R Street at Maggie’s Ditch Stormwater Facility
Everyone agreed on two basic points: 1) “Maggie” would not be pleased with the current condition of his or her “Ditch”; and 2) Something had to be done to fix it.
Enter the Bayou Chico Restoration Project. Bayou Chico is located within a 10.36 square-mile drainage basin, and it connects with Pensacola Bay, which is home to 70 (count ‘em, 70!!!) animal species, and 68 plant species! Back in the day, Bayou Chico was a productive spawning and nursing area for fish, shrimp, crab, and oysters. Present day, not so much. The Bayou Chico Watershed Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) is a sweet suite of projects that are intended to compliment the efforts of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to restore the Bayou.
You’ve probably heard and/or participated in the name calling (“Bayou Stinko” is a local favorite), but do you know how it got that way? Prior to 1971, there were no fewer than eight wastewater facilities discharging directly into Bayou Chico. That combined with a long history of industrial pollution and untreated stormwater runoff made for a bad brew. What’s a Bayou to do?
One of many projects that are currently underway to tackle this decades-old problem is the “R” Street at Maggie’s Ditch Stormwater Enhancement Project. This project will capture and provide an element of treatment for stormwater runoff from approximately 225 acres of developed properties that are currently discharging untreated runoff directly into Maggie’s Ditch, a manmade wetland tributary that discharges to the headwaters of eastern Bayou Chico. The project includes an underground treatment unit that will remove an estimated 50% of total suspended solids and debris/floatables prior to runoff entering Maggie’s Ditch. It is estimated that this system will remove approximately 20 tons (TONS!!) of solids annually that would otherwise end up in Maggie’s Ditch, and, ultimately, Bayou Chico. That’s one environmentally-friendly cover up! The project will also serve to protect the already completed Maggie’s Ditch Wetland Enhancement Phase I and II projects identified in the restoration plan. The icing on the cake? The improvements will include park amenities that benefit the surrounding community! The cost of the project is just under $600,000. Talk about bang for your buck!
- Construction of park amenities anticipated for completion in 1st quarter 2018
Williams Industrial and Marine Inc.
City Staff Project Contact
Email Brad Hinote
Photos of site and construction progress
Funded from fines from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill as part of the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund managed by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation