PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Panama City Beach city council members recently approved $21 million awarded by the state for the offshore outfall project.

Mayor Mark Sheldon said it’s a historic project for the beach.

The stormwater and drain water that previously ran across the sandy dunes will be transported into the Gulf of Mexico 1,500 feet.

The dark outfalls you see in the sand will soon be gone.

“I get calls at least once a week by somebody saying why are you dumping sewage onto the sand,” Sheldon said. “Because it looks like that as it goes through the current outfalls that are there. It looks like it as it drains across the sand but it isn’t. It’s just the stormwater. But the nice part is it’s going to make the beach even nicer. Those areas that have that outfall right now will actually not be seen. It’ll be underground and piped out under the Gulf of Mexico.”

While they now have the money through a Community Development Block Grant, it might not be enough.

The cost of construction has gone up since the grant was awarded.

Sheldon said project designers are trying to cut costs before moving forward.