Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wetland and BioSwale Creation in Floodplain Areas

Floodplain compensation based on storage volume typically must be the same for pre-development and post development conditions here in Florida.  That is unless your site is adjacent a tidal area.

Many times these 'dug holes' are simply dry, ugly holes in the ground.

However, by excavating the floodplain compensation area down a little deeper the end result can produce a beautiful, functioning wetland or BioSwale with immense benefit.

Since floodplain compensation credit is given for volumes created above seasonal high groundwater elevations, over excavation by a couple additional feet  ( one meter or so) can produce hydrology necessary for the functioning system.

The BioSwale pictured in the photo is located in central Florida.  It is created in a floodplain compensation area and is approximately two years old.

The beauty of this system is its capacity to clean water with plants and the habitat provided for endemic wildlife.

Yesterday we were reviewing success progress of plant establishment on the site and witnesses Sandhill cranes, deer, raccoons, alligators, fish, snipes, kestrels and other species using the created BioSwale.  Moreover, many of the aquatic plants were flowering.

Next time you design a project with floodplain compensation, consider over-excavating a little and creating a BioSwale.  Feel free to email us with questions.  Kevin.

BioSwale - Sustainable Stormwater

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