Individuals and Neighborhoods in Action
Pelican Cove's Story
Pelican Cove, a 731 unit Condominium was developed in the mid 1970’s on 75 acres along Little Sarasota Bay (LSB) before Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) regulations required stormwater management. Residents noticed changes in LSB so a committee was formed and charged with informing residents of activities that affect the health of our bay. Stormwater runoff was identified as one such issue.
This was particularly apparent down Bayhouse Point Road where Natalie Tierney, one of the committee members lived. She brought the issue to our attention. It was determined that a one inch rainfall could result in 100,000 gallons of stormwater, mixed with silt and pollutants emptying untreated into the bay.
Fortunately help was available from Rob Wright at the county and Julia Burch at the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program, who both toured the area with our Manager, Grounds coordinator and committee members and offered suggestions. The County also provided engineering help in exploring one of the options.
Education programs and Pelican News articles were employed to educate residents to build support and understanding of the connection of our land use with the health of LSB.
Funding for any solution became an issue so we applied for a Co-operative Funding Grant from SWFWMD. Although this type of grant is usually given to municipalities, the grant was awarded to Pelican Cove. The grant required Pelican Cove to pay 50% of the project’s cost.
Lack of space made it difficult to use large enough swales or retention areas to hold the rain water without the possibility of flooding residents.
We explored many options going from a baffle box at the end of Bayhouse Point Dr. to re-routing the flow behind units on the bay to a retention pond along the road which an engineer assured us would not be adequate.
Fortunately our Manager, Kevin Richards, attended a landscaping meeting at Portofino, our immediate neighbor adjacent to our property next to Bayhouse Point Drive. He noticed that their retention pond had almost no water and was scummy with algae growth and suggested that Pelican Cove could help them with their problem. After meetings with their Homeowners Association assuring them they would not have to pay for the project of routing Pelican Cove’s excess stormwater to their pond or the upgrading their pond needed, Portofino agreed.
SWFWMD agreed to this solution and the county concurred. This solution would provide more benefit than originally required.
The final project was threefold: rerouting the stormwater from Pelican Cove to Portofino’s retention pond, filtering through rocky outlet to bay at the end of Bayhouse Point Dr., and a small swale near the Bay.
Submitted by: Verona Morse, Pelican Cove Homeowner's Association