DEP Awards $500K to City of West Palm Beach for Stormwater Improvements
Grant to Benefit Pineapple Park, Regional Water Supply
WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (July 12, 2017) – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has awarded the City of West Palm Beach $500,000 to fund stormwater improvements in Pineapple Park, an area that, historically, has been prone to flooding which has accounted for several repetitive loss claims over the past 30 years.
To address critical needs, the City of West Palm Beach has launched a comprehensive integrated water resources management program that is driven by its adopted Stormwater Master Plan. The Master Plan deemed the City’s Pineapple Park neighborhood as the highest priority area due to vulnerability to flooding.
The $3.5 million Pineapple Park Stormwater Improvement Project includes drainage improvements and operational planning with the South Florida Water Management District, as well as innovative water quality and urban canopy improvements.
“We are really pleased with this award from the state,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio. “The end result will be improved water quality, significantly reduced flooding, and a long-term aesthetic benefit to an area of West Palm Beach that is of great importance.”
The overall project entails the rehabilitation of approximately 3,500 linear feet of 30-inch vitrified clay pipe and the installation of four tidal valves along the Stubbs Canal. $500,000 of the stormwater project will be reserved for green infrastructure investments. Green infrastructure investments (low impact development) will provide water quality benefits to an area that drains to an impaired estuary and will heavily feature trees. By improving the urban canopy, the City will additionally provide stormwater treatment, further restore hydrology, and reduce heat island effects.
The project has received endorsements from the Pineapple Park Homeowner’s Association, Palm Beach County, and the City Watersheds Committee (citizen stormwater advisory), among others.
Pineapple Park is a 63-acre neighborhood which ultimately drains to the Lake Worth Lagoon. The neighborhood lacks stormwater treatments, and its businesses and homes have historically been prone to flooding. A significant portion of the City of West Palm Beach drains to the Lake Worth Lagoon, an impaired estuary of both economic and ecological significance. The Lagoon—key to the viability of South Florida’s future -- is the subject of intense regional study and restoration efforts.