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.