in order to guarantee
mat they retain local control of die river.

In summary, National Wild and Scenic River Designation of the St Marys River would provide an
excellent means of coordinating management and allowing for the protection of the river and a
narrow visual corridor. If the local management alternative were chosen, a substantial amount of
funding could potentially be made available to assist local protection efforts.

From a basin-wide management perspective, National Wild and Scenic River designation has its
limitations since it only addresses the river corridor. Once the local Cooperative Management
Committee is established, however, there would exist an effective means of protecting significant
ecological and hydrologic resources throughout the rest of the basin by coordinating existing
agencies, governments and regulations.

If Wild and Scenic River designation is not accomplished, there still may be an opportunity for
local coordination of management through a watershed association that keeps track of activities
mat might affect the river. The association would be run as a nonprofit agency and might receive
funding from counties, corporations, private donors and foundations. As a nonprofit agency,  ft
would be run by a board of directors and could have a small full-time or part-time staff. Although
such a group would have no regulatory authority, it could serve as an advocate and "watchdog" for
the St Marys River, participating in the existing regulatory process and commenting on proposed

The St Marys basin is currently divided between two USAGE districts. The Georgia portion of
the basin is under the jurisdiction of the Savannah District  The Florida portion of the basin  is
under the jurisdiction of the Jacksonville District  Both, of mese districts are within  the South
Atlantic Division of USAGE, headquartered in Atlanta.


As discussed under the regulatory section, the USAGE districts bear the primary responsibility for
processing of federal permit applications for activities in waters and wetlands.  Project review with
a basin wide perspective would be facilitated by consolidating review authority into one USAGE
district  Due to the proximity of the Jacksonville District to the St Marys basin and since 59
percent of die basin lies within Florida, consolidating review authority with the Jacksonville
District would be most appropriate.  Hie agreement should include a provision requiring notice to
both Florida and Georgia of any permit applications within the basin.

Consolidation of review authority into the Jacksonville District could be implemented by a
memorandum of agreement between the two districts. Such an agreement is not unprecedented.  A
similar agreement has been in effect for a number of years between the Jacksonville District and
the USAGE Mobile District headquartered in Mobile, Alabama. Technically, the Mobile District
includes the majority of the Florida  panhandle, extending to the Aucilla River east of Tallahassee.
In order to consolidate permit review into one district, the Jacksonville District assumed
responsibility for that portion of the Mobile District within Florida. However, the ultimate
feasibility of this alternative must await the result of any delegation of the USAGE 404 program to
the state of Florida.

Public education efforts directed at recreational users and shoreline property owners can be
effective in altering human behavior that affects water bodies.  The aims of public education might
include increasing awareness of human activities that affect water quality, such  as septic system
maintenance, fertilizer use, high motorboat speeds, and small-scale vegetation clearing. Public
forums concerning the future of the St Marys River could serve an educational function as wen  as
increasing communication and consensus between inhabitants of die basin and recreational users.
Another target population for education efforts is large-tract landowners, who would benefit from
information on management and preservation possibilities for native vegetation  communities and
wetlands.  Effective implementation of this alternative would depend on identification of an
appropriate organization to sponsor  and promote a public education progn
Any regional management prugiain will have to recognize the dominance of silviculture in both
the land use and economics of the St Marys region. With the exception of Okefenokee National


Wildlife Refuge, Pinhook Swamp and the St. Marys Conservation Area, silviculture is the primary
management objective for most lands within the St Marys Basin. Consequently, policies and
practices pertaining to silviculture have great impact on the significant hydrologic and ecological
features within the basin.

Silvicuhnral BMPs have been developed hi order to set standards for conducting forestry related
activities. Timber managers must adhere to BMPs to comply with other regulatory programs.
Studies have shown mat implementation of sttvicultnral BMPs were very effective in preventing
serious degradation of stream water quality (Lynch and Corbett 1990).  The practices employed
were the maititenam^ of buffer strips on both sides of perennial streams, completion of harvesting
in an area before proceeding to a new area, inspections, prohibition of skidding over perennial
streams, prohibition of logging during excessively wet periods, and posting of a performance bond
by the contractor. BMPs for the SL Marys River Basin might be improved by including
inspections and posting of pgifoiinanoe bonds.

Recent surveys of forestry practices indicate that herbicides are gaming popularity as an alternative
to mechanical site preparation hi order to mii"mfa« soil disturbance.  A review of the  fate and
environmental risks associated with the use of herbicides used in forestry (Michael 1990) found
that herbicides can contaminate surface waters to varying degrees depending on application rate,
method of application, method of formulation and site specific characteristics.  Protecting SMZs has
been found to greatly reduce stream and lake contamination. Research should be done to define the
role of SMZs in reducing stream contamination in habitats typical of the St Marys Basin so that
SMZ width  can be prescribed on a site-specific basis.

Studies of clearcuts on three forested watersheds hi Bradford County, Florida (Riekerk 1983),
found that water quality impacts were proportional to the severity of devegetation and site
disturbance.  Florida and Georgia BMPs which provide water quality protection measures when
working near water courses should be revised to account for the extent of clearcntting. Such
revisions could include the type of harvesting and site preparation used.  For example, acreage to
be cleared at one time could be limited in relation to the impqc*? •"""•fated  with the techniques to
be utilized.

BMPs should be developed to guide vegetation clearing within certain distances from wetlands
and/or within environmentally significant areas in order to lessen negative edge effects.
Additionally, primary streamside management zones should be classified as no-cut zones in order
•to maintain adequate buffers and ecological corridors along perennial streams and fafcpg

While best management practices for forested wetlands have been established by Georgia, they are
not specifically addressed by Florida BMPs. The Florida Division of Forestry has published
management guidelines for forested wetlands in Florida and should adopt mem as BMPs.

As currently written, BMPs focus on water quality issues and address wildlife and habitat needs
only incidentally.  Many plant and animal species within the St. Marys River basin, including
some listed species, are adversely affected by routine forest management practices.  For instance,
the Florida Black Bear (Ursus americanus flaridanus), Red-cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides
borealis), Sherman's Fox Squirrel (Sauna niger shermanii) and Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus
pofyphemus) are animals that are particularly vulnerable to habitat loss and fragmentation.

Revised BMPs should be developed with specific attention given to wildlife. Silviculture practices
that maintain suitable wildlife habitat by managing for old growth, uneven-aged timberstands
through selective cutting, natural regeneration, and lightning season burning should be encouraged.
Such BMPs should address issues such as the minimum width of leave strips tolerated by different
species and the  effects of various herbicide treatment programs on groundcover biodiversity.

Short-term rotation eliminates the natural succession of aging forests. Pine plantations lack the
diversity associated with mature ecosystems. Natural forests support multiple-aged stands mat
support various arrays of wildlife populations. Indeed, the majority of pinelands present in the
basin may be unable to support dynamic functions inherent in mature forests that are necessary for
supporting specific arrays of wildlife populations. Many species of wildlife, including flying
squirrels, several bat species, pfleated and red-cockaded woodpeckers, numerous cavity-nesting
birds, and a number of amphibians, require mature forests. Mechanisms should be established to
assure that patches of forest scattered throughout the St Marys River basin are allowed  to mature
naturally in order to provide adequate habitat for wildlife associated with such systems.

Fire management programs should be carefully evaluated and mechanisms should be instituted to
encourage use of prescribed burning programs appropriate to natural native ecosystems. Fire is
essential to the perpetuation of the majority of plant communities in the St. Marys River basin.
Historically, the role of fire in this region was solely dependent on the frequency and intensity of
lightning, but now the management role of fire is largely controlled by man through the use of
prescribed burning.  Due to increasing population and transportation'corridors, prescribed fire nsf-
Fire exclusion can have drastic effects on natural communities.  The heavy fuel build-up that
results Cram infrequent burning sets the stage for catastrophic wildfires. If a severe fire does not
devastate an unbumed site, shrubs will dominate the understory and flowering grasses and herbs
will die out, which generally results in degradation of wildlife habitat Gradually, without other
management attention, hardwoods will invade and convert the stand into a hammock forest

Unfortunately, use of fire in pineland management has decreased dramatically in the St Marys
basin in recent years. In Nassau County, for example, less than 300 acres were burned by FDOF
on both public and private land during 1991 (pen. cornm., Michael Goodchild, Nassau County
forester).  On lands managed by the timber industry, prescribed burning is used to some extent in
site preparation of recently clearcut areas, but application of fire for other purposes is minimal and
not expected to maintain habitat quality adequately.

Most of the St Marys River basin supports short-rotation timber crops that are mechanically
planted on intensively prepared sites. This results in limited susceptibility  to hardwood invasion or
excessive  fuel load accumulation. Consequently, prescribed fire is not considered to be a
necessary  management practice and the herbaceous flora, original wildlife habitat values, and
overall integrity of the pinelands are seriously threatened on a regional scale.

Neither the Florida nor Georgia BMP manuals devote sufficient discussion to the value of
prescribed burning in silviculture.  BMPs should recommend prescribed burning be attempted as
often as practicable under existing limitations.  Consideration should be given to the proper use of
prescribed fire, with special attention to season of bum and value to wildlife. BMPs should
require that forest managers include appropriate burn plans within their management plans.

Improved BMPs and associated regulations must be carefully developed to protect adequately the
basin's natural resources while still providing an economically feasible environment for

                         8.0  PROTECT KEY LANDS THROUGH

In addition to regulatory and management alternatives, implementation of an effective land
acquisition program is also an effective mechanism for providing for long-term protection of
wetlands and related resources within the St Marys River basin. This section describes the need
for and opportunities associated with land acquisition and provides recommendations for focusing
future study priorities.

Since most of the St Marys basin is in silviculture, it is important to establish a network of natural
lands as a framework for maintenance of natural ecological processes.  Such an ecological linkage
system would provide for wildlife movements and long-term genetic exchanges between
populations as well as serve as  a source for animals and plants to colonize sensitively managed

The framework for such a corridor system should be designed to:
      1.   Protect key resources to the maximum extent feasible,
      2.   Link existing preserves within the basin,
      3.   Maximize opportunities for enhancing ecological connections with important natural
           systems in surrounding regions, and
      4.   Facilitate appropriate coordination with development of scenic and resource-based
           recreation corridors.

A creative mix of land protection techniques will be needed to protect a properly integrated
network of ecological lands.  Outright public acquisition will probably be feasible in some
situations, but cooperative agreements with private landowners win be more appropriate in others.
Creation of a regional  land trust to coordinate tend protection efforts and develop innovative
strategies is strongly recommended.

From a hydrologic viewpoint, protection priorities are highest for headwater and riverine
floodplains and for upland areas that provide recharge to surficial aquifers.


Analysis of habitat and land use maps, aerial photos, FNAI, The Nature Conservancy data, and
otter ecological data revealed that the most threatened habitats within the basin are:
      1.   Slope forests and seepage slopes,
      2.   Sandhills and related xeric habitats,
      3.   Maritime forests,
      4.   High quality natural pinelands (with old-growth longleaf pines and/or diverse native
      5.   Coastal marshes, and
      6.   Forested wetlands.

Forested wetlands are not so scarce or immediately threatened, but KBN considers them key
resources in need of protection because they have important flood storage and habitat values and
they could be vulnerable to intensive logging should timber harvesting technology and/or
economics change.

Figure 8-1 shows existing preserves within the basin and lands mat The Nature Conservancy has
identified as of high ecological value (Lynch and Baker 1988).  Figure 8-2 suggests ecological
linkages between these areas and important natural areas in adjacent regions.

The backbone of an ecological linkage system for the St Marys basin should be the river, corridor
itself.  The following discussions outline how other important areas might tie into the river
corridor to form a basic framework for such a system.

Southeast to the Nassau River
KBN's Nassau River and Lower St Johns River Basins Land Acquisition Study (KBN, 1992)
identified an area along the Nassau River between Callahan and Yulee and south of A1A as a
SJRWMD land acquisition priority.  This site, labelled as the Upper Nassau River Priority Site on
Figure 8-2, links into the Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve to the east and, potentially,
through greenways through the Whitehouse and McOhts Greek areas, into the Black Creek system
to the southwest

Figure 6-1

                                                                                                                                                               POTENTIAL ECOLOGICAL CORRIDORS IN
                                                                                                                                                               THE ST. MARYS REGION




The Upper Nassau River Monty Site could be linked northward through die Nassau River
Wildlife Management Area (which is nT-owned and leased by FGFWFC, rather than state-owned)
and Oilman's White Oak Plantation into the St. Marys corridor.  Such a connection could include
flie extensive natural pinelands on White Oak Plantation and floodplain wetlands along Mills
Qreek and in Spell Swamp, Mann Swamp, and Plummer Swamp in the Nassau River Basin.  In
addition, floodplain wetlands in Wilder Swamp and White Oak Swamp, and along the St Marys
and Little St. Marys would also benefit

Since the width and integrity of the ecological corridor along the St Marys may be compromised
through the middle reaches by development around Flea Hill - Kings Ferry, connections through
mis area  might be strengthened by establishing natural corridors from White Oak Plantation
westward towards the St Marys Conservation Area along die Little St Marys and/or Cabbage

South to Upper Black Greek
Figure 8-2  indicates several potential corridors Unking the southern portion of die basin to the
Upper  Black Greek area. Since the Upper Black Qreek CARL Project is the northernmost
terminus of a critical ecological linkage being developed to connect southward to the Ocala -
Wekiva region, it is extremely important that it be effectively linked with die Osceola - Pinhook -
Okefenokee systems to die norm.  The southwestern region of the St Marys River basin is
especially important to die black bear and die red-cockaded woodpecker, so protecting additional
lands in mis area would be very beneficial to tiiese species.  In addition, Bartram's ixia, a
threatened plant species found only in norm-central Florida, has been documented in this basin and
should be addressed in preserve design.

While  opportunities for completing an additional corridor east of Baldwin appear feasible on maps,
they are extremely limited. Any potential corridor will likely be limited to a narrow greenway due
to expanding suburban development and the limitations of using Cecil Field and Whitehouse Field
(which are military bases) in a conservation project The limitations raise die  importance of
protecting connections from the southernmost end of die St Marys corridor southwest towards
Upper  Black Creek.

As shown on Figure 8-2, potential linkages between the southern portion of the basin and the
Upper Black Greek area include:
      1.   Sooth from the St Marys corridor along Deep Greek, then eastward north of Maxville;

      2.   South from the St Marys corridor just east of Macclemy through Bay Branch, Barber
           Bay, and along Turkey Greek into the New River Swamp, then eastward south of
           Maxville; and
      3.   Southeast from the Osceola National Forest through South Prong Swamp, then east
           through New River Swamp and/or Lake Butler Wildlife Management Area.

North to the Okefenokee Swamp and the Satifla River
He most obvious link between me St Marys River and the Okefenokee Swamp is the river
corridor itself where the river flows out of the swamp north of Maniac.  Other linkages should
also be nmintfiin^, however.

The Nature Conservancy identified two significant natural areas, labelled as sites 17 and 19 on
Figure 8-1, around  which an ecological corridor should be built to connect the St Marys River to
the Okefenokee Swamp. The  Nature Conservancy identified these as the best remaining examples
of Trail Ridge pinelands.  Since these are family-held private timbeiiands that are not for sale, a
financially equitable cooperative agreement with the landowner will be essential.  Respect for the
landowner's concerns is especially significant here because it is clear that the quality  of the habitat
is a result of many years of progressive timber management

The Waycross/Ware County Planning Commission is currently developing a preliminary proposal
for a scenic and recreational greenway along U.S. Highway 1 between Waycross and Folkston
with a linkage to the Satilla River corridor to the north. Although north of the study  area, this
greenway  could be linked to the St Marys River basin through a greenbelt routed east and/or west
around Folkston, perhaps via a corridor along Spanish Creek taking in the natural uplands along
the east slope of Trafl Ridge south of Mattox.  Smaller linkages could be created across the Trail
Ridge to tie this corridor into the Okefenokee Swamp.

The Nature Conservancy has conducted a thorough search for significant ecological sites (Lynch
and Baker 1988) within the basin. These sites are identified and described in Appendix B. They
should be considered in further preserve/corridor ^^igf1 ni>^ land acquisition planning efforts.

The obvious backbone for an ecological corridor system for the St. Marys Basin runs along the
south-north stretch of the river from the SR 121 bridge north of Macclenny to the St Marys
Conservation Area southeast of Folkston. This corridor is a key ecological linkage and it
incorporates many of The Nature Conservancy's sites (Lynch and Baker 1988) and includes slope
forests, seepage slopes, and xeric habitats as well as significant wetlands and pinelands.  Because
high ground comes close to the river here and small ownerships are relatively numerous, it is also
the segment of the river most susceptible to degradation by riverfront development Therefore,
developing a strategy to mix acquisitions, easements, and restoration projects to create continuous
ecological and recreational corridors along both sides of mis stretch of the river is the highest land
protection priority in the basin. Such a preserve corridor should be designed to take advantage of
opportunities to protect important habitats and enhance linkages and should not be restricted to a
given width of river buffer.

Identifying important tracts with willing sellers and using them as the basis for a joint SOR-CARL
project for the Florida  side of the river and a P-2000 Proposal  for the Georgia side would probably
be the best way to begin mis effort

As part of the land acquisition process, more detailed study is needed to refine the ecological
corridors suggested in  this report and develop specific land protection projects. The Cooperative
Management Committee should sponsor such a detailed study through the management plan and
seek cooperative state  funding. Studies should include a cultural resource study to evaluate
opportunities for preserving  archaeological, historical, and scenic resources and a recreational study
to assess the potential  and demand for resource-based recreation opportunities.

Local land trusts are the fastest growing type of conservation organization in the United States
because they offer citizens the opportunity to work cooperatively to solve land protection problems
while utilizing local insights and maintaining local control.  Land trusts work creatively to use
legal mechanisms, real estate techniques, tax strategies, and appropriate agency assistance to meet
land protection needs on a case-by-case basis. Such an organization is ideally suited to address
conservation needs while still providing  for local control. The Trust for Public Land (TPL) can
assist in establishment of a local group.

                               9.0  RECOMMENDATIONS

In Sections 7.0 and 8.0, various planning, regulatory, acquisition and management alternatives for
providing a long-term strategy for protecting the basin's resources are presented and die
advantages and disadvantages of each are discussed. Implementation of an effective strategy,
however, will require a commitment to a definite course of action by a stable institutional entity.
Hie following recommendations propose such an entity and the actions it should implement and
coordinate to facilitate long-term protection and management of the natural resources of the St
Marys River basin.

National Wild and Scenic River designation with the local management alternative should be
implemented.  Hie local management alternative would prevent loss of local control over the river,
and Federal funding would be made available to assist local protection efforts. Under local
management, designation can be accomplished with little or no shoreline acquisition. Federal
involvement would be limited to establishing the local Cooperative Management Committee and
reviewing proposed management plans to ensure that they adequately protect natural resources.
Designation would provide the means for effective local coordination and management of the St
Marys River.

The local Cooperative Management Committee would be responsible for development of the
management plan required for Wild and Scenic River designation. Therefore, the plan can reflect
local desires and concerns. The Cooperative  Management Committee and management plan that it
produces will serve as the institutional means to provide for coordination and effective application
of the various policies in effect in the basin.

In organizing the Cooperative Management Committee, consideration should be given to the
diverse interests of persons affected by long-term management of the basin.  At a mininvnm>
membership on the committee should include representatives from the four counties involved.
These county representatives could be county commissioners or persons appointed by the county   '
commissions.  The committee should also include representatives of the major state government
resource management agencies, such as GDNR and SJRWMD.  Silviculture interests should be
represented, possibly by either state or industry foresters. A citizen-at-large member from both


Florida and Georgia would serve to round out die ^^^ri**""  This representative could be
appointed to the position by the respective state governors. Term limits, perhaps two to four
years, should be established for members to serve on the committee.

If a locally managed Wild and Scenic River designation is not pursued, it is recommended that an
alternative local management committee be instituted through interstate and interlocal agreements.
Such an alternative local committee could pursue implementation of the management
recommendations disCTawf below. Long-term success of the alternative local committee would
depend largely on a secure source of funding, such as would be provided under the Wild and
Scenic River designation.

Further recommendations for specific issues to be addressed in the Wild and Scenic River
management plan are discussed below.

The Cooperative Management Committee and the SIRWMD should study the Georgia Mountain
and River Corridors Act (MRCA) and consider similar measures regarding river corridors that
could be enacted in Florida. The MRCA win include a 100-ft setback from the river on die
Georgia side. A similar setback enacted on the Florida side of die river would  ensure mat both
banks of die river are similarly protected. In addition, both Florida and Georgia agencies should
consider extending die corridor protection concept to large tributaries of die St. Marys River.  The
MRCA also requires  counties to develop river corridor protection plans. The Cooperative
Management Committee can provide assistance to Gamden and Charlton Counties and ensure
consistency  among die protection plans.

In addition to establishment of a consistent river corridor on both sides of die river, a consistent
water quality protection policy should be incorporated into the management plan. Such policies
should seek to protect die existing ambient water quality which is cuirentiy higher dian die use
classification for both states. Wittun Florida, titese measures might include designating die St.
Marys River as an OFW, or including it in Chapter 40C41, F.A.O, as a hydrolqgic basin with
special thresholds and a higher level of protection for water bodies, floodplains and wetlands.
Within Georgia, designation as an Outstanding Georgia Resource Water would provide protection


analogous to Florida's OFW program.  The Cooperative Management Committee, through the
management plan, would provide the incentive for the special deaignatinm in each state.

The Cooperative Management Committee would also serve as the focal point for public education
efforts directed at recreational users and shoreline property owners. The primary aims of the
program should be to increase awareness of human activities that affect water quality, such as
septic system maintenance, fertilizer use, erosion due to high motorboat speeds, and small-scale
vegetation clearing.  The management plan should also address such recreational  uses.

Other possible education efforts could include periodic workshops on management of the river,
and a program to inform large-tract forest landowners about management and preservation
possibilities for native vegetation communities.

True long-term protection and management of resources on a regional scale will invariably include
an acquisition component  The Cooperative Management Committee can provide the focal point
for coordinated voluntary land acquisitions and procurement of protective easements in the basin.
This action will provide me opportunity expansion of locally sponsored protective measures
beyond the immediate river corridor.

Land acquisition programs currently exist in both Florida and Georgia. The framework for
application of these programs to the specific needs of die St Marys basin should be addressed in
the management plan. While the sites identified in The Nature Conservancy Report (Lynch and
Baker 1988) can serve as a starting point, a comprehensive land acquisition planning study to
identify appropriate tracts for public purchase and for easement negotiation should be undertaken.
In addition, establishment of a regional land trust should be considered by the committee.

Any regional management program will have to «**yfa» the dominance of silviculture in both
the land use and economics of the St Marys region. Sflvicultural BMPs have been developed in
order to set standards for conducting forestry related activities. Timber managers must adhere to
BMPs to  comply with other regulatory programs. Therefore, the Cooperative Management

Committee should confer differences in BMFs between Florida and Georgia and identify
            for potential improvements to facilitate long-term wetland protection.
Until a final determination regarding delegation of the USAGE 404 wetland permitting program to
the state of Florida is made, consolidation of the basin into the USAGE Jacksonville district should
not be actively pursued.  If Florida were to assume responsibility for the 404 program from the
USAGE Jacksonville district, Florida would certainly not have authority to review projects in the
Georgia portion of me basin. Responsibility for projects in Geoigia probably would return to the
Savannah district

As an alternative the Cooperative Management Committee should review and comment to the
appropriate agency on any application proposing projects in the basin. Bon the USAGE and
SJRWMD permit processes already incorporate public notice and review procedures. The
Cooperative Management Committee should make a formal agreement with these agencies to
provide comments on proposed projects.


Davis, K.R., J.C. Donahue, R.H. Hutcheson, D.L. Waldrop. 1992.  Most significant ground-water recharge
             areas of Georgia.  Hydrologic Atlas 18, Department of Natural Resources, Environmental
             Protection Division, Georgia Geologic Survey, Atlanta GA.

Florida Department of Environmental Regulation.  1990.  Florida Water Quality Assessment, 305(b)
             Technical Appendix. 321 pgs.

Florida Department of Natural Resources.  1989. Florida Rivers Assessment  Division of
             Recreation and Parks, Bureau of Park Planning, FDNR, Tallahassee, Florida. 452 pp.

Huff, MD and M. McKenzie-Arenburg. 1990. Lower SL Johns and St Marys Ground Water Basins
             Resource Availability Inventory. Technical Publ. SI 90-8, SL Johns River Water
             Management District, Palatka, PL.

Lynch, J.A. and E.S. GorbetL  1990. Evaluation of Best Management Practices for Controlling Nonpoint
             Pollution From Silviculture Operations. Water Res. Bull 26(1): 41-52.

Lynch, J.M. and W. Wilson Baker. 1988. Natural Areas Inventory of the St Marys River, Florida-
             Georgia. Report to The Nature Conservancy, Southeast Regional Office, Chapel HiU,
             North Carolina. 267 pp.

Michael, J.L. 1990. Fate and Transport of Forestry Herbicides in the South: Research Knowledge and
             Needs.  Southeastern Forest Experiment Station. Technical Report SE-70: 641-650.

Potts, RJL and J.L. Bai. 1989. Establishing variable width buffer zones based upon site characteristics and
             development type.  Water: Laws and Management, American Water Resources Association,
             September 1989.

Riekerk, H. 1983.  Impacts of Silviculture on  Flatwoods Runoff, Water Quality and Nutrient Budgets.
             Water Res. Bull.  19(1): 73 -79.

SIRWMD, 1990. Applicant's handbook, Management and Storage of Surface Waters. St. Johns River
             Water Management District, Palatka, FL.

SIRWMD, 1992. Areas of high, lowAnedium and no recharge to the Floridan aquifer CIS ffle obtained
             from SJRWMD by KBN January 1992, originally from USOS.

Spencer, S. 1991.  Protection of ground water recharge through land acquisition. St Johns River Water
             Management District, Palatka, FL.

Stewart, J.W. 1980. Areas of natural recharge to the Floridan aquifer in Florida. Map Series 96, U.S.
             Geological Survey, in cooperation win Florida Department of Environmental Regulation,
             Tallahassee, FL.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1984. Reconnaissance Report, St Marys River Basin, GA and FL.  Water
             Resources Management Study. USAGE, Savannah District, Savannah, GA.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1988. St Marys River Basin Water Resources Management Study.
             Technical data. USAGE, Savannah District, Savannah, GA.

USGS, 1991. Water resources data: Florida, water year 1990, volume 1A: northeast Florida surface water.
             U. S. Geological Survey Water-Data Report FL-90-1A. USGS Water Resources Division,
             Tallahassee, FL.

                    APPENDIX A

                                                     Obbal             a-M-ff       USFWS     FGPWF    COA
    SckatiBcName               Qnnmoa Name        Ranking         FL         OA
                             MadSnftt               OS          S3           S3      —        	        —
Adpaucrb*aiir**nm           Sbertion Sturgeon          O3          SZ           S2      B         B         B
AcfeMwraqdloncftw           Atlanta; Sturgeon            09          S2           S3      T        SSC       —
                                                      OS          S3           S1S2    —        —        —
RaWiu Cingnfoftw             Banded Tbpafamow         OST         ST           S3
                             Florida Oar                OS          —           S3T
                             Rainwater KUHbh          OS          —           SI
NetnpuSmiEae                Pognose Minnow            OS          —           S3
Umtrapyunaea                Eutcn Miulminnow         OS          S3           S3
                                                      O4T         ST           S3      T(S/A)
                             EMten TTgw Silnundor     OS          S3           SS      —        —
Cmteto fctimifai               Qmebr^B Rrttl«n>to        OS          S3           SS      —        -
Drymardiimconuceaperi        Eaten Indigo Snike         O*T3        S3           S3      T         T
Otfktna pafypheaaa            Oepber Tortofae            O2          S2           SZ      C2
                             Striped Mud 1^10          OS          ST           S2S3    —        B
                             Mob                     OS          S2S3         SS      —
                             Striped Newt               O3          S3           S3      —
                             Island Ota Lizard          O4          —           SZ      CZ
                             Florid* Rcd-Mlied Ibrlb     OS          ST           S3      —        -
                             OopberFnog               OS          S3           S2S3    CZ
                             May-lined SduuBda       O4OS        SI           S4      —
Acdpitercoepaii               Cooper's Hawk             Q4         S3T
AlmapUlaaaiiiiaBt             Baefaman's Sparrow         O3         ST           S3      CZ
          raMribW           Smyrna Seaside Sparrow      O4T2QT     S2T          SS      CZ

                             UmpUn                  OS         S3           S1S2    —
                             Piping Plover              O2         SZ           S1S2    T
                             Wonbinglon'aManb        OST3       SZ           SS      —
       ifoffuatio             SwaOow^afled Kite         OS         —           SZ      —        —
Fuleopengfuau               Peregrine Fateon            O3         82           SI      —        —
                             Florida Sandhill Q*n       G5T7T3     S2S3         SZ      —        T
HacmatepnpolBatu            American Oyaeicaiebei       OS         S3           S2S3    —        SSC
HoBaecta fcacocqpfaht         BaUBtgle                O3         S2S3         SZ      B         T
rnfmifiai jniiiiii'rniii'i            Piki Rail                 O3         S3T          SZT     —        —
Myettria omoicooa             WoodSork               OS         S3           SZ      B         B
Ifyc&orativcticorat            Blaekoowned NIgbt        OS         S3T          S3S4    —        —

TabfeA-1. Endangered. Threatened, and Ran Vertebrate Animals of the SL Marys Wvw Basfa
    Scientific Nmie
                                                                                          USFWS     FGFWP
                                YeUow-crowned Night
flegaft ftikimeaia
Human Hailanam
Hnd-cockaded Woodpecker
Glossy Ibis
Black Skimmer
Least Ten
Royal Ten


                                                                                     S3       —
                                                                                     S4       —
                                                                                     S3S4     —
                                                                                     SS       —
                                                                                     S3       —
Florida Mtutee
Florida Black Bear
                             S3?      —
                             SI       B
• Applicable only to the otapodei A. a. daatai.
» Hoi Bpplkable in Baker and Columbia counties and ApabeUeoh NaUooal Fonst
         Note:    USFWS Ranks
                     Clo candidate for federal BsttaftwUhenoBgb
                          -*-«-f«t-i iofonatioo on biological
                          vulaafabiuQr aad thmifa to Bii|yuit
                          proposals for Ifetiog.
                     C2a candidate for listing, with some evidence
                          of vnberability. but (or whicfa not enough
                          data exist to aapport UsUng.
                     CB» eonmerdally apbitad.
                      Bo eodangerad.
                  FOFWFC Ranks
                   SSCci species of special oooecra.
                      To threatened.
                 T(SyA)o threatened due to stoilarlty of
Soaree:  Lyocb and Baker. 1988.
                                                                      TNC Global Raaki
                                                                          Ol -  globally eodangerad.
                                                                          G2 B  globally Ibnataoed.
                                                                          G3 B  globally of miweiiL
                                                                          G4e  globally tppareatljr stem
                                                                          O$B  globallydeooastrabiy
                                                                       GaVQVa  questionable spades.
                                                                       Gt/I*B  nakoftazDnOBlcsBbgroap.
                                                                          G?B  not yet tanked (temporary).
                                                                      PNAI State Ranks
                                                                          SI »
                                                                          S2o  regionally
                                                                          S3 B  regionally of
                                                                          S4«  regionally apparently
                                                                          SS a  fegJooaDy demonstraUy

Table A-2.  Fishes of the St. Marys River Basin
       Scientific Name
       Petrotnyzon marbius
       A&penser bnvtrostrunf
       Adpenser axyrkynchuf
       Lepisosteus osseus
       Lepisosteus platyrhyncuf
       AnguiUa rostrata
       Alosa aestivaKs
       Alosa sapidissima
       Umbra pygmaea*
       Esox americanus
       Notemiganus cyrsoleucas
       Notrots sp,
       Notropis chafybaeus
       Notrcpis enaliae?
       Notropis hypselopterus
       Notropis nuculotus
       Notropis petersoni
       Eronyzon sucetta
       Minytrema melanops
       Ictabma catus
       Ictaluna mutatis
       Ictalurus nebulosus
       Ictalurus punctatus
       Noturus gyrinus
       Noturus IfptaconAus
       Aphredodenu sayanus
       Strongylura marina
       Cyprinodon variegatus
       Fundulus cingulatuf
       FwuUdus tififolatus
       Leptoucania ommata
       Luconia parvtf
       Gambusia affiais
       Het&rundrta formoso
       Potdlta latipuino
       Labidesthes sicculus
       Morone saxattitis
       Acantkarchus pontotif
       Centrarchus macropterus
       Eiassoma oke/enahee
       Elassoma zonatum
       Emeacanthus ehaetodaf
Sea Lamprey
Shortnose Stnrgeon
Atlantic Stnigeon
Florida Gar
American Eel
Braejack Hening
American Shad
Redfin Pickerel
Chain Pickerel
Golden Shiner
Shiner Sp.
Irancolor Shiner
Pugnose Minnow
Shellfin Shiner
TaiUight Shiner
Coastal Shiner
Lake Orobsucker
Spotted Sucker
White Catfish
Yellow Bullhead
Brown Bullhead
Channel Catfish
Tadpole Madtom
Speckled Madtom
Pirate Perch
Atlantic Needlefish
Sheephead Minnow
Golden Topminnow
Ifamiftrf Topminnow
Lined Topmnmow
Pigmy KOlifish
Rainwater Kllifish
Mosquito Fish
Least KUifish
Saflpm Molly
Brook Sirverside
Striped Bass
Mud Sunfish
Flier Sunfish
Okefenokee Pygmy Sunfish
Banded Pygmy Sunfish
Bluespotted Sunfish

Table A-2. Fishes of the SL Marys River Basin
       Scientific Name                            Common
       Enneacanthus obesus                      Banded Sunfish
       Lepomis auritus                           Redbreast Sunfish
       Lepomis gulosus                          Wannouth
       Lepomis macrochinu                      Bluegill
       Lepomis marginatus                       Dollar Sunfisb
       Lepomis microluphus                      Redear Sunfisb
       Lepomis punctatus                        Spotted Sunfish
       oStC^ODvfFUS SOffflQtuCS                     ^^BUKd&OUlu ^SflSS
       Pomaods nigromaeulatus                   Black Grapple
       Emeostoma fusifbrme                      Swamp Darter
       MugU cephalus                           Striped Mullet
       Trinsectes maeulatus                      Hogchoker
       Goblonellus shufeldti                      Freshwater Goby
       Lutjonus giseus                           Gray Snapper
       Euclnostomus argenteus                    Spotfin Mojarra
       Paralichthys lethostigma                   Southern Flounder
*  Listed species.  See Table A-l.

Source: Lynch and Baker, 1988.

Table A-3.  Amphibians and Reptiles of the SL Marys River Basin
       Scientific Name
       Ambystoma cingulatunf
       Ambystoma opacum
       Ambystoma talpoideum
       Ambystoma tigrinunf
       Amphiuma means
       Desmognatrus auriculatus
       Eurycea bistineata
       Eiaycea quadndigitata
       NotophAaetmus pentriatuf
       Notephmaelmus virideseens
       Plethodon glutinosus
       Pseudobmnchus bronchus
       Pseudotriton montanus
       Siren mtemedia
       Strcn uuxrtoia
       StereochUus marginatus*
       Aeris gryttus
       Bufo quercicus
       Bu/b terrestris
       Gastrophryne carotinensis
       Hyla chrysascelis
       Hyla Cmerea
       Hyla cmctfer
       Hyla Femoralis
       Hyla squirella
       Limaocdus oculoris
       Pseudacris nigrita
       Pseudacris arnata
       Rana areolata*
       Rana catesbeiana
       Rana clamitans
       Rana grylio
       Rana heckscheri
       Rana sphenocepnala
       Rana virgatipes
       Scaphiopus holbroold
       Chefydra serpentian
       Delroehelys reticularia
       Gopherus pofyphemuf
       Kmostern baurU
Flatwoods Salamander
Marbled Salamander
Mole Salamander
Eastern Tiger
Two-toed Amphiuma
Southern Two-lined Salamanil
Dwarf Salamander
Striped Newt
Central Newt
Slimy Salam«ndCT
Narrow-striped Dwarf Siren
Rusty Mud Salamander
Eastern Lesser Siren
Greater Siren
Southern Cricket Frog
Oak Toad
Southern Toad
Eastern Narrow-mouthed Toad
Gray Treefrog
Green Treefrog
Spring Peeper
Fine Woods Treefrog
Barking Treefrog
Squirrel Treefrog
Little Grass Frog
Southern Chorus Frog
Ornate Chorus Frog
Florida Gopher Frog
Bronze Frog
Pig Frog
River Frog
Southern Leopard Frog

Eastern Spadefoot Toad
Common Snapping Turtle
Florida Chicken Turtle
Gopher Tortoise
Striped Mud Turtle

Table A-3. Amphibians and Reptiles of the St. Marys River Basin
       StientiGc Name
Cbmmon Name
       Turtles (continued)
       Kuiostern subrubrum
       Pseudemys flaridana
       Pseudemys nelsanf
       Sternatherus minor
       Sternotherus ordoratus
       Terrapene Carolina
       Trachanys scripta
       Anotis carolinensis
       Cnemidophorus sexttneatus
       Eumeces egregius
       Eunteces fasciatus
       Eioneces Jnexpectatus
       Eioneces lotictps
       OphisQurus attenuatus
       Ophisaurtu compressus
       Ophisaurus ventralis
       Sceloporus undulatus
       ScinccUa laterals
       AgJostrodon piscivorus
       Cemophara coccinea
       Coluber constrictor
       Crotalus adamnateus
       Crotahu horriduf
       Diadophis punctatus
       Drymarchon corals cooper?
       Elaphe guttata
       Elaphe obsoleta
       Farancia abacura
       Paranoia erytrogranuna
       Heterodon platyrhinos
       Heterodon simus
       Lampropeltis caUigaster*
       Lampropeltis getulus
       Lampropeitis triangulum
       Liodytes alleni
       Masticophis flagelium
       Aficrurus Julvius
       Nerodia cyclopion
       Nerodia erythrogaster
Eastern Mud Turtle
Florida Cooler
Florida Red-bellied Turtle
Loggerhead Musk Turtle
Stinkpot Turtle
Florida Box Turtle
Yellow-bellied Turtle
Florida Softshell Turtle
Oreen Anole Lizard
Six-lined R
Northern Mole Skink
Five-lined Stink
Southeastern Five-lined Skink
Broad-headed Skink
Eastern Slender Grass lizard
Island Glass Lizard
Eastern Glass Lizard
Southern Fence Lizard
Ground Skink
Florida Cottonmouth
Northern Scarlet Snake
Southern Black Racer
Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
Qsnebrake Rattlesnake
Southern Ringneck Snake
Eastern Indigo Snake
Com Snake, Red Rat Snake
Yellow Rat Snake
Eastern Mud Snake
Rainbow Snake
Eastern Hognose Snake
Southern Hognose Snake
Mole Snake
Florida Kingsnake
Scarlet Kingsnake
Striped Swamp Snake
Eastern Coachwhip
Eastern Coral Snake
Green Water Snake
Red-bellied Water Snake

Table A-3.  Amphibians and Reptiles of the St Marys River Basin
       Scientific Name
       Snakes (continued)
       Nerodia fasciata
       ffffffdjg tuxispilottt
       Opheodrys aestivus
       Pituophis melanoleucus
       Regina alleni
       Regina rigida
       RhfHJnMPti flovilota
       Seminatrix pygaea
       Sistrwna mutiariie
       Storeno dekoyi
       Stofffio occipitoinoculoto
       Tantitta relicta
       Thamnophis sauritus
       Thamophis sirtalis
       Virginia striatula
       Virginia valeriae
Banded Water Snake
Brown Water Snake
Rough Green Snake
Florida Pine Snake
Striped Crayfish Snake
Eastern Glossy Crayfish Snake
Pine Woods Snake
North Florida Black Swamp Snake
Dusky Pigmy Rattlesnake
Florida Brawn Snake
Florida Red-bellied Snake
Florida Clowned Snake
Peninsula Ribbon Snake
Eastern Garter Snake
Rough Earth Snake
Eastern Smooth Earth Snake
•  Listed species. See Table A-l.

Source: Lynch and Baker, 1988.

Table A-4. Probable Breeding Birds of die St Marys River Basin
     Gammon Name
  Common Name
    Common Name
Pied-Billed Grebe
Brown Pelican"
Double-crested Cormorant
American Anhinga
Least Bittern
Great Brae Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Brae Heron
Tncolored Heron
Cattle Egret
Green-backed Heron
Black-crowned Night-
Yellow-crowned Night-
White Ibis
Glossy Iblis*
Wood Stork*
Wood Duck
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Swallow-tailed Kite*
Mississippi Kite
Bald Eagle*
Cooper's Hawk*
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Wild Turkey
Northern Bobwhite
Black Rail*
Clapper Rail
King Rail
Purple Calibrate
Sandhill Crane*
Wilson's Plover
American Oystercatcher*
American Woodcock
Laughing GuD
Gull-billed Tern*
Royal Tern*
Sandwich Tern
Least Tern*
Black Skimmer1
Rock Dove
Mourning Dove
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Eastern Screech Owl
Great Homed Owl
Barred Owl
Common Nighthawk
Chimney Swift
Betted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Red-cockaded Woodpecker*
Northern Flicker
PUeated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Acadian Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird*
Gray Kingbird
Purple Martin
Northern Rough-winged
Bam Swallow
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Grow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Marsh Wren*
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Cafeird
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
Loggerhead Shrike
European Starling
White-eyed Vireo
Yellow-throated Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Northern Panda
Yellow-throated Warbler
Pine Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Profhonotary Warbler
Swainson's Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Hooded Warbler
Yellow-breasted Chat
Summer Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Blue Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Painted Bunting
Rufous-sided Townee
Bachman's Sparrow*
Field Sparrow
Seaside Sparrow*
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Boat-tailed Crackle
Common Crackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
House Sparrow
* Listed species.  See Table A-l.

Source: Lynch and Baker, 1988.

Table A-5.  Mammals of die St Marys River Basin
        Scientific Name
 CVunnioii Name
        Didelphis virginiana
        Sons tongirostrit
        Blarina caroliaensis
        Cryptatis parva
        Ccndylura eristauf
        Myotu gnsescenf
        Myotis austroriparius
        Piputrettia subjlavus
        Plecatus rafinesquif
        Lasiunu catenas
        Losiurus boreatis
        Lasiunis Intermedia?
        Nycticeius humeralis
        Tadarida bnuiliensis
        Dasyptu novemcbiaus
        SyhUagiu floridamu
        Sylvilagus palustris
        Sciurus carolaietuis
        Sciuna niger attention?
        Glaucomys volaas
        Geomys patetis
        Castor canadauis
        Neotoma floridana
        Reithrodattamys humulis
        Oryzomys palustris
        Peromyscus potionatus
        Peronyscus gossypntus
        Ochrotamys nutalii
        Microtus plnetorum
        Neofiber allenf
        Rattus norvegiau
        Unas ameriauuu floridanus*
        Procyon lotor
        Mustela visan
        Mustela frenata
        Mephitis mephitis
        JLutra catutdensis
        Urocyan eutereoargenteua
Vbginia Opossum
Sonmera Shrew
Soamera Short-taOed Shrew
Least Shrew
Eastern Mote
Star-nosed Mole
Gray Bat
Southeastern Bat
Eastern PJputreUe
Raflnesqoe'a Big-eared Bat
Big Brawn Bat
Red Bat
Yellow Bat
Evening Bat
Bmdlian Fne4aOed Bat
Nine-banded Armadillo
Eastern Cottontail
Manh Rabbit
uiay So^uiiiel
Sherman's Fox Squfarel
Southern Flying Squirrel
Sovneastern Pocket Gopher
Eastern Woodmt
Hispid Cotton Rat
Eastern Harvest Mouse
Manh Rice Rat
Oldfleld or Beach Mouse
Cotton Mouse
Golden Mouse
Pine Vole
Round-tailed Mnskrat
House Mouse
Black or Roof Rat
Norway Rat
Florida Black Bear
Long-tailed Weasel
Striped Skunk
River Otter
Gray Fox

Table A-S.  Mammals of the St Marys River Basin
        Scientific Name                               Common Name
        VuJpes wipes                                 Red Fox
        Cams latrans                                 Coyote
        Felts rufiu                                   Bobcat
        Tncheehus nuuuttuf                           Florida Manatee
        Sus scrafa                                   Feral Hog
        Odocoileus virginianus                         White-tailed Deer
1  Listed species.  See Table A-l.

Source:  Lynch and Baker, 1988.

TaMeA-6. Ran, Umatened. and Bndangered Flanta of me St. Marys River Bash

                                                       Global            »"**••                FOFWFC   GA
    SdaHtficName              Common Name            Ranking       FNAI
                              Fupb Baidnina             OBO3        S3         ST        3C       N
                              Itrdower                  OT           ST         SIT       —       —
                              StadQraas                 O1G2        S1SZ       —        CZ       CB
                              Florida Orange Grass         GZQ         SZ         ST        3C       N
                              Bophotb                   GST          SJT        ST        —       —
                              Hartwrigbtia                O2           SZ         SI        CZ       CT
                              Heartleaf                  OS           S3         ST        N       CT
                              Southern Bog-Button         OZO3        ST         ST        —       —
                              Wests'Flax                GZ           SZ         —        CZ       CT
                              Pndspice                  0405        SZ         ST        CZ       CT
                              Seenflower                 G3G4        S3         ST        N       N
                              Florida Moontab-Miu        O3           S3         —        3C       N
                              Needle Palm                G3           ST         ST        —       —
NvmdKuporapvKtat*           Pueland Beabucb           O1T          AU        SI        CZ       N
SarrmenuMp&ladmm             Parrot Pitcherplaat           G3OS        SZ         ST        —       —
St^mgatfBfeodaAm          Bartram'staia              OZ           SZ         —        PB       CB
VvmlarimflorUaaa               Florida MenybeDs           OT           SI         ST        N       N
VtHioimi kdmfkyOa           VariabUvkaf Crawbeard      OZ           SZ         —        Cl       N
                                                        O2O4        ST         ST        —       —
                                    rad'sYdbw^yed     09           SZ         ST        CZ       N
Ari*tUaM*omepiiorm             Florid* Thteetwn            OZO3        SZS3                 N       N
                                      Milkweed          OZ          SL                   a      CT
                                                        OS          S3                   N       CT
         Note:   USFWSRukB
                    Cl • cndidito for ficdcnl Hff*ftHi wllb coo uf^
                         •obfltntttl ioCnmtioD on WolofiGd
                         vobienMUqr «d thwati to npport
                         of vnberabitty. bat tot which not enough
                         dtti exist to support Hiftinji                     OfylW B  nok of I
                    CB s ooouBCRi&Ily CTptoitBO.                           O? B  oot yet P*BI^M^ (Mmpomy).
                     Bo endangered.                                FNAI Slate Ranks
                 HSfWC Ranks                                        SI «  regionally endangered.
                   SSCu apecka of apacial concern.                         SZ o  regfonaOy^featoned.

                 T(SjA)a uieateoMl due to similarity of appearance.             S4=  regfcmaay apparently aecare.

                                                                        II a  nuBfficisnt inAfnation avaindiie uu tankunj.
 Some: Lynch a»l Baker. 1988.

                   APPENDIX B

                                      APPENDIX B

           Natural Areas identified by The Nature Conservancy (Lynch and Baker 1988).

Site Number 1-Johnson Neck Natural Area
         Nassau County, Florida
         525 acres
         Priority B
         Excellent examples of maritime forest, estuarine tidal marsh; important feeding habitat for a
         number of wading birds including the wood stork.

Site Number 2-Martin's Island Natural Area
         Nassau County, Florida
         105 acres
         Priority B
         Excellent example of maritime forest; contains an active nesting colony of great blue herons
         and great egrets.

Site Number 3-Reids Blufi/Roses Bluff Natural Area
         Nassau County, Florida
         1,069 acres
         Priority A
         Last undeveloped bluff on lower St Marys River, excellent example of longleaf pine
         sandhill community disjunct from other sandhill habitats; site contains populations of gopher
         tortoise and Bachman's sparrow as well as a number of other game and nongame wildlife

Site Number 4-Kingsland Swamp Natural Area
         Camden  County, Georgia
         Priority A
         3,300 acres
         Priority A
         Excellent example of an unusual bog forest community located in the alluvial floodplain of
         the St Marys River, important habitat for black bear and other wide ranging mammals; also
         contains  examples of tidal cypress-gum swamp forest; the type locality for Kingsland mucky
         peat, an unusual organic soil.

Site Number 5-Gilman Swamp Natural Area
         Nassau County, Florida
         981 acres
         Priority A-B
         Excellent example of tidal freshwater cypress-gum swamp forest; important habitat for black
         bear population.

Site Number 6-Cabbage Bend Swamp Natural Area
         Nassau County, Florida
          1,340 acres


         Priority A-B
         Excellent examples of tidal freshwater cypress-gum swamp forest and blackwater river
         bottomland hardwood forest; habitat for black bear and other wildlife species.

Site Numbers 7A, 7B, 7C-Varn Tract Natural Areas
         Cunden and Charlton Counties, Georgia
         7A s 968 acres, 7B = 315 acres, 7C = 360 acres, Total = 1,643 acres
         Priority A
         Excellent examples of longleaf pine mesic flatwood communities including various subtypes
         with unusual species assemblages; habitat for the red-oockaded woodpecker and the gopher
         tortoise; site 7A and 7B also include significant acreage of tidal freshwater swamp forest
         community and examples of flood plain lakes.

Site Number 8—Prospect Landing Ravine Natural Area
         Nassau County, Florida
         12 acres
         Priority B
         Contains a high-quality mesic slope forest community containing populations of two listed
         plant species, Hexastylis arifolia and Rhapidophyttum hystrix.

Site Number 9—Hercules Tract Natural Area
         Nassau County, Florida
         1,180 acres
         Priority A-B
         Site contains the most extensive example of the sandhill natural community with natural
         groundcover vegetation known in the St. Marys River area; also excellent examples of the
         floodplain swamp forest and slope forest communities; habitat for gopher tortoise and fox
         squirrel; important wildlife habitat
         Status:  Intact  Acquired by SJRWMD and managed by FOFWFC and FDOF.

Site Number 10-Railroad Slopes and Floodplain Natural Area
         Nassau County, Florida
         SO acres
         Priority B
         Excellent examples of dry-mesic slope forest, floodplain lake, and cypress-gum swamp
         forest communities.

Site Number 1 I—Moody Landing Floodplain Lake Natural Area
         Charlton County, Georgia
         45 acres
         Priority A-B
         One of the best examples of a natural floodplain lake containing an old-growth bald cypress

Site Number 12-Brush Creek-Little Dunn Greek Natural Area
         Nassau County, Florida
         247 acres

         Priority B
         Contains good examples of floodplain forest and slope forest natural communities; also two
         relatively undisturbed floodplain lake communities.

Site Number 13-Section 33 Pond Natural Area
         Nassau County, Florida
         13 acres
         Priority B
         One of only a few known natural ephemeral ponds located in St Marys River Basin;
         important breeding habitat for pineland amphibians.

Site Number 14-Section 40 Slope Forest Natural Area
         Nassau County, Florida
         160 acres
         Priority A-B
         Excellent example of a mesic slope forest community containing several special concern
         plant species; a good example of a floodplain lake.

Site Number 15-Toledo Flatwoods - Florida Natural Area
         Nassau County, Florida
         2^23 acres
         Priority B
         The most extensive stand of second-growth longleaf pine mesic flatwoods remaining in
         private ownership in Nassau County; provides habitat for a number of wildlife species
         including the Baconian's sparrow and Sherman's fox squirrel.

Site Number 16-Toledo Floodplain Natural Area
         Charlton County, Georgia
         404 acres
         Priority A
         Exceptional old-growth stand of pine-hardwood floodplain forest, not known elsewhere in
         St Marys River Basin; also excellent example of old-growth floodplain swamp community.

Site Number 17-Toledo Flatwoods - Georgia Natural Area
         Charlton County, Georgia
         4,820 acres
         Priority A
         One of the largest contiguous tracts of high quality longleaf pine mesic flatwoods """""fag
         in southeast Georgia - northeast Florida; habitat for at least five colonies of red-cockaded
         woodpeckers; habitat for a number of wildlife species including flatwoods salamander,
         Bachman's sparrow, Sherman's fox squirrel and black bear.

Site Number 18-Stave Branch Slopes Natural Area
         Nassau County, Florida
         115 acres
         Priority B
         Excellent example of mesic slope forest community with needle palm.


Site Number 19-Boone Qeek Longleaf Flatwoods Natural Ana
          Charlton County, Georgia
          4,540 acres
          Priority A
          One of the last large tracts of second-growth longleaf pine mesic flatwoods remaining in the
          region; superlative wildlife habitat values;,populations of several special interest species
          including black bear, gopher tortoise, red-oockaded woodpecker, Baconian's sparrow, and
          Sherman's fox squirrel.

Site Number 20-SchooIhouse Bay Flatwoods Natural Area
          Charlton County, Georgia
          320 acres
          Priority A-B
          Excellent example of longleaf pine mesic flatwoods community, one colony of red-cockaded

Site Number 21-Stokes Tract Natural Area
          Nassau County, Florida
          98 acres
          Priority A-B
          The most extensive stand of old-growth, near-virgin longleaf pine mesic flatwoods known in
          the St. Marys River Basin.

Site Number 22-Stokeville Flatwoods Natural Area
          Charlton County, Georgia
          270 acres
          Priority B
          An excellent example of second-growth longleaf pine mesic flatwoods; population of
          Bachman's sparrow; important wildlife habitat