Rum Island Park


When Rum Island Park, a recreational facility in Fort White, Florida, had to close several years ago due to shoreline erosion, government agencies turned to SOX Erosion Solutions. This popular central Florida park attracts thousands of visitors annually who enjoy the pristine springs along the scenic Santa Fe River with opportunities for canoeing, boating, swimming, snorkeling, and fishing.

Rum Island Park was deemed unsafe by numerous government agencies due to collapsing, unstable land that put visitors and those operating heavy equipment in danger. Heavy rainfall, rising water levels, and constant foot traffic were among the major causes of this erosion. Environmental consultants also noticed that sediment had built up around the vents, reducing water flow and volume.


The Suwanee River Water Management District, Department of Environmental Protection, and Army Corp of Engineers agreed that a total renovation of the park was required to restore this popular destination. The centerpiece of this renovation was the restoration of shorelines. Officials wanted an affordable, long-lasting solution that could be installed quickly.

DredgeSOX was favored overwhelmingly as the most appropriate solution for this erosion control project. The process involved filling a large, knitted mesh with organic sediment dredged from the spring bottom. It was secured to the shoreline are recreated the original, and now living, shoreline. The system can be installed in a matter of days and is significantly less expensive than the alternatives. The SOX systems provide a long-lasting hedge against future erosion.


DredgeSOX is a versatile product that provided the additionalbenefit of dredging and re-purposing the sediment from the river bottom. The system also restored water flow to the spring vents which had been clogged over time by bank erosion. Additionally, the patented mesh system serves as a filter, reducing sub-surface runoff of nutrient overload from entering the water. These benefits combine to improve the habitat for wildlife.

Lake and Wetland Management, a Florida-based environmental resource company, and Bluewater Environmental, a Certified Service Provider for the SOX systems, combined installation efforts for this project.

The following are highlights of the restoration project:
  • Dredging the spring bottom cleared the spring vents, thereby increasing water flow.
  • Significant collapsed shoreline was re-claimed. In some areas up to 25 feet of land sloping to the water was recovered.
  • The dredging process improved water flow, reduced water pollution and created healthy habitats, while removing years of accumulated leaves, grass clippings, and other decaying organic matter from the lake bottom.
  • The SOX system stabilizes the shoreline as grass, sod, and other vegetation root through the mesh armoring.
  • DredgeSOX filters and improves water quality and flow, creating healthy wildlife habitats, reducing invasive plant species, and improving the natural balance both in the water and out

This project is successful as the shorelines at Rum Island Park are fully restored to their original beauty. The newly stabilized land gives pedestrians and disabled visitors a safe experience when walking the sidewalks along the streambank. In addition, swimmers and fishermen now have safe and easy access to the rivers. Park officials also noticed significantly increased water flow from the spring vents.

The county park is now a safe, environmentally healthy, and a beautiful place for the public to use.

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