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Strategic Monitoring Plans

The department announces the availability of the 2017 Strategic Monitoring Plans. These plans represent the water quality and biological monitoring being done by the department in preparation for basin assessments as part of the watershed management approach.

The Watershed Assessment program has developed the 2017 Strategic Monitoring Plans to assist in assessing the health of surface waters by conducting hydrological and biological watershed-based monitoring activities. These activities are carried out by seven Regional Operation Center (ROC) offices located throughout the Department’s six District offices and by staff in Tallahassee.  This extensive monitoring effort is accomplished through strong coordination with water management districts, city and county governments.  

Applying the Impaired Waters Rule (Chapter 62-303, Florida Administrative Code) methodology, the primary objective of the Strategic Monitoring Plan is to ensure that all waters identified on previous Planning or Study Lists, as well as any additional waters based on more recent data identified through preliminary assessments that meet the listing requirements for the Planning or Study Lists, will achieve the additional data sufficiency requirements in the Verified Period. These data are used to assess the waterbody health and for those waterbodies that are verified as impaired, provides data used to develop Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) and evaluate implementation of Basin Management Action Plans (BMAPs). These plans are initially constructed in the fall prior to the year of sampling, relying on data extracted from Florida STORET, the USGS database, and input from DEP district staff. This information is assembled and specific parameters are targeted for sample collection in the waterbodies identified in the plans below.

Revision to 303(d) Assessment Schedule

Implementation of the numeric nutrient criteria requires two to three years of data to assess a waterbody rather than a single year of data under previous rules.  As a result of this data sufficiency requirement, in most years, each Regional Operation Center will be monitoring in multiple basins. This shift in monitoring does not require any changes in schedules for uploading data to STORET.

Strategic Monitoring Plans (SMPs)

Below are the 2017 strategic monitoring plans developed to assist the department in providing water quality and biological data for 303(d) assessment purposes.  The core schedule is designed such that each of the five basin groups situated throughout Florida are addressed on a 5-year cycle, consistent with the impaired waters assessments.  Prioritizing monitoring efforts in specific basins allows there to be a focus on collecting data where there may be shortfalls, and to combine with critical ongoing sampling needed for assessment.  By implementing strategic monitoring two years prior to the assessment, sufficient time is allotted for all analyses to be completed and data to be processed and uploaded to STORET, allowing the data to be available for assessments by the end of the verified period on June 30th.

For additional information on water quality and biological monitoring site locations, please visit the Water Quality Monitoring Activity Tracker (MAT). The MAT is an interactive web-map application showing the locations where the Division of Environmental Assessment and Restoration staff conducts water quality monitoring.

2017 Monitoring Plans

(Note: The Strategic Monitoring Plans are approximately 25-30 KB in size and available in MS Excel format.)

DEP ROC  Group Number and Basin Monitored
2017 Northwest SMP 1 - Ochlockonee - St. Marks
2 - Apalachicola - Chipola
3 - Choctawhatchee - St. Andrews
4 - Pensacola
5 - Perdido
2017 Northeast SMP 1 – Suwannee
2 – Lower St. Johns
4 – Nassau – St. Mary’s
5 – Upper East Coast
2017 Central SMP 1 – Ocklawaha
2 – Middle St. Johns
3 – Upper St. Johns
4 – Kissimmee River
5 – Indian River Lagoon
2017 Southwest SMP 1 – Tampa Bay
2 – Tampa Bay Tributaries
3 – Sarasota Bay – Peace Myakka
4 – Withlacoochee
5 – Spring Coast
2017 South SMP 1 – Everglades West Coast
2 – Charlotte Harbor
3 – Caloosahatchee
4 – Fisheating Creek
5 – Florida Keys
2017 Southeast SMP 1 – Lake Okeechobee
2 – St. Lucie - Loxahatchee
3 – Upper St. Johns
4 - Southeast Coast - Biscayne Bay
5 - Everglades


For more information regarding the Department's rotating Basin plan, please visit our "Basin 411" pages.

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

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

Last updated: April 20, 2017

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