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District acquires conservation easement to help protect the Chipola River

HAVANA – The Governing Board for the Northwest Florida Water Management District finalized a conservation easement that will help provide long-term protection for the Chipola River.

The 622.79-acre parcel is located in Jackson County south of Interstate 10 and slightly west of Highway 73. The property is within the contribution area for the Chipola River with frontage along Dry Creek. It is adjacent to a 388.10-acre conservation easement the District acquired in 2020.

“The Chipola River plays a vital role in the economy and quality of life for residents in Jackson County,” said George Roberts, Chairman of the District’s Governing Board. “The District shares the vision of Governor DeSantis, the legislature, and the Department of Environmental Protection to protect the Chipola River and its associated springs and tributaries along with all of the precious natural resources in northwest Florida.”

The District’s Governing Board approved acquiring the conservation easement December 17, 2020 following two separate appraisals. A legislative appropriation through DEP for springs protection provided the $224,204.90 for the acquisition.

“This is another opportunity to protect the wildlife, the environment, and the Chipola River and I appreciate the work done by the water management district to secure this conservation easement,” said State Sen. George Gainer, who represents Jackson County. “This acquisition helps ensure the Chipola River will remain one of Florida’s most beautiful rivers.”

“The Chipola River is one of our area’s most beautiful treasures and ensuring its long-term health is a tremendous source of accomplishment,” said State Rep. Brad Drake, who represents Jackson County. “Protecting the Chipola means we have to make sure the water flowing into the river is healthy, which is why acquisitions of land within its contribution area are so important.”