DEP's Northwest District Recognizes City of Pensacola for Environmental Stewardship

DEP Press Release header

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 13, 2019

CONTACT: DEP Press Office, 850.245.2112,

DEP's Northwest District Presents Environmental

Stewardship Award

~District recognizes Pensacola for work to protect Florida's natural resources~

City of Pensacola representatives accept ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP AWARD

From left: Kerrith Fiddler, Assistant City Administrator; Brad Hinote, Engineering Project Manager; Chris Mauldin, Engineering Specialist; Derrik Owens, Public Works and Facilities Director; and Shawn Hamilton, Director of DEP’s Northwest District

PENSACOLA, Fla. - The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Northwest District recognized the city of Pensacola for outstanding environmental stewardship.

The environmental stewardship awards program recognizes businesses, professional and community organizations, and local governments within DEP's Northwest District for proactive, innovative and exceptional achievements that prevent or reduce impacts on the environment beyond measures required by permit or rule. To be considered for recognition, participants must demonstrate significant and measurable achievements that provide a direct benefit to our environment.

“On behalf of DEP and the state of Florida, I am proud to recognize the city of Pensacola for its accomplishments and environmental stewardship,” said Shawn Hamilton, director of DEP’s Northwest District. “With outstanding community partners like the city of Pensacola that go above and beyond what is required of them, we can better protect, conserve and manage Florida’s natural resources for future generations.”  

The city of Pensacola’s nomination highlights stormwater improvement projects to improve drainage and provide treatment of stormwater to help protect water quality. The stormwater improvements not only provide a higher level of treatment, but the city of Pensacola also chose to take an innovative approach and provide residents and visitors with attractive parks. The stormwater projects are co-located and incorporated into parks and gathering places, adding recreational, educational and economic value to the community.

The city’s program also improves water quality and helps to restore and sustain the biodiversity of bay systems by providing aquatic and wetland habitat for many wildlife species. Based on population and geographic size, the program is one of the most aggressive and effective retrofit programs in the state.

Featured projects include:

  • The Bill Gregory Park Regional Stormwater Treatment Facility project provides treatment of stormwater runoff from 37 acres that previously discharged untreated stormwater into the eastern headwaters of Bayou Chico. Improvements include a two-tier treatment train system with proprietary pretreatment units upstream to remove debris prior to entering a wet detention pond. The pond is 2.5 acres in size and has an innovative approach to stormwater management and includes multiple ecological benefits. In addition to providing treatment, the pond is home to a variety of plants, birds and aquatic animal species. The Bill Gregory Park spans 5.9 acres and features two youth baseball fields utilized by parent-led youth baseball leagues. Additional elements and amenities include enhanced LED lighting, walking paths, a boardwalk, benches, extensive landscaping, parking, and passive reflection areas.
  • The “R” Street at Maggie's Ditch Stormwater Treatment Enhancement Project captures and provides an element of treatment for stormwater runoff from 225 acres of primarily commercial area previously discharging untreated runoff directly into Maggies' Ditch, an artificial wetland tributary that discharges to the headwaters of eastern Bayou Chico. Improvements include a proprietary underground treatment unit to remove an estimated 50% of total suspended solids and debris/floatables prior to release to Maggie's Ditch. It is estimated the system will remove approximately 20 tons of solids annually. The project also protects the already completed Maggie's Ditch Wetland Enhancement Phase I and II projects.

The award was presented during the district’s annual open house on December 12, aimed at growing awareness of the agency’s mission, increasing communication and developing collaborative relationships. Guests were invited to meet the district’s staff and leadership team. Permitting and compliance experts from DEP’s regulatory programs – Waste, Air, Water and Environmental Resources – were on hand to answer questions and provide information about their respective programs to approximately 100 attendees. Additional DEP staff from the Florida Park Service, Office of Resiliency and Coastal Protection and Emergency Response were also in attendance.