News Release: Public Information Office, 850-983-5254
Example of a rain barrel

UF/IFAS to hold free green infrastructure workshops


Residents can learn about practices aimed at mitigating flood risks and improving water quality at two community workshops, co-hosted by University of Florida (UF) faculty and Santa Rosa County Extension.

“Low-impact development and ‘green infrastructure’ are ways to improve communities’ resiliency to wet-weather impacts,” said Eban Bean, an assistant professor of urban water resources at UF in Gainesville. “Features such as rain gardens, vegetative swales, permeable pavement, green roofs and rain barrels can be designed to reduce flooding and improve water quality.”
 
Two workshops hosted in October will take place in Gulf Breeze and Milton from 6-7:15 p.m. UF/IFAS Extension and research faculty have partnered with the counties’ staff to educate the public and gain feedback on implementing such strategies in the area. Workshops will occur on:
  • Tues., Oct. 1 - Tiger Point Community Center, 1370 Tiger Park Lane in Gulf Breeze
  • Thurs., Oct. 10 - University of Florida at Pensacola State College Milton Campus, 5988 Highway 90 in Milton, Building 4900
Bean and Matthew Deitch, an assistant professor of watershed management at the UF/IFAS West Florida Research and Education Center in Milton, will lead the discussions about urban runoff and water quality in the Panhandle as well as describe how green infrastructure has been used throughout Florida to benefit communities.
 
After the educational sessions, participants can provide input on places where flooding is common and where water quality is impaired. This feedback will help decide areas where researchers will collect runoff and water quality data for the next two years and test the benefits of green infrastructure on flooding and water quality using computer simulations. Results will be shared at future workshops and guide future projects to reduce flooding and improve water quality in Santa Rosa County.
 
Online registration is recommended at freeworkshop.eventbrite.com. The first 50 attendees at each meeting will receive an emergency rain poncho. For more information, contact Matt Deitch at (850) 983-7131 or mdeitch@ufl.edu.

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Photo labeled for reuse with credit to Carrie Stevenson, UF/IFAS Extension
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