Oct. 28, 2014
~Stormwater improvement project reduces pollutants reaching the bay~
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is committing $360,000 to the city of Miami Gardens for stormwater system improvements and a retrofit project to reduce pollutants reaching Biscayne Bay. The projects involve the construction of parabolic swales, a French drain system, an exfiltration system and a number of other stormwater-treatment technologies. The project will enhance the quality of surface water runoff by reducing contaminants, consequently improving water quality for Biscayne Bay.
“Investments in modern infrastructure are investments in both the community and the environment,” said DEP Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr. “Properly functioning stormwater systems not only strengthen water quality, but also protect citizens and homes.”
Stormwater runoff is water that flows into creeks, streams or rivers after a rain. Stormwater runoff usually contains a number of pollutants including fertilizers, pesticides, oil and grease. Once this runoff reaches a body of water, the pollutants can cause rapid algal growth, algal blooms and other complications. Increased retention and filtration of stormwater runoff will reduce negative impacts on water quality.
Biscayne Bay is a dynamic marine ecosystem with mangrove shorelines, a shallow bay and living coral reefs. The bay is a shallow estuary where freshwater from the land mixes with saltwater from the sea forming a nursery for a variety of infant and juvenile marine life. The area is home to two state aquatic preserves, including the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve. The area is home to a variety of native wildlife including manatees, lobsters and sea turtles.
Florida has historically been at the forefront of the nation in addressing stormwater management, as one of the first states to implement a statewide stormwater program. Florida was also one of the first states to address agricultural and urban stormwater management through its water-quality restoration program.