A number of years ago, that portion of Christopher Creek between University Boulevard and San Jose at Nathan Krestul Park experienced significant siltation at least in part due to construction activities that occurred north of University during construction of a large retention pond behind Walgreens. The local Environmental Protection Board cited the City Public Works Department for this violation and a consent agreement was entered into that obligated the City to take remedial action. The specifics of that remedial action have been the subject of designs and negotiations with the St Johns River Water Management District and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for years.
I became involved in this issue because a number of residents who live adjacent to the creek had expressed concern over the decline in navigability and water access they were experiencing. The remediation plan under discussion last fall was a modification to the outfall near the pond which would improve future operation but would do nothing to remove the silt that was deposited as a result of construction. So much time has elapsed since the incident itself that wetland vegetation has now taken hold in some areas filled with sediment. Nevertheless, in meetings with the permitting agencies and Public Works, we are now working toward a remedial action that may have downstream benefits. The current proposal under review is the dredging of a sediment basin near Nathan Krestul. This basin would remove material from the creek bottom near the park, capture silt carried downstream by the creek in the future, and potentially allow by erosion upstream of the basin to increase navigability upstream of the basin. Public Works is continuing to work toward permitting of this option.