Jones Creek Restoration Improves Water Quality and Reduces Flooding

Client: Town of Jupiter
Location: Jupiter, FL

Storm runoff from the 2.5 square mile Jones Creek watershed, located in the Town of Jupiter, FL, ultimately discharges to the environmentally-sensitive Loxahatchee River Aquatic Preserve. Hazen and Sawyer took a watershed approach to mitigating this risk, helping the Town to plan, design, and implement Best Management Practices (BMPs) – engineered wetlands and other stormwater detention features – that reduced the peak discharge rates and total runoff volume and loading of pollutants reaching the Preserve.

Project Outcomes and Benefits

  • Significant reductions in sediment and other pollutant loadings to the Loxahatchee River Aquatic Preserve.
  • Restoration of a freshwater marsh that now provides educational and recreational opportunities in a suburban wetland.
  • Restoration of an existing residential canal system, including shoreline stabilization through native vegetation.
  • Cost-effective partnering of municipal and private interests opened the door for grant funding and other cost-sharing opportunities.

The Jones Creek Watershed is a mixed land use, urban drainage basin in central Jupiter. Much of the basin was developed prior to the existence of current regulations governing water quality treatment and attenuation of peak discharge rates.

Direct discharges to tributaries, such as this drainage ditch, had no provisions for water quality treatment. This resulted in ongoing erosion and sedimentation problems.

BMPs, such as this baffle box, were installed on older storm sewer systems in order to remove pollutants previously discharged to Jones Creek and ultimately the Loxahatchee River.

Improvements were implemented to stabilize streambanks and to remove sediment and floatables from upstream drainage areas.

An added benefit of the project was the creation of a passive recreation and education facility on approximately 20 acres of preserved land in the heart of the watershed.

Working closely with the Town, Hazen and Sawyer recognized that it would be cost-prohibitive to implement stormwater improvements on a sub-basin basis, and took a basin-wide approach to the project. Our strategy involved increasing stormwater storage and retention in undeveloped areas, while allowing increased discharge rates in others. By analyzing the entire watershed, we achieved reductions in peak discharge rates and total runoff volumes reaching the Loxahatchee River, compared to pre-project levels.

In addition to implementing BMPs and other improvements, we included measures for removing muck deposits and exotic vegetation from approximately 7,000 feet of man-made residential canals that are tributary to the Loxahatchee River, coupled with restoration and replanting of canal bank slopes, to improve their stabilization. We also completed the urban Hammock Restoration project, providing passive recreation and environmental education in a preserved natural area in the heart of the otherwise developed watershed.

For more information on this project, or to discuss a similar project in your area, contact

Rob Taylor, P.E. at