Jacksonville, Fla.—Jacksonville University is proud to announce that the fourth State of the River Report on the Lower St. Johns River Basin was officially released today, Friday, August 19, 2011. It is available at http://www.sjrreport.com.
The report is a collaboration between JU and the University of North Florida and is supported by the Environmental Protection Board of the City of Jacksonville and the River Branch Foundation. It is an easy-to-read guide intended for the public, and designed so that readers can choose their topic of interest in the table of contents and quickly flip to their favorite tributary or species of aquatic life.
This year, the report includes a new section that describes a sequence of unusual events in the LSJRB that took place in 2010 and 2011. Cyanobacteria blooms, fish kills, foam formation and bottlenose dolphin mortality events all occurred during overlapping time spans. Investigations of these events are ongoing by numerous scientists and agencies in the region. New findings in the report include that in 2008-10, grass beds north of Palatka showed a declining trend in grass bed parameters.
The Report also includes a section on mercury in fish and shellfish, indicating that bull shark, king mackerel and largemouth bass contain the highest mercury concentrations. Finally, new analysis of tributary fecal coliform counts suggest that the condition of the main stem is satisfactory. Regarding metal concentrations, in 2010 a pattern of reduced concentrations, particularly the maximum values was observed, as compared to previous years.