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

Crews working on Tarpon Avenue swales.

Crews working on Tarpon Avenue swales.

PALATKA, Fla., Oct. 27, 2017 —The St. Johns River Water Management District and the city of Fernandina Beach are partnering on a project that will help reduce flooding along 26 city blocks while also reducing nutrient loading to the Amelia River.

“This project will provide stormwater treatment for 50 acres in the city of Fernandina Beach,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “We remember hurricanes Matthew and Irma’s impacts to northeast Florida over the last year, and we are proud to be a funding partner on this important project that will help with localized street flooding and also allow for stormwater pollutants to settle out before flowing to a natural waterbody.”

“The city of Fernandina Beach looks forward to implementing these new measures to mitigate flooding associated with storm surges and tidal flows,” said Fernandina Beach City Manager Dale L. Martin. “It is through the cooperative effort with the district that this environmentally-beneficial project is possible.”

The $625,000 project involves creating shallow swales along city street rights-of-way to provide local drainage and stormwater treatment. Benefits include protecting against flooding and reducing nitrogen and phosphorus loads to the river. The city will monitor water quality samples from the river to gauge the project’s effectiveness.

The district is providing $450,640 toward the project’s cost through its Districtwide Cost-Share Program for construction of water supply and water conservation, water quality improvement, flood protection and natural systems restoration projects.