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Stormwater Case Studies Search Results

Case Study Location: Florida: Hillsborough County

Case Study Title: Volunteer Adopt-A-Pond Maintenance Program

Minimum Control Measure: Post-construction stormwater management in new development and redevelopment

Pond in Hillsborough County, FloridaThe Adopt-A-Pond program helps citizens learn to maintain their neighborhood ponds by providing them with the resources and expertise they need to successfully do so. The program is sponsored by the Hillsborough County, Florida, Stormwater Management Section, which provides education, guidance, pond cleanups, and aquatic plants for citizen groups that adopt ponds.

Location: Florida: Hillsborough County
Annual Rainfall: 55 inches
Population: 834,054
Year the Program Started: 1991

Contact Information:

John McGee
Hillsborough County Public Works Engineering Division Specialized Services Exit EPA Site
2420 N Falkenburg Rd
Tampa, FL 33619
Phone: (813) 744-5671  


Pond in Hillsborough County, Florida Through the Adopt-A-Pond program, Hillsborough County, Florida, uses volunteers to inspect and maintain regional stormwater management facilities. The program is also used as a way to educate residents about nonpoint source pollution, wildlife, and native plants. Effective design and regular maintenance of stormwater management facilities is necessary to allow the facilities to operate properly and remove pollutants. Hillsborough County Adopt-A-Pond improves the appearance, water quality, and habitat of neighborhood stormwater ponds. The program's goals are to work with citizen volunteers to reduce neighborhood pollution, increase pond habitat, reduce litter, mark stormdrains, increase citizen awareness of stormwater impacts, and improve pond treatment functions. Citizens become involved in the program through county staff referrals and public outreach.

The education and communication portion of the program produces the Adopt-A-Pond website, pamphlet, information booklet, and quarterly newsletter. Participants receive an Adopt-A-Pond Notebook, aquatic plant identification material, a neighborhood sign, waders, aquatic plants for planting, a Pond Management Plan Workbook, and county staff support. They can attend neighborhood meetings, Pond Walks, and an annual pond seminar and can receive annual awards. The county also provides an online mapping tool to allow participating groups to locate their pond and post pictures of the work they've done.

To get started in the program, interested citizens form a pond group to adopt a pond in their neighborhood. Once the group is formed, the members sign an Adopt-A-Pond Agreement and promise to maintain the facility for 3 years. The group also agrees to abide by the criteria outlined in the program's policies and procedures. At the end of the 3 years, they can renew their agreement. Each group receives one free vegetation removal provided by the county and $600 worth of native plants during the initial stages of the project. At the end of a 6-month review period, the group can request up to $300 worth of additional plants. Groups that fulfill all requirements for the program are also eligible to continue to receive up to $200 worth of plants per year.

Pond in Hillsborough County, Florida During the project, the group is required to submit quarterly reports. The county provides pond sampling forms, wildlife inspection checklists, workday reports, inspection checklists, and storm drain tracking forms for groups to use. These forms can be filled out by hand (in hard copy) or submitted online. The county's quarterly newsletter details interesting projects, educational opportunities, and news from the county. In addition, citizens can request presentations by a stormwater ecologist or an appearance by Officer Snook, the county's stormwater education mascot (a fish).

The county has 274 ponds that are adopted, and 83 are actively being monitored and managed.

Additional Materials Related to this Case Study:

Additional Resources and Tools for this Minimum Control Measure

EPA presents this case study as an example to which Phase I and Phase II municipal stormwater programs can refer as they develop their own stormwater programs. Although EPA has reviewed the case studies, they should not be considered officially endorsed by the Agency and are not intended to represent full compliance with EPA’s stormwater Phase II minimum control measures. Each community must decide on the appropriate BMPs necessary to meet its unique permit requirements and local conditions.

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Last updated on June 08, 2007 9:09 AM