It is with great pleasure that we present to you the 2020 Integrated Water Quality Assessment for Florida. This report meets the Federal Clean Water Act reporting requirements; more importantly, it presents a comprehensive analysis of the quality of our waters. This report would not be possible without the monitoring efforts of organizations throughout the state, including state and local governments, universities, and volunteer groups who agree that our waters are a central part of our state’s culture, heritage, and way of life.
In Florida, monitoring efforts at all levels result in substantially more monitoring stations and water quality data than most other states in the nation. These water quality data are used annually for the assessment of waterbody health by means of a comprehensive approach. Hundreds of assessments of individual waterbodies are conducted each year. Additionally, as part of this report, a statewide water quality condition is presented using an unbiased random monitoring design. These efforts allow us to understand the state’s water conditions, make decisions that further enhance our waterways, and focus our efforts on addressing problems.
The department implements a wide range of programs to protect and restore Florida's surface waters. At the heart of these efforts, particularly in identifying water quality problems and establishing restoration objectives, is the Division of Environmental Assessment and Restoration. Throughout this report you will find links to resources such as interactive maps that present information on water quality trends and strategies and activities underway to benefit water quality.
Florida’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. Protecting these abundant water resources, supporting restoration efforts, and preserving them for the future is your responsibility and ours.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.