The environment is deeply linked with this community’s economic prospects. Visit Pensacola, the area’s tourism development and promotion agency noted that the area’s natural resources are among its chief strengths in the tourism market.

But this community has mixed environmental legacy. Investigating a massive fill kill in Escambia Bay was one of the first projects the newly created U.S. Environmental Protection Agency undertook. In 1999, an environmental grand jury was convened in Escambia County. The report that panel issued found that the air and water quality of this community were degraded by industry discharges including a sewage treatment plant on the waterfront, a pulp and paper mill, chemical factories and stormwater runoff.

It also found that state and local governments failed to properly protect those environmental assets.

In 2004, the City of Pensacola instituted a stormwater fee to create a designated revenue stream for projects to better treat stormwater. Later that decade, the community and local government rallied to find the funding to move the Main Street Wastewater treatment plant out of downtown. That opened the door to redevelopment of downtown that continues to this day.

The lawful management of these resources, and the efforts to restore them to a healthy status is important to the Pensacola area’s quality of life and future economic growth.


Helping Bayou Chico get back to health

Florida Department of Environmental Protection will host a Jan. 13 meeting to update plans to improve the water quality of Bayou Chico. Read full story


SRIA starts Pensacola Beach renourishment

An 8.1-mile section of Pensacola Beach will be renourished beginning in mid-November

The Santa Rosa Island Authority will begin work in mid-November on a three-month project to restore and renourish 8.1 miles of Pensacola Beach shoreline. Read full story


ECUA town hall on expanding reclaimed water on Pensacola Beach

Today the ECUA will host an informational town hall meeting about the planned expansion of the reclaimed water system the utility uses at Pensacola Beach. Read full story


Stormwater projects tops RESTORE list

How did Escambia County projects submitted for RESTORE Act funding rank? Check out the list here. Read full story


Rolling Hills owners surrender surety bond

bond money will be used to implement an engineering plan to cover and forever seal the nearly 20-acre landfill in Wedgewood

Owners of Rolling Hills landfill have turned bond money over to Florida DEP, which will begin engineering work to cover and seal facility in Wedgewood. Read full story


Lawmakers delve into BP money

As the RESTORE Act funding becomes reality, Tallahassee lawmakers had questions Oct. 20 about how the distribution of funds will work. Read full story


Public gets say on first 15 Santa Rosa RESTORE projects

Santa Rosa residents can have their say on the first 15 projects proposed for the county's share of RESTORE Act funding. Read full story


Recycling processor shuts down

ECUA urges customers to keep separating trash as scramble for stopgap measure is on

Abrupt closure of Montgomery facility forces ECUA to scramble, as the utility urges customers to keep separating trash as stopgap measures worked on. Read full story


Shuttered Rolling Hills landfill still plagues Wedgewood community

As DEP works with owners of shuttered Rolling Hills landfill, residents in the beleaguered and largely minority-based Wedgewood community keeping eye on it. Read full story


Escambia RESTORE project deadline nears

Graphic updates other projects funded by BP fine money

As deadline nears for Escambia RESTORE projects, here is a look at a graphic update of what other projects have been funded by BP fine money. Read full story


Bruce Beach hatchery project moving forward

A key part of BP's early restoration plan after the 2010 spill, the $18.8 million state fisheries center at Bruce Beach in Pensacola is moving forward. Read full story


Measuring quality of life one sip at a time

UWF to study water quality at Pensacola parks drinking fountains

UWF to study water quality at Pensacola parks drinking fountains as part of continuing effort to gauge public health, quality of life impact of city parks. Read full story