The Old Palm City STA covers 1.68 acres and is divided into two sections by a stone and geofabric berm. The small forebay west of the berm was meant to contain fresh water, while the larger portion of the pond on the east side of the barrier receives salt water backwash during hurricanes and king tides. The County designed a system of floating treatment wetlands for each side to reduce nutrient discharges to the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon.
We installed 3,666 square feet of Beemats floating treatment wetlands in 2013, covering 5 % of the STA surface area. We replaced all of the floating islands in late 2016, replanting all of them with salt tolerant vegetation and beginning a semi-annual harvesting program, with laboratory analysis of nutrient removal efficiencies. Over the past five years (2017 – 2021), the Beemats Floating Wetlands have removed 1,029.97 pounds of nitrogen and 164.06 pounds of phosphorus from this STA, keeping that nutrient pollution out of the estuaries of Martin County.
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