Pinellas County awarded $28.6 million for environmental resilience projects

Projects include utilities water and wastewater system improvements and living shoreline at Phillippe Park

Pinellas County has been awarded $28.6 million in grant funding for three environmental resilience projects, Governor Ron DeSantis announced yesterday in Dunedin.

Part of the State’s Resilient Florida Grant Program, the awards are three of 113 new grants across the state. The program aims to prepare coastal and inland communities for the impacts of flooding and storm surge.

The grants will help fund wastewater system improvements at 15 mobile home park communities, upgrade four critical water and wastewater facilities, and implement a living shoreline installation at Phillippe Park in Safety Harbor. Pinellas County contributed $6.9 million in local match funds toward two of the projects.

“Pinellas County is committed to a more resilient community,” said Pinellas County Utilities Director Megan Ross. “The funds received from the Resilient Florida Grant Program will be put to great use and will further our strategic initiative to foster a sustainable and resilient community through projects that strengthen infrastructure and improve water quality for the benefit of our residents.”

“These projects are aligned with Pinellas County’s goal to foster a sustainable and resilient community that is prepared for sea level rise and a changing climate,” said Pinellas County Public Works Director Kelli Hammer Levy. “We thank the state for supporting us on this journey and look forward to collaborating on more projects in the future.”

The City of Gulfport and the City of Treasure Island were also awarded funding for living shoreline projects. The full list of projects awarded yesterday can be found here

Details on Pinellas County’s projects can be found below:

Mobile Home Park Wastewater Collection System Improvements – $25 million awarded
Pinellas County will upgrade wastewater collection system infrastructure at 15 mobile home park communities in the Lake Seminole and LeaIman areas. The project will help prevent stormwater from entering the Pinellas County wastewater system, reduce sanitary sewer overflows, and lessen flood impacts to communities and local water bodies.

Utilities Reliability Improvements – $3.4 million awarded
This project will make four key water and wastewater facilities more resilient to Category 4 and higher storms. Pinellas County Utilities will upgrade the facilities to withstand flood and wind damage to ensure critical services do not get interrupted during hurricanes and other natural disasters.

Philippe Park Living Shoreline – $129,200 awarded
For the past two years, Pinellas County has been working on a living shoreline project at Philippe Park to increase resiliency to storm surge, enhance wildlife habitat and educate park visitors about coastal resiliency. The new grant will fund the installation of nine oyster reef barriers to reduce erosion along 800 linear feet of coastline and provide additional habitat for oysters in Old Tampa Bay. This project will serve as a demonstration to encourage similar work to protect our coastal resources throughout the County.