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District acquires easement to help protect the Chipola River

The Governing Board for the Northwest Florida Water Management District recently voted to move forward on a conservation easement on Dry Creek Plantation that will help provide long-term protection for the Chipola River.

The 433.66-acre parcel is located in Jackson County south of Interstate 10 and within the contribution area for the Chipola River. The property is bisected by Highway 73 with frontage along Dry Creek and is located north of Rook Spring Group. The parcel features at least four karst points.

“As we have seen following the devastation of Hurricane Michael, the Chipola River plays such a vital role in the economy and quality of life for residents in Jackson County,” said John Alter, secretary of the District’s Governing Board who represents Jackson County. “This conservation easement will provide even more protection for the precious natural resources in our community.”

Following appraisals and a review appraisal, the District’s Governing Board agreed to purchase the conservation easement for $194,378.40.

“This marks a chance to protect wildlife, the environment, and the Chipola River,” said State Sen. George Gainer, who represents Jackson County. “I know how important the Chipola River is not just to northwest Florida but to all of Florida, and I appreciate the work done by the water management district to secure this conservation easement.”

“It’s important not only to preserve and protect shorelines, but also the surrounding contribution areas where water recharges into the river,” said State Rep. Brad Drake, who represents Jackson County. “This acquisition does just that and will help ensure the Chipola River remains one of Florida’s most beautiful rivers.”