An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

Gulfport’s rain gardens reduce contaminated stormwater

Anyone who has lived in Florida for any period of time knows exactly how unpredictable rain can be. In a heartbeat, the day can go from sunny to a complete downpour. This creates a need for effective stormwater strategies.

In Gulfport, stormwater does not receive formal treatment. This means the stormwater holds onto all of the contaminants it picks up once it hits land. With improper management, contaminated water can find a way into bays, lakes, and saltwater used for fishing, irrigation, and swimming. To battle this issue, the City will create a new rain garden at Gulfport’s Beach Park. This project is a partnership between Gulfport’s Public Works, City Horticulturalist Toffer Ross, and the Suncoast Sierra Club.

What Is A Rain Garden?

A rain garden is an area where the ground is dug out to create a depression in the land. This hole is then filled back up with dirt and plants with long roots are planted. When it rains, water will naturally flow to this lower area, where the plants soak up the water. This will remove contaminants, and also reduce the overall amount of wastewater.

Note: The city's previous rain garden received the Golden Mangrove Award for best Tampa Bay Mini-Grant project of 2020.