* DEP Home * About DEP * Programs * Contact * Site Map * Search *
Corner of tabAssessment and Restoration Support

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.).

What is an Outstanding Florida Water?

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.

Most OFWs are areas managed by the state or federal government as parks, including wildlife refuges, preserves, marine sanctuaries, estuarine research reserves, certain waters within state or national forests, scenic and wild rivers, or aquatic preserves. Generally, the waters within these managed areas are OFWs because the managing agency has requested this special protection.

Waters that are not already in a state or federal managed area, may be designated as "special water" OFWs if certain requirements are met including a public process of designation.

For more information, please see:

  • 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.
  • For more information please contact: Eric Shaw at (850) 245-8429 or Janet Klemm at (850) 245-8427.

Water Quality Standards Program
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
2600 Blair Stone Road - M.S. 6511
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Contact Us

Last updated: November 21, 2016

  2600 Blair Stone Road M.S. 3500   Tallahassee, Florida 32399   850-245-8336 (phone) / 850-245-8356 (fax) 
DEP Home | About DEP  | Contact Us | Search |  Site Map