REDI cost-share project to improve water quality in Indian River Lagoon, Fellsmere

District Project Manager Melisa Diolosa reviews a stormwater project in Fellsmere with the city’s community development director, Mark Mathes.

District Project Manager Melisa Diolosa reviews a stormwater project in Fellsmere with the city’s community development director, Mark Mathes.

PALM BAY, Fla., Oct. 4, 2017 — The Indian River Lagoon and cities of Fellsmere and Sebastian in Indian River County will gain improved water quality, thanks in large part to a Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) cost-share grant from the St. Johns River Water Management District.

“This project will provide stormwater treatment for a 26-acre area of Fellsmere where none currently exist,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “As a result, Fellsmere will gain an attractive stormwater park that captures 53 percent of the phosphorus and 23 percent of the nitrogen currently found in its untreated stormwater. The cleaner stormwater will flow east through Sebastian to the Indian River Lagoon. This is an example of a REDI community partnership at work.”

REDI funds constitute $500,000 of the $610,000 construction costs of the three-acre stormwater park, which will include an historic building and walking trails.

“This is a piece of a much larger project that will benefit the visitors and residents of Fellsmere for years to come,” said Mark Mathes, Fellsmere’s community development director.

A REDI community is economically disadvantaged with an employment base dominated by traditional agriculture or resource-based industries and a population of 25,000 or less. REDI-designated communities within the district’s boundary include Baker, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam and Okeechobee, all communities within those counties, and the communities of Astatula, Fellsmere, Hastings, Hawthorne, Mascotte, Pierson and Umatilla.