The St. Johns River, which has been designated as an American Heritage River by the Environmental Protection Agency, is the longest river in the state of Florida and its most significant one for commercial and recreational use. Riverwalks are located on the north and south banks of the St. Johns River in Downtown Jacksonville. Open since 1985 the Riverwalks are a venue where tourists and local residents can view the beauty of the river and the skyline of the city.
According to the Mayor's Growth Management Task Force commissioned in May 2005, most of the city's 300 miles of waterfront shoreline is privately owned. At a time when riverfront property values are at an all-time high, the task force determined that it's critical to have a long-term plan to insure access for the public. The mayor's plans for downtown include preserving and enhancing view corridors to the river, providing increased opportunities for children and families to access the waterfront, encouraging pedestrian traffic, connecting the Riverwalks and preserving access options for the public moving forward.