Wetlands and stormwater parks improve water quality, other benefits

Aug. 5, 2021

Water control structure

The District’s Micco Water Management Area in Brevard County helps improve the quality of water discharged to the North Prong of the St. Sebastian River, a tributary of the Indian River Lagoon.

The St. Johns River Water Management District is focused year-round on wetlands and stormwater parks and the benefits they provide to each of our core missions. In addition, many of these treatment areas are open to the public as parks for recreation, while serving important functions.

Wetlands and stormwater parks provide many benefits, such as filtering pollutants from the water (reducing nutrients from reaching natural waterways), recharging the aquifer (groundwater), storing flood water, providing important wildlife habitat and thus increasing biodiversity.

We sometimes engage in wetlands projects on District-owned public properties, such as we’ve done at our Micco Water Management Area, a 458-acre property in Brevard County. The Micco property helps improve the quality of water discharged to the North Prong of the St. Sebastian River, and ultimately the Indian River Lagoon. This park is an environmental engineering achievement that benefits coastal waters. The property includes a series of ponds and restored wetlands to remove pollutants from a 21,000-acre watershed before they reach the lagoon.

Our commitment to stormwater water quality improvements, in addition to stormwater parks, also includes many cost-share projects. From 2014 through 2022, the District and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection  have committed more than $32.9 million through our cost-share programs (toward a total $84.7 million in construction costs) to assist in water quality improvements from stormwater projects. This financial commitment will generate an estimated total nitrogen reduction of 78,014 lbs./yr. and an estimated total phosphorus reduction of 16,545 lbs./yr., including to water bodies such as Outstanding Florida Springs and the Indian River Lagoon.

You may have seen one of these cost-share projects in your community. We’re excited to continue working with local partners on these beneficial projects that include the Clermont Victory Pointe Stormwater Park in Lake County, Osprey Acres Stormwater Park in Indian River County, Ocala Wetland Recharge Park in Marion County and the Sweetwater Wetlands Park in the city of Gainesville.

See our past stories