Restore the Watershed
Image from Escambia County Community and Media Relations

Community Invited to “Restore the Watershed” Open House on May 2

Escambia County and the City of Pensacola are seeking the public’s input and comments on 15 proposed improvements to Carpenter Creek and Bayou Texar. The community is invited to attend a “Restore the Watershed” project open house on Monday, May 2 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Bayview Community Center, 2000 E. Lloyd St.

This event is free and open to the public. Residents are encouraged to register online, but registration is not required. Following a brief presentation from the project team, attendees will be breaking into small groups to discuss the concept plans and give feedback.

Since 2020, Escambia County has been working with a team of consultants led by Wood Environment & Infrastructure, Inc. to develop the Carpenter Creek & Bayou Texar Watershed Management Plan (WMP). Funded by a federal RESTORE grant, the WMP will provide a roadmap for improving water quantity and quality, fish and wildlife habitat, public access and recreation, and community resiliency across the watershed.

The Watershed team has been reviewing water quality data, assessing the flow and volume of Carpenter Creek and Bayou Texar, investigating options to improve the watershed, and developing proposed projects for the public to help evaluate.

Through analysis, modeling, and previous public engagement, the WMP Team has selected 15 key potential project sites throughout the watershed and developed a concept plan for each site. Of the 15 sites, three will be chosen as catalytic sites and designed in more detail. Collectively, these sites have the potential to improve the current and future state of the watershed.

This event will be an opportunity for the community to provide additional feedback on those proposals, as well as help choose the top three catalytic projects, which will be planned and designed in further detail.

Escambia County District 4 Commissioner Robert Bender, whose district includes the entire watershed, noted that the plan and improvements were part of a long-term community effort to protect and enhance the environment and waterways.

“We’re a community that was started, sustained, and thrives because of our connection to the water. Protecting and preserving these resources, from the beach to the bays and the waterways that feed them are important for our future. The Carpenter Creek and Bayou Texar Watershed Management Plan will be the roadmap for specific improvements in those waterways toward a cleaner, healthier, more resilient community,” Commissioner Bender said.

Mayor Grover Robinson, Commissioner Bender’s predecessor on the County Commission and a long-time advocate for the RESTORE project funding, said the event is an opportunity to help reshape the Watershed for generations to come.

“Like many people, I grew up around Carpenter’s Creek and in parts of Pensacola that used to be undeveloped woodlands. Our community’s growth over the past several decades has impacted the creek and bayou, and these 15 projects can help us repair and restore this waterway. I hope the citizens will take time to share their opinions and help protect this watershed for generations to come,” Mayor Robinson said.

For more information, please contact the Watershed Team at team@restorethewatershed.com.

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