SWIM Program Adds Projects on Hillsborough River
In recognition of the need to place additional emphasis on the restoration, protection and management of the surface water resources of the State, the Florida Legislature, through the Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) Act of 1987, directed the state's water management districts to "design and implement plans and programs for the improvement and management of surface water" (Section 373.451, F.S.). The SWIM legislation requires the water management districts to protect the ecological, aesthetic, recreational, and economic value of the state's surface water bodies, keeping in mind that water quality degradation is frequently caused by point and non-point source pollution, and that degraded water quality can cause both direct and indirect losses of habitats. This program has a long history of successful projects within the Hillsborough River Corridor.
The Hillsborough River Interlocal Planning Board's Technical Advisory Council recently received a presentation outlining three new projects that will benefit the River from Ms. Stephanie Powers of the Southwest Water Management District's SWIM program. The first project is River Tower Park. Part of the property adjacent to the River will become a stormwater pond. The large watershed in this area currently discharges directly to the river without treatment. Construction of this stormwater pond is expected to greatly improve water quality in the River. The second project at Water Works Park in Tampa will restore the shoreline and spring run. This project is being completed as a partnership between the City of Tampa and the non-profit Ecosphere organization. The third project, scheduled for 2013, will remove exotic invasive plants, as much turf grass as possible, and plant native plant species at Roger's Park Golf Course. Ponds may also be reconfigured to provide better habitat and water treatment.
Source: River News, an eNewsletter from the Hillsborough River Interlocal Planning Board and Hillsborough County-City County Planning Commission