Stormwater is simply water that accumulates on land as a result of storms, and can include runoff from urban areas such as roads and roofs. Historically, stormwater has been diverted away from urban areas and road ways as fast as possible – usually into the nearest waterbody. Our local Choctawhatchee Bay and its bayous receive significant amounts of stormwater from the uplands adjacent to them.
Under the Federal Clean Water Act, local municipalities must obtain a permit to discharge stormwater into local waterbodies. CBA has partnered with local municipalities to help achieve maximum compliance with their National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Program. The partnership is the initial step in uniting local governmental entities to protect the ecological integrity of the Choctawhatchee Watershed.
The NPDES Program is a mandate from the Environmental Protection Agency that requires municipalities to submit a permit to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) that outlines an initial five (5) year strategy on improving water quality through six (6) guidelines:
- Public Education/Outreach
- Public Participation/Involvement
- Construction Site Runoff Control
- Post-Construction Runoff Control
- Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping
Currently, CBA works with the City of Destin and Walton County. The products of these partnerships include brochure and newsletter outreach, Sediment and Erosion Control Inspector Training, Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Training, rain barrel and rain garden workshops, stormwater education for schoolchildren, and stormwater remediation construction projects.
We have the unique ability to unify the community’s resources in helping our partners achieve maximum compliance with their NPDES permits. These partnerships are a major step to enhancing the overall water quality within the Choctawhatchee Watershed. Through these partnerships, CBA hopes to fulfill all aspects of its mission: to protect and preserve the watershed but also to sustain and provide optimum utilization of the Choctawhatchee Basin Watershed.
For more information about NPDES go to the following link: http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/