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Watershed Assessment Program

 

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New! 2014 Integrated Water Quality Assessment for Florida 

The Department is pleased to announce the publication of the 2014 Integrated Water Quality Assessment Report for Florida.  This report represents one of the most comprehensive data collection efforts in the nation and provides the reader with substantial information regarding the quality of our waters.  These comprehensive analyses are made possible by the support of the citizens of Florida, who agree that our waterbodies are a central part of our state’s culture and heritage.  This report includes contributions from monitoring efforts at all levels – by government, universities, volunteer groups, and individuals – resulting in substantially more monitoring stations and water quality data than any other state in the nation.  More than 30% of the nutrient data for the nation comes from Florida waters.  In fact, 25% of the nation’s ambient water quality monitoring stations (more than 41,000) are located within Florida. 

This large amount of water quality data is used annually for the assessment of waterbody health by means of a comprehensive stepwise approach.  Hundreds of assessments are conducted each year.  Additionally, as part of this report, a statewide water quality condition is presented using an unbiased randomized monitoring design, and water quality trends are reported at 76 separate surface water and 49 ground water stations.  These efforts allow us to understand the state’s water conditions, make decisions that further enhance our waterways, and focus our efforts towards to address problems.    (Excerpted from the Letter to Floridians)

The Department announces the availability of amended Verified and Delist Lists of impaired waters for the Cycle 3 - Group 1 and Cycle 2 - Group 2, 3, and 5 Basins

The Department has published revised verified lists of impaired waters and delist lists by Secretarial Order (signed by DEP Secretary Herschel Vinyard, Jr. and filed by the Department clerk on January 27, 2014) for the Group 1 (Suwannee, Ocklawaha, and Tampa Bay); Group 2 (Middle St. Johns River and Tampa Bay Tributaries); Group 3 (Choctawhatchee – St. Andrews); and Group 5 (Everglades, Indian River Lagoon, Springs Coast, and Upper East Coast) basins. 

The Department continuously strives for accurate and scientifically defensible assessments with the goal of identifying impaired waters and restoring water quality.  These lists were revised to make necessary changes in response to additional information provided to and evaluated by the Department.  The amended lists can be found at the links provided above and include the Office of General Counsel case numbers for the listings.

Now that these lists have been adopted by Secretarial Order, the Department staff will prioritize waters on the verified list for TMDL development.  A Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) represents the maximum amount of pollutant loading that can be discharged to a waterbody and still attain its designated uses.  After TMDL adoption, the next step in this process will be the development, by watershed stakeholders and the Department, of a Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP).  The BMAP will specify the activities, schedule, and funding sources that point and nonpoint source dischargers will undertake to restore the waterbody.


tricolored heronFlorida’s rivers, streams, lakes, estuaries, and coastal waters are spectacularly beautiful. More than that, they are essential natural resources, supplying the water necessary for aquatic life, both large and microscopic; drinking water; recreation; industry; fishing and shellfish harvesting; and agriculture. Florida's multi-billion tourist industry would vanish if our water resources were irreparably degraded.

Protecting these abundant water resource, restoring them when they become damaged because of unmanaged growth and development, and preserving them for the future is your responsibility and ours.

DEP's Divisions of Water Resource Management and Environmental Assessment and Restoration implement a wide range of programs to protect and restore Florida's surface waters. Tour this website and you will find dozens of different strategies and activities underway to benefit water quality. At the heart of these efforts, particularly in identifying water quality problems and establishing clean-up objectives, is the Watershed Assessment program.


For more information, send e-mail to Kevin O'Donnell (Kevin.ODonnell@dep.state.fl.us)

Watershed Assessment Program
2600 Blair Stone Road - Mail Station 3560
 Tallahassee, FL, 32399-2400
Phone: (850) 245-8433

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Last updated: April 16, 2014

  2600 Blair Stone Road M.S. 3500   Tallahassee, Florida 32399   850-245-8336 (phone) / 850-245-8356 (fax) 
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