The Coral Bay Community Council (CBCC) has announced the receipt of a $67,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Coral Reef Conservation Fund and its funding partner, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The purpose of the grant is to continue efforts over the next 18 months to reduce turbidity affecting Coral Bay marine habitats by constructing stormwater best management practices (BMPs), such as stabilization of dirt roads, vegetated swales, water bars and road paving in several neighborhoods in cooperation with local homeowners.
The grant commits CBCC to a one-to-one match of in-kind funds, including volunteer services, donations and partner activities, for a project with a total effort of over $134,000. Work will be accomplished during the next year.
An orientation meeting on the project is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 2, at the John’s Folly Learning Institute as part of CBCC’s Forum series. Everyone is invited to attend, especially those in the neighborhoods listed below that are eligible for projects under this grant.
Last spring a call went out to all Coral Bay neighborhoods concerned about their watershed’s drainage to bring their problem and their willingness to help find and fund solutions to CBCC. Their grant applications would show their willingness to participate and make it possible to get the grant. Six neighborhoods came forward: Gerda Marsh Road, Johnny Horn Trail, Fortsberg Road, Calabash Boom Road, Freeman’s Ground and Flanagan’s Passage access road. These neighborhoods are eligible to participate in receiving the primary engineering expertise and assistance if they are willing to take primary responsibility for installation costs of the BMPs.
Other neighborhoods can also ask for design assistance in their watersheds and on their roads in order to become eligible through this process for future, financial grant assistance.
There will also be an opportunity to learn about plastic cellular soil stabilization systems for dirt roads, known as Geoweb ™, and to make a group purchase for various additional community project areas.
The Coral Bay Community Council’s (CBCC’s) conservation goal is to improve water quality by returning sediment runoff to natural levels and ensuring that all development proceeds in an environmentally friendly manner. Past and current efforts to address this issue include partnering with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and NOAA to implement a series of measures to minimize sedimentation. To date, CBCC has implemented aspects of 7 out of 11 objectives from the 2008 Watershed Management Plan (WMP) using EPA and NOAA grant funds and financial support from other partners.
Very significantly, CBCC’s EPA Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) and NOAA American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) projects demonstrated how new techniques could be used locally, including bio-retention basins, swales, and waterbars to direct water flow and effectively reduce sediment-laden runoff into Coral Bay and onto fragile coral reef habitat. While these efforts have demonstrated great progress towards sedimentation reduction, additional targeted watershed restoration actions are still needed and will yield more benefits. Residents and homeowners continually ask us whether we can find more grant funds to proceed with these improvements and indicate a willingness to provide matching funds.
The Project Overview is available at http://1drv.ms/1BwxWUt
CBCC’s office (across from the Coral Bay fire station) is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday-Friday. CBCC encourages people to stop by the office to discuss the project and volunteer to assist. People can also contact CBCC at 776-2099 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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