The City of Cocoa was awarded a $40,000 matching grant from the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program to complete the final design for a proposed Water Quality Restoration Project at Dixon Blvd. and Indian River Dr. The proposed project would elevate Indian River Drive above the 100-year flood elevation, providing for transportation resiliency by reducing the likelihood of catastrophic flooding events due to storms and long-term sea-level rise. As part of this project, a second-generation nutrient removal filtration system (Baffle Box) would be incorporated, treating stormwater to remove nitrogen and phosphorus that makes it's way to the Indian River Lagoon. Reducing these nutrients helps decrease harmful algae blooms and reduces turbidity, allowing more sunlight to reach the river bottom, enhancing the opportunity for sea-grass growth. The Baffle Box will also help to capture debris and trash from entering the lagoon. Also included in this project will be a scenic look-out with educational information that educates and engages citizens and visitors to the area. This 50/50 match grant would allow the City of Cocoa to complete the final design for this project.
Each year the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program (IRLNEP) makes funding recommendations based on proposals they receive for water quality improvement projects. The IRLNEP prioritizes projects that address reduction or removal of excess nutrients and other contaminants from land-based or legacy sources.