The City of Fort Walton Beach is an ms4 (municipal separate storm sewer system). Like other municipalities around the country, this means that stormwater is collected by a system of conveyances such as ditches, curbs, catch basins, and underground pipes and drains to waters of the State- Choctawhatchee Bay, Santa Rosa Sound, and tributaries. When the original drainage system for the City was laid, polluted runoff was not nearly as much of a concern as flooding. Now, there are far more cars and chemicals being used which produce oil leaks, other car fluid leaks, brake dust, fertilizers, pesticides, cigarette butts, and other pollutants that drain with stormwater to our local waterways. The permit program regulated by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is designed to reduce the contamination of stormwater runoff and prohibit illicit discharges to the ms4. Contaminated runoff can impact our local waterways in many ways and even contribute to surface water quality decline. Water quality is important to maintaining the uses and values we associate with our water bodies including recreational and commercial fishing, swimming, boating, and other activities.