Innovative decentralized strategies for stormwater management for Palma Sola
Title: Innovative decentralized strategies for stormwater management for Palma Sola
Discussion Group Leader: Charlie Hunsicker
Manatee county storm water management systems were developed in 1910 as flood control. Currently needs more funding to actually solve water quality problems. Previously pursued idea: property owners should pay for the amount of run off their property generates rather than by property value or taxes. This proposal did not pass a collective vote as it was viewed as a new tax. Right now water projects are funded by the garbage fee. We understand the water chemistry for 10-15 water basins in the area of 65-85. The county has to fix impaired waters.
Right now, there is not enough money to reach projected cost of water management in coming years. What can civilians do about it?
- Homeowner fees support maintenance of storm water basins
- "The solution to pollution is dilution" - if you have more and smaller storm water lakes, you have more homeowners taking care of this, distributing the effort among many
Manatee county not making any gains to improve water systems. We're still at risk for great flooding, as happened in 1992. Let's be proactive about this to prevent having to recover from the next great flood. Let's sustain and improve these small bodies of water.
- Infrastructure costs a lot of money. Using wetland policy in manatee county to manage storm water?
- The current policy of one acre given for one taken still won't restore a wetland that functioned like the previous one.
- Many tiny wetlands could increase the amount of wetland greatly.
- Bioswells - mounded areas can be turned into dips, for example, in parking lots.
- Currently, wetland inspections occur in reaction to complaints rather than a schedule of maintenance.
- Homeowners: Northerners think the water on their property is a natural lake to be left to nature, but it is artificial and needs to be maintained in a different way.
- Professionals take care of 30% -40% of landscapes. It is they who decide the amount of fertilizer to use. Educate lawn professionals.
- Encourage a buffer strip around ponds for mowing - recommended 6ft zone, but not mandatory.
- Need leadership for community education that is outside of government.
- Senior communities: eager to volunteer, have time and often resources. The challenge is changing their minds, but they have the time and power to effect change, especially within their own community.
- The nature of environmental education needs to change. Right now, there is a preservationists sensibility being touted: don't do anything to the environment. This is not an appealing message to homeowners. We need to talk about incentives that interest homeowners, such as saving money and their own lifestyle, instead of talking about creating an ideal water system.
- The first few few converts to an idea are the most important.
- Florida friendly lawns and neighborhoods a good source for education, a volunteer run program.
- Problem: blowing lawn clippings back into the storm drains.
- Discussion approach: Let's talk about the bay, rather than let's have a meeting about water problems. Many people may avoid this kind of discussion.
- Talk to local commissioners to get them interested and other local government individuals.
- Educate the seawall builders on new innovative designs.
- Give a discount of local storm water tax for individuals who take care of their own situation.
- A neighborhood demonstration competition: monetary prize for the first homeowner in a neighborhood to take on an experiment.
- This kind of legislation has successfully passed with republican and uninterested parties in charge. Everyone understands that prevention is cheap.
- Present as a 10 year cost analysis.
- Passing an ordinance is free, rather than building a structure, such as a waste water treatment facility, to address a problem.
- Living seawall as a product that could be sold to homeowners
- Focus on the quality problems in small bodies of water first