Healthy Ponds = Healthy Bays
The Healthy Pond Collaborative (HPC) is a consortium of local non-profit organizations, the government, UF/IFAS Extension, and neighborhoods with a mission to improve local water quality by focusing on healthy pond management through Sarasota County. With funding from the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation, HPC has gained momentum by educating communities on best practices for stormwater pond management and providing grants to plant native Florida plants in community ponds.
With over 6,600 ponds in Sarasota County that consistently impact red tide, water quality, and our groundwater supply, there’s a new initiative taking place in residential communities: stormwater pond education and enhancement. Healthy stormwater ponds have several key components that are often overlooked, but when implemented correctly can save homeowners thousands of dollars and drastically improve water quality.
Funded by the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation in September 2021, the HPC has facilitated over 11 miles of shoreline plantings throughout 27 ponds in the county, and that number is growing. Equally crucial to restoring ponds across Sarasota County, HPC has created a guide to help individuals and Homeowners Associations restore their ponds. The “Healthy Ponds Guide: The Essential Guide to Establishing and Maintaining Healthy Neighborhood Stormwater Ponds in Southwest Florida,” walks readers through the step-by-step process of reclaiming their stormwater pond and managing it effectively. You can download the manual at healthyponds.org.
Stormwater Ponds do not meet state pollution reduction criteria
As Florida continues to grow and build, managing stormwater runoff to minimize property flooding and protect water quality becomes ever more important. Most of the rain that falls on developed areas will be captured by one of Florida's 76,000+ stormwater ponds designed and built for managing stormwater. How well these stormwater ponds capture and treat polluted water depends on how well they are managed. Every property owner and tenant has a role in protecting water quality.
Working with a group of stakeholders, a community engagement program has been operating in Sarasota and Manatee Counties to bring to light pond management strategies that will reduce downstream pollution, build habitat, and protect shorelines from erosion. The Healthy Pond Collaborative has technical experts that can work with your community to build a strong stomwater pond management program that accomplishes these goals. Contact us for more information at [email protected].