Written by Kristen Schmut
Belden Communications News
Argh, matey, welcome to Pirate Eddy’s Interesting Facts!
Pirate Eddy's Interesting Facts will give past, present, and future guests of Airboat Rides at Midway some basic information on different topics that center around our Airboat Tours and what guests may see or experience while on tour.
Our first lesson will feature some basic facts about the St. Johns River.
The St. Johns basin is an ancient Intracoastal lagoon system. As sea levels dropped, barrier islands became an obstacle that prevented water from flowing east to the ocean. Instead, the water collected in the flat valley slowly meandered northward, thus forming the St. Johns River approximately 100,000 years ago.
The St. Johns River is the longest river in Florida, measuring roughly about 310 miles in length, and is one of the few Rivers in the United States that flows North. The entirety of the river has three drainage basins, a land area that drains into a water body, also known as a watershed.
The upper basin is the area to the south that forms its marshy headwaters. The middle basin is the area in Central Florida where the river widens, forming lakes Harney, Jesup, Monroe, and George. The lower basin is the area in Northeast Florida from Putnam County to the river's mouth in Duval County.
Over the years, the St. Johns River has played a vital role in the transportation industry and held many names like Welaka (River of Lakes), Rio de Corrientes (River of Currents), Riviere de Mai (River of May), and San Mateo River (St. Matthew River), before being named the St. Johns River. Continuous waves of settlements along the St. Johns River, from Native American mounds to contemporary fish camps, remind us that the St. Johns River once served as an American highway.
To provide a wide variety of recreational opportunities on the St. Johns River to the public, the St. Johns River Water Management District has acquired more than 500,000 acres of land throughout its 18-county jurisdiction. The Canaveral Marshes Conservation Area, located between State Roads 520 and 50, helps protect the St. Johns River floodplain. The low gradient and large floodplain allow the St. Johns River to function as a water storage area, serving as a natural regulator during high and low water stages.
Find out more interesting facts about the St. Johns River, and book an Airboat Tour with the knowledgeable United State Coast Guard Master Captains and USCG certified and inspected fleet of Airboats at Airboat Rides at Midway today!
Sources: St. Johns River FAST FACTS - Titusville, Florida (nbbd.com); River of Dreams: The St. Johns River and Its Springs (Part 1) – Florida Waterscapes; Historical facts about the St. Johns River – SJRWMD