Florida Statewide Annual Report on Total Maximum Daily Loads, Basin Management Action Plans, Minimum Flows or Minimum Water Levels, and Recovery or Prevention Strategies
Florida has wide-ranging efforts in place to protect and restore the water quality or minimum flows and levels (MFLs) of the state’s waters. As required by Section 403.0675, Florida Statute (F.S.), this report updates the Governor, Legislature, and all Floridians on the status of protection and restoration actions through total maximum daily loads (TMDL), basin management action plans (BMAP), minimum flow or minimum water levels (MFL), and recovery or prevention strategy.
When a river, lake, estuary, or spring does not meet state water quality standards, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) determines a water quality restoration goal known as a TMDL that will restore the waterbody so that it meets its standards. TMDLs address a specific impairment for a waterbody; therefore, a waterbody may have multiple TMDLs to address different pollutants. This report describes the status of TMDLs adopted as of December 31, 2017.
DEP may develop a BMAP, in collaboration with local stakeholders, to achieve one or more TMDLs. BMAPs may be developed for surface waters and groundwater-fed springs. The management actions listed in the BMAPs comprise local projects proposed and committed to by counties, municipalities, special districts, private industrial facilities, wastewater utilities, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), commercial agricultural operations, and other stakeholders. The stakeholders provide details of their projects to DEP. This report describes the status of BMAPs adopted as of December 31, 2017. In some cases project information provided by the entity was incomplete or missing.
Section 373.042(1), F.S., defines minimum flows and minimum water levels (MFLs) as the point at which further water withdrawals would be significantly harmful to the water resources or ecology of the area. As a part of fulfilling their mission and statutory responsibilities, the water management districts (WMDs) establish MFLs for priority waterbodies within their boundaries. MFLs are used both in planning for future water uses and in regulating water withdrawals. For waterbodies that are below their minimum flow or level, or are projected to fall below their minimum flow or level within 20 years, the WMD is required to implement a recovery or prevention strategy to ensure the MFL is maintained over the long term.
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.