River Oaks Preserve Stormwater Park
The River Oaks community is bounded on the north by the South Fork of the New River, on the east by SW 15th Avenue, on the south by State Road 84 and on the west by I-95. This community is one of the oldest in the City of Fort Lauderdale and has been subject to repetitive flooding due to prior development that did not include stormwater control and the blockage of an outfall that historically drained the area. The City of Fort Lauderdale has purchased the River Oaks Preserve parcel to alleviate flooding in the area and create a passive stormwater park. In addition, the City, in conjunction with the Florida Department of Transportation, desires to relocate the nearby historic railroad bridge to span a created water or wetland feature. The project was to assist the City with the required environmental consulting services that included wetland delineation, permitting with the County, State and USACE, tree survey and associated reports, wetland design for the passive stormwater park and evaluation of recommendations for funding sources.
Ms. Colbert managed this project which included delineating the forested and herbaceous wetland areas within the 9.1-acre parcel, and performing a functional assessment of the wetlands using the Uniform Mitigation Assessment Method. Ms. Colbert led the tree survey in accordance with City of Fort Lauderdale permitting standards. This information was used in the master site planning and permitting to preserve and enhance existing forested wetlands on site and restore herbaceous wetlands to a filter marsh community. The land will be designed and permitted for storage and treatment of stormwater flows to the New River, thus it will both improve stormwater quality and alleviate flooding. Additionally, the forested wetland on the property will be preserved and other portions of the property will be designed with enhanced wetland areas. This will not only serve to recharge the Biscayne Aquifer, but also reduce the amount of stormwater discharge to the New River during typical rain events. Developing the stormwater infrastructure on this parcel will allow for development of a regional facility that will provide water quality benefits while reducing flooding in the River Oaks neighborhood.
From the personal portfolio of Gisele Colbert