The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) awarded the City of Cocoa $888,000 to fund two projects that will result in a reduction of about 2,500 pounds of nitrogen and 450 pounds of phosphorus per year to the Indian River Lagoon (IRL).
The first project is the US1 and Forrest Avenue Stormwater Facility which will improve the quality of stormwater runoff by excavating the stormwater pond in this area and installing a Bioactivated Media (BAM) underdrain filtration system to prevent infiltration of water in the area. This new system will treat effluent from the adjacent drainage basin and reduce infiltration in the immediate area. Nutrient loads will be addressed by filtering them through the BAM system to reduce nitrogen and phosphorous prior to discharge to the Indian River Lagoon. Implementation of the proposed project will capture approximately 94.3 pounds of nitrogen and 12.4 pounds of phosphorus per year from the drainage basin that discharges to the stormwater pond.
The second project is the installation of floating wetlands at the North Fiske stormwater pond. This project includes the installation and harvesting of floating wetlands at the North Fiske stormwater pond (the larger southern pond). It is located south of Michigan Ave. and just west of US 1. The funds will cover the cost of the installation of 48,000 SF of floating wetlands and three (3) years of harvesting and testing. These floating mats serve as a type of wetland, except the plants are suspended on artificial mats that create a sort of hydroponic environment that may be adapted to the needs of each specific project. Floating wetlands can improve water quality of stormwater runoff and manage watershed nutrients, as well as treatment of wastewater and other industrial contaminants. Other benefits are the various aesthetic possibilities as a result of the great adaptability of the technology as well as provide habitats for many native aquatic and terrestrial species.
All projects selected by FEDP as part of their ARPA funding to help save the IRL total $19,590,888.