Let’s put the “GREEN” into flood control! Create structures to mimic natural water filtration processes, use natural wildlife habitat (such as Panama City crayfish lands) and absorb flood waters via “Green Street Practices”—a term deemed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (https://www.epa.gov). Permitting and financial incentives at the County and City levels can inspire developers and homeowners to use permeable parking lots, rain gardens (also called bioretention/filtration), bio or vegetative retention swales. Initially we recommend setting the tone by retrofitting City and County Buildings with such features with Green Street Practices but moving towards integration at a County-wide level is ideal especially with new developments.
Protecting St Andrews’ Bay via reducing stormwater runoff wrought with contaminants and debris, direct ties to the health of our economy via improved fishing experiences, water activities, wildlife (dolphins, sea turtles, bird life), visual attractiveness, and our overall quality of life. Reducing the quantity of treated water also saves money.
Specifically Green Street Practices will:
1) Protect St Andrew Bay Recreational and Fishing Industry;
2) Reduce localized flooding events;
3) Improve Water Quality for all Bay County Citizens;
4) Reduce quantities of treated water;
5) Reduce Water Consumption;
6) Provide parks, trails and other passive recreation opportunities similar to Conservation Park on Panama City Beach;
7) reduced costs to the community by reducing water treatment costs;
8)Improved health and aesthetics,
9) improved economic standing.