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Stormwater management in a changing Florida Panhandle
Proceedings of the 2023 Mississippi Water Resources Conference
Year: 2023 Authors: Albertin A., Stevenson C., Bean E., Deitch M., Reisinger A.J.
The Florida Panhandle has the highest average total rainfall in the state (65"), with average totals increasing in recent years. Limited and aging stormwater management has led to legacy water quality and flooding problems across the region. A need exists for local leaders and stakeholders to better understand how development occurs, its impact on hydrology and water quality, and solutions to mitigate impacts. We developed a regional stormwater education program to build technical capacity among stakeholders to incorporate sustainable stormwater management practices. Our audience includes municipal employees, extension faculty, professional engineers, landscape architects, and residents. We held an in-person stormwater management workshop in 2019 (22 attendees), and 2-part webinar series in 2020 (83 attendees), 2021 (136 attendees), and 2022 (101 attendees). In 2021 and 2022, participants received professional CEU's. Topics taught included hydrology and pollutant load dynamics, green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) and maintenance, low impact development (LID), permitting, planning tools, local case studies, and funding opportunities. Post-workshop 5-month follow-up surveys indicate that attendees are using the information they learn at work and several have modified decisions related to stormwater management based on what they have learned. The annual increase in participation and enthusiasm from stormwater professionals, along with innovative projects designed in local municipalities shows that these workshops are achieving our initial objectives. We are currently planning our 2023 workshop series.