Notice of Biennial Assessment Outreach Public Meetings
(Feb. 18, 2021)
The Watershed Assessment Section will hold public meetings to present updates on the implementation of a streamlined approach to assessing water quality statewide on a biennial (two-year) assessment cycle. These meetings will provide stakeholders with an overview of the statewide biennial assessment process, schedule for publishing draft basin assessments lists and supporting documentation for the development of impaired waters lists. Draft basin assessment lists will not be presented at these meetings.
Under the previous process, the department operates on a five-year cycle, assessing roughly 20% of the state's waters each year. The new biennial assessment approach will provide Floridians with a more up-to-date picture of Florida's overall water quality conditions. Stakeholders across the state will have current, actionable information that will promote more effective and timely water quality restoration.
Meeting materials are available online, including information on the biennial assessment, process document and frequently asked questions. The department will hold subsequent public workshops during summer 2021 to present and receive feedback on the draft statewide assessments. The final basin assessments developed through the biennial assessment will be submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency pursuant to Section 303(d) of the federal Clean Water Act and shall serve to update the previously approved Section 303(d) list of Florida waters.
Date: March 4, 2022 Time: 2 p.m. EST Webinar Link: Join the meeting (Microsoft Teams) Or call in (audio only): 1-850-629-7330 Phone Conference ID: 144 040 143#
Availability of the 2021 Strategic Monitoring Plans
(Dec. 4, 2020) The department announces the availability of the 2021 Strategic Monitoring Plans. These plans represent the water quality and biological monitoring needs identified by the department in preparation for basin assessments as part of the watershed management approach. The Watershed Assessment Section developed the 2021 Strategic Monitoring Plans to assist in assessing the health of Florida's surface waters by conducting biological assessments and water quality sampling. These activities are carried out by seven Regional Operation Centers (ROCs) located throughout the department's six District offices and by staff in Tallahassee. The extensive monitoring effort is accomplished through coordination with local stakeholders, water management districts, city and county governments.
Final Lists of Assessments in the Group 2 Basins including the Verified List of Impaired Waters, Delist List, Study List and Study List Removals
Approval of the Mosquito Lagoon Reasonable Assurance Plan
(Sept. 24, 2019)
The department announces amendments to the Verified List of Impaired Waters for three waters in the Group 5 Indian River Lagoon basin due to the approval of the Mosquito Lagoon Reasonable Assurance Plan (RAP). These amendments were adopted by a Secretarial Order signed by DEP Secretary Valenstein on Sept. 17, 2019. These assessment changes are removing three waters from the Verified List of Impaired Waters. The Mosquito Lagoon RAP is the product of a locally driven stakeholder initiative that establishes the restoration activities and projects that will address nutrient impairments in Mosquito Lagoon.
Amendments to the Verified List of Impaired Waters
The department is requesting external data providers who would like to submit applicable bioassessment data to help support the department's Impaired Waters assessment. Please download and complete the Bioassessment Data Template, available as a Microsoft Excel worksheet (.xlsx). Once the template has been completed with the required information, please submit the worksheet and any supporting documentation (field sheets, photos, etc.) by email to Kevin O'Donnell.
Guidance on Developing Restoration Plans as Alternatives to TMDLs
The department encourages stakeholders (including state agencies and local governments) to seek4b assessments or4e assessmentsby submitting documentation in support of assessment category 4b or 4e. For this designation, documentation will be required to demonstrate reasonable progress that the proposed projects or programs will restore an impaired waterbody.
January 23, 2024 - 8:27am
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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.