Since 2015, the City has secured over $53.5 million in grant funding for various projects to strengthen infrastructure and enhance the quality of life in Oakland Park. The most recent grant award includes $2.38 million for flood mitigation at Lake Emerald and $1.2 million for stormwater improvements at City Park. The two Oakland Park projects are part of a $300 million Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Resilient Florida Grant Program to help communities strengthen resilience against flooding and storm surge.
In 2020, the City conducted a study to evaluate areas in Oakland Park that are vulnerable to flooding. The western lake area of the City, including Lake Emerald, just west of I-95 between Commercial Boulevard and Oakland Park Boulevard, was identified as an area susceptible to sea level rise and changing climate conditions. The City will use the grant funding to create a series of connections between the upland lakes through Lake Emerald, with overflow discharge into the C-13 Canal, which is part of the regional canal drainage system. These connections will enable water to move from the uplands area through these isolated lake systems to reduce flooding and strengthen our resilience to climate change.
At City Park, the grant funding will be used to install green stormwater infrastructure to capture and divert rainwater to reduce flooding. This innovative project will incorporate an underground retention area to increase the capacity for stormwater to flow from the park into storage. The City plans to use the captured runoff water to irrigate City Park, which will help conserve this vital resource. The water storage area will also serve as a performance platform and outdoor seating area for park visitors.
These projects are part of a comprehensive City effort to adapt to changing conditions and become more resilient to the effects of climate change and sea level rise. Other initiatives include updating the Stormwater Master Plan and adopting a regional Climate Action Plan to create a more sustainable community. For more information on the measures, the city is taking to create a stronger and more resilient community, visit www.oaklandparkfl.gov.