Board votes to fund projects to help reduce flooding in Tarpon Woods

News Release

The "Southwest Florida Water Management District's(Southwest Florida Water Management District)":/ "Pinellas-Anclote River Basin Board(Pinellas-Anclote River Basin Board)":/about/basinboards/pinellas-anclote.php voted Oct. 6 to fund three projects to help reduce flooding in East Lake's Tarpon Woods subdivision.

The cost of the $1.9 million in projects will be funded equally by the Pinellas-Anclote River Basin Board and "Pinellas County(Pinellas County Goverment)":

Pinellas County requested funding for the projects outside the typical funding cycle to provide some flooding relief to the community before the next rainy season. The Tarpon Woods area, which has historically experienced flooding problems, experienced flooding again this summer. The projects funded by the Board include:

* Maintaining channels between Ridgemoor and Tarpon Woods boulevards, including removing sandbars, vegetation and downed trees hindering flow in the creek. The $500,000 project should improve flood protection in the Tarpon Woods area during the typical afternoon rainfall event, and could begin early next year.

* Filling ditches, constructing small overflow dams, and adding culverts to better manage water levels and maintain or restore historic flow paths in "Brooker Creek Preserve(Brooker Creek Preserve)": Design and permitting for this $226,000 project is expected to be completed by the end of 2011, with construction starting in 2012.

* Increasing the capacity of the Toniwoods Lane South outfall system by replacing existing pipes with larger sizes. The $1.2 million project should reduce the severity of flooding in the Toniwoods area of Tarpon Woods. Construction is expected to be completed sometime in 2012 or 2013.

The District completed the Brooker Creek Watershed Management Plan in July, which identified projects that would improve the hydrology of wetlands in the Brooker Creek Preserve and provide additional flood protection in the Tarpon Woods area. District scientists created a computer model for the Brooker Creek watershed, an area covering approximately 46 square miles in Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties. District staff presented the results of the project to the Board at the Oct. 6 meeting.

A "watershed(Watersheds)":/education/watersheds/ is a geographic area from which water in a particular stream, lake, or estuary originates. All lands in the watershed drain toward a stream, lake, or bay and contribute pollutants to these waters. A "watershed management plan(Watershed Management Program)":/projects/wmp/ offers solutions for reducing flooding and improving water quality within a watershed based on a comprehensive evaluation of the watershed's historical and existing features.

The "Pinellas-Anclote River Basin Board(Pinellas-Anclote River Basin Board)":/about/basinboards/pinellas-anclote.php area includes Pinellas County and the southern portion of "Pasco County(Pasco County Government)": The District has seven regional "Basin Boards(Basin Boards)":/about/basinboards/ that provide guidance for local programs that are specific to the watershed basins they protect. The District's eighth basin, the Green Swamp, is administered by the "Governing Board(Governing Board)":/about/governingboard. Basin Boards work with local governments and other entities on water resource projects that have an impact in local communities. Basin Boards often provide partial funding for these projects in partnership with a local government or local cooperator.

Basin Board members are unpaid citizen volunteers appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. They serve three-year staggered terms. Each of the Basin Boards includes a minimum of one person from each county within the basin, and there must be at least three members on each Board. Each Basin Board has at least one of the 13 members of the District's Governing Board that serves as the Board's co-chair.