District approves permit, contributes funding for Osprey Acres Stormwater Park

PALM BAY, Fla., Dec. 19, 2016 — St. Johns River Water Management District regulatory staff have approved a permit application for a stormwater park in Indian River County that will capture nutrients from a 9,780-acre watershed before they can reach the Indian River Lagoon.

“Osprey Acres will support a district core mission by improving water quality through nutrient reduction,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “Osprey Acres also supports another core mission – protecting natural systems – by preserving more than 60 acres of uplands and creating roughly 17 acres of aquatic habitat for fish and waterfowl.”

The Osprey Acres facility will be a secondary nutrient removal system for Indian River County’s Osprey Marsh, a treatment facility that removes dissolved nitrogen, phosphorus and other nutrients from 10 million gallons of water daily from the Indian River Farms Water Control District South Relief Canal and up to 1.5 million gallons a day of reverse osmosis demineralization concentrate from the South County Water Treatment Plant.

The district contributed $1.2 million toward the $4.78 million project. Estimated nutrient removal is 9,000 pounds a year of total nitrogen and 400 pounds a year of total phosphorus. Plans include an educational hiking trail, the preservation and enhancement of uplands and the removal of exotic and nuisance vegetation. Construction begins in May 2017.