DEP Celebrates Groundbreaking of Water Storage Project in Port St. Lucie

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CONTACT: DEP Press Office, 850.245.2112,

DEP Celebrates Groundbreaking of
Water Storage Project in Port St. Lucie

~Project will improve water quality of the North Fork of St. Lucie River,

and ultimately the Indian River Lagoon~

McCarty Ranch Groundbreaking

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection joined the city of Port St. Lucie, the South Florida Water Management District and local officials at the groundbreaking ceremony for the McCarty Ranch Extension Water Quality Restoration Project. The project will reduce the amount of nutrients entering the St. Lucie River, ultimately improving water quality in the Indian River Lagoon. DEP provided $1.5 million in funding for the project through legislative appropriations and grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Section 319 of the Federal Clean Water Act. 

"We are proud to partner with Port St. Lucie by providing funding for water storage and water quality restoration projects like this one," said Jennifer Smith, DEP Southeast District director. "Continued improvement and protection of the Indian River Lagoon and the North Fork of the St. Lucie River, a designated aquatic preserve and Outstanding Florida Water, will ensure that future generations are able to enjoy these biologically diverse waterways as we do today." 

The McCarty Ranch project will improve water quality of the North Fork of the St. Lucie River by reducing the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous occurring from agricultural and urban area runoff in the C-23 Canal. The project incorporates best management practices, such as using retention and infiltration basins to capture and remove nutrients from a portion of the canal.

"We are grateful to DEP for funding to assist the city with this project," said Gregory Oravec, Port St. Lucie Mayor. "The McCarty Ranch project is a difference maker, and it demonstrates that cities, seizing local opportunities, can be the agent of positive change, change that reaches far outside of city limits. At the same time, it also reminds us of how much more we can accomplish when we the people and our institutions are united in purpose."

For more information about the DEP's water restoration funding opportunities, visit the Division of Water Restoration Assistance.