The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has been awarded more than $6 million in grant funding from the United States Environmental Protection Agency to assist local governments with the protection and restoration of Florida’s waterbodies. The funding program, Section 319 Nonpoint Source Pollution Grants, provides money to implement projects and Best Management Practices that reduce runoff and restore Florida’s impaired waters.
These grants help fund important projects that specifically address nonpoint source pollution. Nonpoint source pollution comes from oil, pet waste, pesticide, herbicide, fertilizer, sediment and other contaminants that end up on the ground naturally or from human activity. Rainwater picks up these contaminants as it washes over yards, sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, roads and fields and deposits them into our surface waters as nonpoint source pollution.
In Northwest Florida, to benefit Pensacola Bay and Wakulla Springs watersheds:
- The City of Pensacola will receive $200,000 for projects that improve stormwater treatment in the area of Gaberonne Swamp as well as expand citizen education about their personal impact on stormwater.
- The City of Tallahassee will receive $115,600 for the Think About Personal Pollution (TAPP) outreach project. The TAPP project is one project identified in the proposed restoration plan for the Upper Wakulla River. Behavioral changes through education have been shown to reduce pollutant loads from nonpoint sources.
In Northeast Florida, to benefit the Lower St. Johns River watershed:
- St. Johns County will receive $796,007 for a regional stormwater treatment facility. This facility will capture agricultural runoff and help reduce pollutants flowing to the Deep Creek and Lower St. Johns River. This will help achieve reductions required in the restoration plan for the Lower St. Johns River.
In Central Florida, to benefit the Upper Ocklawaha River watershed:
- The City of Tavares will receive $750,000 for stormwater management improvements and public education. The project is designed to reduce nutrients going into Lake Dora which flows the Upper Ocklawaha River. This project is part of the Upper Ocklawaha River restoration plan.
In Southwest Florida, to benefit the Winter Haven Chain of Lakes, Tampa Bay and Myakka River watersheds:
- Polk County will receive $585,000 for stormwater improvements for the Lake Gwyn Surface Water Restoration project. This area is a vital link between the Winter Haven Chain of Lakes and the Upper Peace River. The Lake Gwyn Watershed will be comprehensively addressed in a future Winter Haven Chain of Lakes restoration plan.
- Plant City will receive $350,000 to implement Best Management Practices for stormwater water treatment in the area of Mill Creek and the Hillsborough River. These efforts will benefit Hillsborough Bay in the Tampa Bay watershed.
- The City of Venice will receive $245,000 for Best Management Practices that target local beaches and coastal areas. The project will include improvements to stormwater management as well as public education and outreach. The practices will improve water quality in the Gulf estuary as well as Donna and Roberts Bay in the Myakka River watershed.
In Lower Central and Southeast Florida, to benefit the Indian River Lagoon and St. Lucie River and Estuary:
- Brevard County will receive $321,393 for construction of a wet detention pond in the area of Fleming Grant Road. This project will assist with the implementation of the Central Indian River Lagoon restoration plan by providing treatment of stormwater from a 136- acre drainage basin.
- St. Lucie County will receive $500,000 for a stormwater treatment train project to reduce pollution entering the North Fork of the St. Lucie River. A treatment train links several interventions together to create a large improvement. This project will helps achieve the reductions required in the St. Lucie River and Estuary restoration.
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