Stormwater is simply water that accumulates on land from storms and can include runoff from urban areas such as roads and roofs. Historically, stormwater has been diverted away from urban areas and roadways as fast as possible – usually into the nearest waterbody. Our local Choctawhatchee Bay and its bayous receive substantial stormwater runoff from the adjacent uplands.
Local municipalities must obtain permits to discharge stormwater into local waterbodies under the Federal Clean Water Act. 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 for improving water quality through six (6) guidelines:
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 school children, and stormwater remediation construction projects. Furthermore, CBA hosts several citizen science programs to increase public participation in conservation activities, such as water quality monitoring and fishing line recycling. CBA provides local restaurants an opportunity to recycle oyster shells (reducing waste) into oyster reef breakwaters which helps improve water quality, control erosion, and provide habitat for marine life.
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 paramount to enhancing the overall water quality within the Choctawhatchee Watershed.