FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Nov. 15, 2016
DEP PROVIDES GRANTS FOR
FORT PIERCE VETERANS MEMORIAL PARK STORMWATER IMPROVEMENTS
~Stormwater park benefits Indian River Lagoon ~
FORT PIERCE, Fla. – The Florida Department
of Environmental Protection provided more than $800,000 in grants for the Veterans Memorial Park stormwater improvements project in Fort Pierce to treat stormwater runoff and discharge entering the Indian River Lagoon. The project was funded through the state's Total Maximum Daily Load water-quality improvement grant program, and an Environmental Protection Agency Water Quality Restoration Grant.
"We are proud to partner with the city on this multipurpose project which will help improve the health of the Indian River Lagoon,"
said DEP Secretary Jon Steverson.
"By implementing best management practices to clean stormwater runoff released into the Indian River Lagoon, this park will build on Florida's commitment to restore one of our most important waterways, while also enhancing the community and honoring our nation's veterans."
The newly redesigned Veterans Memorial Park captures and treats stormwater runoff from a 44-acre drainage basin that previously released untreated water into the Indian River Lagoon. Stormwater system improvements include pervious sidewalks and parking areas that allow water to filter through layers of rock and sand to eliminate stormwater runoff, as well as landscape elements and a settlement pond designed to remove pollutants and aid in the treatment of organics and nitrogen.
In addition to providing stormwater treatment and nutrient removal, the park features two new granite markers engraved with the names of local fallen soldiers from World War I through the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, walking paths along the Indian River, and a public event space.
The city of Fort Pierce recently celebrated the grand reopening of this park, which will improve water quality in the Indian River Lagoon by an anticipated reduction of 116 pounds of nitrogen and 26 pounds
of phosphorous per year.
"We truly appreciate DEP's financial assistance for this project," said Nicholas Mimms, city manager for the city of Fort Pierce. "This park adds an important environmental and historical resource to our city which will be much appreciated by residents and visitors for years to come."
To further improve the lagoon’s water quality,
the department is identifying additional wastewater and stormwater
projects that reduce the amount of nutrients entering the lagoon, and dredge
projects that remove muck from the bottom of the lagoon, which also feeds algal
For this fiscal year, nearly $26 million from the Florida First budget
will be invested in future water-quality improvement projects in the
Indian River Lagoon, which includes a $21.5 million muck dredging project.