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Water-Related News

UF scientists to study stormwater pond benefits

Ponds in Manatee and St. Lucie Counties will be studied

Stormwater ponds are ubiquitous in the urban and suburban Florida landscape, with more than 70,000 such ponds in the state. Developers and urban planners use stormwater ponds to capture storm runoff and prevent flooding and erosion, but they can also provide other benefits, such as reducing pollution and enhancing community aesthetics and property values. These other benefits, and how they interact with each other, are not well understood.

That’s why starting this month, a team of researchers at the University of Florida will embark on a multi-year project to evaluate stormwater ponds’ environmental, social and economic benefits, collectively called ecosystem services. A nearly $1.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation will fund the effort.

The project team includes ecologists, water quality and algae scientists, social scientists, economists and Extension agents. This diversity of approaches will help the team generate a comprehensive picture of stormwater ponds’ benefits to people and the environment.