Watershed Management: Watershed Planning
Starkey Basin Watershed
The Starkey Basin watershed is located in central Pinellas County and encompasses approximately 7,412 acres. The area is comprised of various land uses, including several large golf courses, a landfill, high-density residential development, including many large mobile home communities, and heavy commercial and industrial land uses that discharge directly into the Lake Seminole Bypass Canal (LSBC). In general stormwater runoff flows in a southerly direction into the LSBC and ultimately into Long Bayou and Boca Ciega Bay. Due to a history of poor water quality and flooding concerns in the Starkey Basin a Watershed Management Plan was initiated in February 2008. The LSBC is a man-made conveyance canal built in the 1970s and runs approximately eight miles. The canal typically has slow water flow that may be a contributing factor to the poor water quality in the canal.
The management plan includes five major elements:
Implementing elements of the watershed management program with local governments is one of the Comprehensive Watershed Management (CWM) initiative strategies. The watershed management program provides a method to evaluate the capacity of a watershed to protect, enhance, and restore water quality and natural systems, while achieving flood protection, and measure the effectiveness of the strategies and goals of the CWM initiative to reach the desired watershed condition through data analysis, modeling, projection, evaluation and decision.
The watershed management plan will be used as a tool in the planning, regulation, and management of the Starkey Basin Watershed for future development and as a basis for determining and prioritizing capital improvements. The extent of the study area is generally defined as the Bypass Canal and those lands draining to it.
This objective will be met in part by conducting an analysis of the watershed to characterize the existing conditions and recommend improvements for flood protection, natural systems, habitat, water quality, erosion control, public awareness and involvement, and regulatory control.