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Outstanding Florida Waters

All waters of the state fall into one of five surface water classifications (62-302.400 F.A.C.) with specific criteria applicable to each class of water. In addition to its surface water classification, a water may be designated as an Outstanding Florida Water (62-302.700 F.A.C.). 

An Outstanding Florida Water (OFW) is a water designated worthy of special protection because of its natural attributes. This special designation is applied to certain waters and is intended to protect existing good water quality. 

The department has a variety of resources to explain OFWs below: 

The  OFW Factsheet  provides a listing of "special waters" and OFWs, along with more details relating to permitting of activities within an OFW and requirements for a "special water" OFW designation. The OFW Question and Answer sheet provides a list of frequently asked questions about OFWs.

Additionally, the department has developed an ArcGIS StoryMap to provide an overview of Outstanding Florida Waters (OFWs), how OFWs are designated, what protection designation provides and the Special Waters OFW petition process. 

OFW Story Map:

For more information, please contact Kaitlyn Sutton at 850-245-8819 or at


Last Modified:
June 9, 2023 - 1:35pm

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