Bayou Chico Restoration Projects

Map Showing Location of Bayou Chico

Project Description

This suite of projects will reduce sediment and nutrient loading to Bayou Chico, reduce turbidity, increase water clarity, and improve light penetration for photosynthesis to enable expansion of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) habitat. SAV provides habitat to fish, shrimp, crabs, and other estuarine species that were negatively affected by the oil spill. The projects will continue implementation of the overall restoration of Bayou Chico and will complement or accelerate planned restoration activities identified in the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Basin Management Action Plan for the Bayou. The projects include both stormwater treatment and stream restoration elements, and complement a proposed living shoreline project to be funded under Natural Resource Damage Assessment Early Restoration.

The Bayou Chico watershed, located in southern Escambia County, represents a 10.36-square-mile drainage area into Pensacola Bay. Much of the area surrounding the bayou is urbanized, consisting of older, well-established residential subdivisions and industrial- and commercial-use areas. Expected outcomes of these projects include restored and improved benthic habitat quality, increased biological diversity and productivity, and improved overall water quality in the Bayou Chico watershed. The City of Pensacola are partners with Escambia County in this project. The City of Pensacola's project elements are R Street (Maggies Ditch) and Bill Gregory Park (purple dots 1 and 2 from image above).

R Street (Maggie's Ditch)

Estimated Cost - $865,000

‘R' Street at Maggie's Ditch Stormwater Treatment Enhancement Project will capture and provide an element of treatment for stormwater runoff from approximately 225 acres of primarily commercial area currently discharging untreated runoff directly into Maggie's Ditch, a manmade wetland tributary that discharges to head waters of eastern Bayou Chico. The proposed project is currently listed in the approved projects under the restoration plan for Bayou Chico, and improvements will include a proprietary underground treatment unit to remove an estimated 50% of total suspended solids (TSS) and debris/floatables prior to entering Maggie's Ditch. It is estimated the system will remove approximately 20 tons of solids annually that would otherwise be discharged into Maggie's Ditch and Bayou Chico. The project will also serve to protect the already completed Maggie's Ditch Wetland Enhancement Phase I and II projects as identified in the restoration plan.

This is a collaborative effort with the School District as it will be placed on the Learning Academy's property.

Bill Gregory Park

Estimated Cost - $2,180,000

Bill Gregory Park Regional Stormwater Treatment Facility project will capture and treat stormwater runoff from approximately 37 acres currently discharging untreated runoff directly into the eastern head waters of Bayou Chico. The facility improvements will include a two-tier treatment train system with proprietary pretreatment units upstream to remove debris and floatables prior to entering a wet detention pond. The pond will be approximately 2.5 acres in size and will take an innovative approach to stormwater management by having multiple ecological benefits. In addition to its water quality improvement, the pond will also serve as a wetland habitat for a variety of plants, birds and other aquatic animal species.

Current Status

Survey and preliminary design

Next Milestone

Submission of 60% plans and utility coordination

Related Documents

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