St. Johns River threatened to be overloaded with nutrient content

by: Davis Yancy Clegg


St Johns River near Jacksonville


There is no work more noble than that of the volunteer Ban Ki-moon. He wisely ascertained, “Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth… these are one and the same fight. We must connect the dots between climate change, water scarcity, energy shortages, global health, food security and women’s empowerment. Solutions to one problem must be solutions for all.”

Amelia’s reputation for being a hot spot for travel comes with great profit, but great cost along with it. The amount of tourism in the summer months brings an uncanny flux of in the number of people on the island and leisurely drifting the waterways surrounding Amelia. The St. Johns River has been under attack facing many diverse issues for quite some time now. Clean water is the staple of the St Johns. Healthy plant and aquatic life – once thriving – have now become degraded due to over population, outright neglect and other external stimuli. The Riverkeeper and St. John River team are all committed to seeing their vision of a restored ecosystem come to fruition.

St. Johns RiverWhat is one of the most important things about clean water, and why we drink it? That’s right, nutrients. 6-8 glasses of clean – and more importantly- available water a day make all the difference. Nations of substantial financial worth, with sophisticated methods of purification, are far more prone to have less disease spread by unfit water distribution. It would seem a safe bet to assume most of the 8 billion souls aboard this orb have heard the phrase, “too much of a good thing is not a good thing.”

Nutrients in water are no exception to the coined wisdom. Two of the main elements you will find in the St. John’s waters are nitrogen and phosphorous. Both are quite necessary for all ecosystems to survive. But, eutrophication (an overload of nutrients present in water) has become a very serious issue, affecting the sustainability of the ecosystems dependent upon the river. Let’s say you are making a batch of potatoes. While salt and butter go hand-in-hand with the dish, it is very easy to over season if you aren’t careful. The potatoes will soak in more seasoning than they can dilute and you are left with a bunch of inedible starch. The same goes for water. Too much seasoning (Nitrogen and Phosphorous) puts the water in a state which it cannot naturally assimilate back to a healthy form.

With continued neglect, the condition of the waters in the St. Johns River will inevitably worsen, leaving tragedy in their wake. The over presence will continue to feed oxygen-depleting algae blooms. The destruction of plant life, along with the well-being of the fish and creatures beneath will surely suffer. Efforts to raise awareness are already in place, and more volunteers are needed now more than ever!

Get involved and contact the St. Johns Riverkeeper to help put a halt to the degradation of the St. Johns River!


Summer is coming to an end, but it is not too late to enjoy the river.

Join us for a tour on the Amelia River! (more…)




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