District and Flagler Beach partner on flood protection, nutrient reduction project

Backhoe expanding a stomwwater containment area on a golf course

Work is under way on the Ocean Palm subdivision and city golf course flood protection project.

Work is under way on the Ocean Palm subdivision and city golf course flood protection project.

PALATKA, Fla., Nov. 20, 2017 —The St. Johns River Water Management District and the city of Flagler Beach are partnering on a project to reduce flooding and recurring property damage to the Ocean Palm area and improve water quality. The district’s cost-share program is funding $675,000 toward the project, which is currently under construction.

“We are proud to be a funding partner on this important project that will reduce residential flooding in 84 acres of the city,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “The project also offers water quality benefits by allowing pollutants in stormwater to settle out before flowing to the Intracoastal Waterway.”

“This stormwater project is designed to protect against the 100-year storm and is serving double duty by creating a more aesthetically pleasing and challenging golf course,” said Flagler Beach City Manager Larry M. Newsom. “New ponds and a dry retention pond, the reshaping of the existing ponds, and drainage pipes from the street into the ponds, all serve to help protect against flooding.”

Seven of eight major stormwater projects identified in the city’s 2009 Stormwater Master Plan update have been successfully completed. Although it was the second highest priority stormwater project for the city, the Ocean Palm project was slower to move forward due to prior golf course ownership and zoning issues. The city took ownership of the golf course and committed to redesigning it to increase flood protection to its residential neighbors.

The $825,000 project, located at the southern end of Flagler Beach, involves building more and larger golf course hazard ponds to hold additional stormwater runoff, as well as constructing swales and underground pipes leading to culverts with outfalls to the Intracoastal Waterway.

In addition to protecting against flooding, the project’s benefits include reducing nutrient loads to the river by 65 pounds of total nitrogen and 265 pounds of total phosphorus annually.

The project also received a $200,000 legislative appropriation for design and permitting.

The Districtwide Cost-Share Program provides partnership funding for construction of water supply and water conservation, water quality improvement, flood protection and natural systems restoration projects.