Additional Resources for the Crystal Beach Drainage and Roadway Improvements

Stormwater Elements

Stormwater improvements include a network of inlets, pipes and swales (shallow ditches) that collect and carry stormwater runoff away from homes, yards and streets and provide treatment before discharging to coastal waters. This plan replaces existing deep ditches with either swales or swales over pipe which will improve stormwater management as well as roadway safety.

Bioswales that are designed to receive and treat stormwater runoff before discharging to St. Joseph’s Sound or Avery Bayou are proposed along the South Gulf Drive right-of-way and along some roadways. Bioswales provide infiltration, conveyance and treatment of stormwater runoff and are designed to return to dry conditions 72 hours after rainfall. Bio-sorption Activated Media (BAM), a soil amendment technology composed of natural and recycled materials, may also be utilized in the bioswales to provide enhanced pollutant removal. An optional project element is grassed swales or swales planted with Florida-Friendly vegetation. Input from the community will better define the number, type, extents and locations of swales.

Roadway Elements

Roadway improvements include repaving for paved roads that have not recently been resurfaced. Paving of shell roads is optional and will be determined by the homeowners along the road segment.

Typical roadway sections show the proposed width for paved and shell roads as well as potential combinations of grassed and planted swales. Existing trees in the right-of-way will be retained whenever practicable.

Other Elements

Additional needs such as utility improvements may also be identified through the Project Development and Preliminary Engineering Study phases.

Conceptual Plan

The conceptual plan for stormwater and roadway improvements in the project area are depicted at the bottom of the Project Status page. The proposed infrastructure shown is conceptual and will be refined in the Preliminary Engineering Study phase and through public input.

Separate Living Shoreline – Optional Project

Separate from the conceptual plan described above is an option to create a living shoreline consisting of an oyster reef. The purpose of the reef is to provide erosion protection and shoreline stabilization that will also facilitate the establishment of new wetland grass communities along the shoreline. The reef and tidal marsh would provide ecological benefits, habitat, foraging areas and sanctuary for wildlife as well as improved water quality conditions along Crystal Beach.

Materials used for the living shoreline oyster reef consist of marine-friendly concrete domes and oyster shell bags. Domes will be placed in approximately two feet of water for optimal growing conditions: mostly exposed at low tide and totally submerged at high tide. Behind the domes, mesh bags with mined shell or locally sourced shells will be placed. Native wetland grasses will be planted behind the reef to provide additional stabilization, reduce pollutant loads and provide habitat for wildlife.

The size, extent and location of the living shoreline would be determined by input from the Crystal Beach community.