Located near Gainesville along the Santa Fe River is the Rum Island Springs & Park. This Spring in North Florida is a major destination for locals and tourists to see the stunning views and fantastic kayaking opportunities. The Rim Island spring vent is located not far from the famous Ginnie Springs in High Springs, Florida.
This particular spring is located on a major kayaking and canoeing route that is adjacent to the park that accompanies the springs. The park is well-maintained by the county but was in need of some significant restoration.
How Rum Island Springs Shoreline Was Restored
The Rum Island Park & spring offer many amenities to the public. However, safety was beginning to become a concern. The park started experiencing erosion surrounding the area of the spring. This eroded area soon became increasingly worse over the years due to excess sediment build-up over the spring vent.
Since this popular spring area receives a large amount of foot traffic, the spring vent soon reduced in volume. Also, the constant fluctuating water levels from heavy rainfall and hurricanes caused severe erosion around the spring as well as adjacent sidewalks.
The excess sediment and land loss made this area very unsafe for the public to use, resulting in decreasing the flow of water from the spring vent. Had this issue not been taken care of properly, severe structural damage to adjacent ramps, stairways, and other public use items would have occurred.
In March 2020, we first visited the spring in Rum Island to meet with the county officials, water management, and engineers. Our goal was to figure out how we could solve both significant issues at the spring site and at the same time.
The DredgeSOX Erosion Control Technique
Lake & Wetland used the DredgeSOX™ Erosion Control system to properly repurpose the excess sediment that was clogging the spring vent. We also used it to restore the eroded land around the spring resulting in the following:
- Increasing the water flow from the vent and
- Restoring the shoreline to its natural size
- Ensuring no future loss of land
- Leaving an all-natural restoration
Our engineers drew up the best plans to put in place for restoring and reclaiming the Rum Island spring and adjacent park area. Using the DredgeSOX® Erosion Control product allowed us to create a safer, environmentally friendly, and natural-looking area that is ready for everyday public recreational use.
In early June, Lake & Wetland Management & Blue Water Environmental met on at the park to begin the erosion restoration setup and dredging process. Once the SOX™ material was fully set in place, the spring vent was then inspected for sediment signs. Next, we made proper adjustments to match the desired slope and grade from the developed engineering plans. By using the native sediment from the spring vent to fill the system, we were able to not only reclaim but also restore at least 15ft of lost shoreline. Severely eroded areas were also capable of being recovered.
Once the DredgeSOX erosion control process was complete, sod was implemented and installed through the system using biodegradable stakes. DredgeSOX provides a high density knitted mesh of the SOX material that essentially allows new vegetation to root through the material. This ensures long-lasting stability for the restored shorelines.
Rum Island Spring & Park Aesthetically & Environmentally Safe for Public
We returned to the Rum Island Spring early in August 2020. We witnessed the end result is precisely what all the collective groups were looking to achieve. Since the eroded shorelines were recovered, county officials were fully satisfied knowing the public’s safety was established and secured. The local water management district was able to avoid having to use outside materials such as concrete or large rocks. Using such materials is a risk since it can potentially fall into the spring overtime, therefore adding the ability to filter water runoff through the SOX™ material. Rum Island Park & Spring area is now environmentally and aesthetically safe for the public to inhabit thanks to DredgeSOX Shoreline Erosion Control.