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JU’s Quinton White comments on funding for river impact study

Researchers at Jacksonville University and UNF are getting some big-time help from the state to figure out the economic worth of the St. Johns River to the region.

In a Florida Times-Union article in its Monday, June 3, editions, The Florida Times-Union notes that over the next year,  $10 million from the recently signed state budget for St. Johns River restoration “includes funding for a study to determine the 310-mile river’s economic value.”

JU Marine Science Research Institute Executive Director Quinton White

Reporter Matt Dixon quotes Quinton White, executive director of JU’s Marine Science Research Institute, as saying “We want to know what the river means to the state of Florida.”

Here’s a brief excerpt:

The study will look at jobs dependent on the river and things like property values for land located next to a clean river versus one that’s polluted.

“We are going to do historical research in places where rivers have really been degraded and try to extrapolate that back here,” White said.

The current year’s budget included $5.6 million for river restoration, but Gov. Rick Scott vetoed $400,000 for an economic impact study.

“We were holding our collective breaths this year,” White said.

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