Sturgeon City represents a unique concept, the conversion of a wastewater treatment plant into a civic and environmental education centerthat supports applied aquaculture research and promotes access to coastal waters.
Sturgeon City represents a unique concept, the conversion of a wastewater treatment plant into a civic and environmental education center.
For more than 40 years, the City of Jacksonville discharged its wastewater into the New River. In 1997, the City moved to an environmentally friendly and expandable land application treatment system which stopped discharging the treated effluent into the river. Residents were concerned about the severely degraded condition of the waterway and the Jacksonville City Council determined that it was their moral responsibility to help clean up the area where the City’s discharge had occurred.
An initiative was created that used bioremediation to help jump-start natural processes. Students volunteered to help and became excited about being part of something that effected a positive change they could see. Further, many were excited about the science being used, about working alongside field scientists and about the power of volunteerism.
Their enthusiasm inspired a community to transform the former wastewater treatment plant that had contributed to the problem to stand as a reminder of the civic action that overcame a degraded river and to be a force for the future to protect the river and other natural resources.
Riverworks at Sturgeon City, a civic and environmental education center serves as the focus of a community’s commitment to learn from the past and to inspire young people to promote positive change for generations to come. This program strives to engage people and show how the power of civic action and environmental education can improve a community. It does so with the backdrop of a successful bioremediation program, a restored bay and river habitats, inspired youth, ongoing research and real world applications of science.