July 24, 2015
PANAMA CITY, Fla. – Today, Florida Department of Environmental Protection representatives and state and local elected officials attended a ribbon cutting for the Lisenby Avenue Stormwater Management Facility. Panama City received a $785,000 grant for the construction of the facility, which will improve water quality in St. Andrew Bay. Additional improvements include a new stormwater pond, upland irrigation system and an ADA-accessible, paved walking trail through the park-like setting.
“We are committed to helping fund and implement projects that improve water quality,” said DEP Secretary Jon Steverson. “This project provides environmental benefits as well as a recreational area for the local community.”
Urban stormwater runoff and nonpoint source pollution are the most significant sources of water and sediment quality degradation. Stormwater retrofit projects, such as this, play a key role in preserving waterways by protecting water quality and managing flows. The project will directly improve the water quality of discharges into St. Andrew Bay while benefiting the adjacent wetlands.
“The stormwater treatment portion of this project will help capture the sediments and accompanying nutrients from a 200-acre drainage basin, preventing them from entering Lake Caroline and ultimately, St. Andrew Bay,” said Panama City Public Works Director Neil H. Fravel. “This project also transforms an overgrown area into a recreational jewel that preserves the natural beauty and will be used by our citizens for years to come.”
The restoration funds for this projects came under a 2012 consent decree between DEP and a non-operating investor at the time of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. DEP is overseeing the disbursement of funds for stormwater retrofit projects throughout the Florida Panhandle.
The facility was renamed Hammons Park in honor of Kenneth R. Hammons, a former city manager. The Northwest Florida Water Management District and the Panama City Engineering Department prepared the permitting and designs for the facility.
For additional information regarding Florida’s response and restoration activities resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, click here.