Florida Recycling Partnership Foundation Presents Environmental Stewardship Award to National Stormwater Trust for Its Port Tampa Bay Smart Pond

Smart Stormwater Pond Prevented 175,000+ Cubic Feet of Untreated Stormwater From Flowing Into Tampa Bay During Hurricane Ian

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (November 22, 2022) – State-of-the art ‘Smart Pond’ stormwater technology installed earlier this year adjacent to Port Tampa Bay was recently honored with the Environmental Stewardship Award from the Florida Recycling Partnership Foundation for safely capturing and preventing over 175,000 cubic feet of untreated stormwater from flowing into Tampa Bay during Hurricane Ian.

Award recipient National Stormwater Trust, Inc. (NST) primarily focuses its Smart Ponds on improving water quality. But when a storm the size of Hurricane Ian turns towards Florida, NST’s objectives shift to protecting communities and the environment from the flooding impacts of stormwater.

Prior to Hurricane Ian making landfall, the Tampa Bay area Smart Pond (State Road 45/1701 Maritime Blvd.) was lowered by almost four feet to provide extra storage capacity. This allowed for the capture of over 175,000 cubic feet of untreated stormwater, preventing it from flooding homes and businesses in the area and from flowing into Tampa Bay.

“This technology is creating a better net gain for the environment, with more nitrogen treatment, and is increasing the amount of usable space for Port Tampa Bay,” Port Tampa Bay Environmental Director Christopher Cooley said about NST Smart Ponds. “Port Tampa Bay is a leading supporter of this environmentally-friendly innovation.”


Most Floridians are familiar with a traditional stormwater pond. They are all around us in residential communities, commercial and business districts, airports, seaports and similar developments. Traditional ponds hold rain and stormwater runoff. However, in large storms, these ponds often overflow and flood the surrounding area with untreated stormwater.

The latest innovation in stormwater management is to connect a pond to live weather forecast data and use that information to project water levels and, if necessary, automatically lower its water level before a storm arrives. While the sun is still shining, an NST Smart Pond can actively drain itself to increase its flood storage capacity while in constant communication with professional stormwater managers who can oversee its performance and even remotely control the pond. These are exactly the steps that National Stormwater Trust engineers took in advance of Hurricane Ian’s landfall.

Florida Recycling Award Details

“Improving stormwater quality is our primary goal, but during tropical events, it becomes a life and safety imperative to capture dangerous runoff so that it doesn’t harm Floridians, communities and our natural resources,” said Jeff Littlejohn, National Stormwater Trust Co-Founder. “We’re honored to receive the Environmental Stewardship Award, and look forward to helping more communities connect to this cutting-edge technology.”

The Florida Recycling Partnership Foundation annually recognizes companies, organizations and government entities that have made a significant impact in recycling, as well as water reuse, energy efficiency, sustainability and environmental stewardship. The award was presented during a ceremony at the Florida Capitol on November 18.


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ABOUT NATIONAL STORMWATER TRUST: Providing public and private organizations with unparalleled stormwater infrastructure solutions and improving water quality for the communities we serve. Visit us at www.NationalStormwater.com.


Second Port Tampa Bay Smart Pond to Benefit New Port Redwing Development

On the heels of U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s recent visit to Port Tampa Bay as part of the Building a Better America Tour, the National Stormwater Trust (NST) is pleased to announce that it will continue strengthening water quality and flood resiliency in Tampa Bay with the second in a program of Smart Pond installations.

Port Tampa Bay is a recipient of a REACH Grant to help build a new berth at Port Redwing that will add capacity, increase efficiency, create hundreds of local jobs and strengthen supply chains at one of the country’s busiest ports.

As part of the port’s ongoing stormwater management program, NST will install a Smart Pond in an existing Florida Department of Transportation stormwater pond adjacent to State Road 676, which connects through canal to Tampa Bay.

By utilizing an FDOT Smart Pond from NST, Port Tampa Bay can ensure that 100 percent of its available land for tenants can be used to meet the new berth needs at Port Redwing. The Port is also ensuring it meets its goal of protecting Tampa Bay, since the project will have a net water quality benefit.

Port Tampa Bay Environmental Director Christopher Cooley sees in Smart Ponds a middle ground between conventional ponds that take up lots of land and expensive vaults that store lots of water. He also sees an option that could have other benefits for the port, such as opening up valuable acreage.

“This technology is creating a better net gain for the environment with more nitrogen treatment, and is increasing the amount of usable space for Port Tampa Bay,” Cooley explained.

In locations where the port is expanding and land values are high, the smaller-footprint Spart Ponds free up needed space for product and materials, which is another strategy to help ease ongoing supply chain issues.

“We get more space for less dollars in our high, heavy-load areas,” Cooley says.