PALM BAY, Fla., Oct. 30, 2019 — Today, the St. Johns River Water Management District helped celebrate the completion of Osprey Acres Stormwater Park, Indian River County’s newest recreational and environmental oasis engineered to capture nutrients before they reach the Indian River Lagoon.
“We are proud to be a funding partner for one of the most beautiful stormwater parks in the Indian River Lagoon region,” said St. Johns River Governing Board member Douglas Bournique. “Osprey Acres melds much-needed stormwater treatment with recreational and wildlife viewing opportunities in way that is accessible to the community. This park illustrates what we can accomplish by working together.”
“Indian River County is excited about the grand opening of Osprey Acres,” said Indian River County Administrator Jason Brown. “We appreciate the partnership between the St. Johns River Water Management District, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the county that made this project a reality. We are thankful to Sen. (Debbie) Mayfield and Rep. (Erin) Grall for their support in funding this project.”
“As we work to improve water quality in the Indian River Lagoon and in the state of Florida, projects such as the Osprey Acres Stormwater Park and Nature Preserve are a prime example of how we protect Florida together,” said Jason Andreotta, director of DEP’s Southeast District. “DEP is proud to be a partner in this important project that will remove nutrients, promote the diversification of species and enhance the overall environment.”
Osprey Acres Stormwater Park essentially extends the treatment train at the adjacent Osprey Marsh Algal Turf Scrubber Facility to naturally remove residual nitrogen and phosphorous from the facility’s effluent and canal water before it flows to the Indian River Lagoon. The park is anticipated to remove 9,000 pounds of total nitrogen and 400 pounds of total phosphorus annually.
Additionally, the park serves a secondary purpose by preserving 60 acres of pristine native upland habitat and by creating 17 acres of aquatic habitat for fish and waterfowl. There are about four miles of hiking trails, and informational kiosks explain the purpose of the stormwater park.
The district contributed $1.2 million toward the $7.4 million project.
Attendees of the opening celebration toured the park’s hiking trails and canal vistas. Osprey Acres Stormwater Park is located at 925 5th St. S.W. in Vero Beach.