Bay County Receives DEP Grants for Water Quality Improvement Projects

Aug. 21, 2014

 The Florida Department of Environmental Protection awarded more than $1.5 million in grants for the construction of two water quality improvement projects in Bay County. Bay County Public Works department, in partnership with DEP, completed construction on the Spring Avenue Stormwater Facility earlier this month.

The department awarded $775,000 in grant funding for the project that provided much needed infrastructure upgrades for the county. The new stormwater pond, situated in a park-like setting featuring a fountain, walking trail and landscaped island, will improve water quality of discharges into Watson Bayou.

A second water quality project in Panama City, benefiting from an additional $785,000 in DEP grant funding, will begin construction this month. The Lisenby Avenue Stormwater Management Facility will include a new stormwater pond, upland irrigation system and an ADA-accessible paved walking trail. This project will improve the water quality of discharges into St. Andrews Bay and benefit adjacent wetlands. The designs and permit applications were prepared by Northwest Florida Water Management District and the Panama City Engineering Department. The department will reimburse the city in grant funding upon completion of the project, which is anticipated in February 2015.

“Great water quality means more time spent at Bay County’s world-class beaches,” said DEP Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr. “Upgrading infrastructure and constructing new stormwater ponds in Bay County will further protect the natural resources for our residents and visitors to enjoy.”

The restoration funds made available for these projects came under a June 18, 2012, consent decree between DEP and a 10-percent non-operating investor in the lease on the Macondo well at the time of the Deepwater Horizon spill. DEP is overseeing the expenditure of these funds on stormwater retrofit projects throughout the Panhandle.

Urban stormwater runoff and nonpoint source pollution present the most significant continuing source of water and sediment quality degradation in the affected areas of the Panhandle, whose coastal waters received oiling after the Deepwater Horizon spill. Stormwater retrofit projects play a key role in protecting waterways by protecting water quality and managing flows.

For information directly related to Florida’s response and restoration activities relating to the Deepwater Horizon spill click here.

BAY COUNTY PROJECTS

The newly constructed Spring Avenue Stormwater Facility in Bay County features new landscaping and a walking path.

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