Derived from a Seminole Indian phrase meaning "created waters," the Wakodahatchee Wetlands was constructed by Palm Beach County Water Utilities Department next to the existing System 3 Water Treatment Plant located one mile southeast of the Southern Region Water Reclamation Facility. This project has significantly enhanced about 50 acres of former percolation ponds into a thriving wetlands habitat. Approximately 2 million gallons per day of highly treated reclaimed water is used to maintain the wetlands, which attracts an abundance of wildlife in a park-like setting. By acting as a natural filter for nutrients that remain, the wetlands work to further cleanse the water.
The Wakodahatchee Wetlands have attracted an abundant variety of wildlife, including turtles, frogs, otters, alligators and birds. More than 178 different species of birds have been spotted at the site. These species thrive in the various wetland zones found at the Wakodahatchee Wetlands. The zones were designed for a mixture of habitat types, including:
Open water ponds areas to attract water fowl and diving birds;
Emergent marsh areas for rails, moorhens and sparrows;
Shallow shelves for herons and egrets;
Islands with shrubs and snags to serve as nesting, roosting, and basking sites; and
Forested wetlands areas for long-term habitat development.
A three-quarter mile boardwalk winds through three of the wetland's ponds, allowing visitors the opportunity to read interpretive signs and learn about water purification, wetlands ecology, natural history, and the interdependence of people and their environment. The existing pond berms have been planted with native plants using natural landscaping techniques to provide extensive planted buffers, which eliminate views from the top of the berms into the adjacent neighborhoods. So stop on by for a visit (observation, bird watching or nature photography) if you are in the neighborhood.
The Wakodahatchee Wetlands are located in suburban Delray Beach, Florida, on the east side of Jog Road, between Lake Ida Road to the south and Flavor Pict Road to the north. The wetland site is at 13270 Jog Road, Delray Beach near the southeast side of Palm Beach County Water Utilities Department's Southern Region Operations Center. The wetland is open to the general public from sunrise to 6 p.m. (depending on the season), seven days a week.
Text taken from Wakodahatchee Wetland brochures, Palm Beach County Water Utilities Department and CH2MHILL.
September 24, 2019 - 8:50am
Interested in subscribing to DEP newsletters or receiving DEP updates through email?
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.