Native Florida plants could be part of the solution to state's flooding, water quality problems
Researchers at Stetson University have received one million dollars from the National Science Foundation to help stop flooding and improve water quality in Cape Canaveral.
The City of Cape Canaveral, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and Stetson University, along with city and county partners are working on the flooding solution.
Stetson researcher Jason Evans says that includes designing and building special channels called bioswales in Cape Canaveral’s Veterans Memorial Park.
Evans said these channels help to redirect stormwater that would cause flooding.
“We're going to plant it with native plants, with water-friendly plants. So it's going to be really beautiful," said Evans. "But it's designed to store and to treat a lot of the stormwater that otherwise is running down the street and would go off into the lagoon.”
Citizen volunteers and Stetson undergraduates will help monitor their progress.
“We're gonna have some planting days where we're going to plant native plants, and so the citizens can be involved in those activities," said Evans. "And then we're gonna have workshops just to kind of explain, hopefully, in layman's terms, what we're doing and why we're doing it and why it's important.”
Evans says if all goes well, the bioswales should help clean up the Indian River Lagoon, and could be implemented in other areas of the state where the threat of coastal flooding is high.
The lagoon has faced several challenges in the last few years including algal blooms, brown tides, and manatee die-offs.