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Domestic Wastewater to Wetlands Program
Wakodahatchee Wetland


The Wakodahatchee Wetland project has converted over 50 acres of former percolation ponds into thriving wetlands as seen here. (Photo by Shanin Speas)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 56 acres of former percolation ponds into a thriving wetlands habitat. Approximately two 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 wetland 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 140 different species of birds have been spotted at the site. These species thrive in the various wetland zones found at the Wakodahatchee Wetland. 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
  • 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.

Visitor Information

Wakodahatchee Wetland Poster (Art provided by Palm Beach County Water Utilities)The Wakodahatchee Wetland is located in suburban Delray Beach, Florida, on the east side of Jog Road, between Woolbright Road and Atlantic Avenue. The site is on the southeast side of Palm Beach County Water Utilities Department's Southern Region Operations Center at 13026 Jog Road, Delray Beach. The wetland is open to the general public from sunrise to sunset, seven days a week. Tours of Wakodahatchee Wetland are conducted on the second Tuesday of every month at 9am, and on the third Wednesday of the month at 4pm during winter months. The tour lasts approximately one hour, and the tour group size is limited to 20. Space on the tour must be reserved in advance. 

  • For reservations or questions about the wetland, please phone (561) 641-3429. 

Community organizations and school groups may request tours on an "as available" basis. Tour group size is limited to 20 people, and group tours need to be scheduled at least one month in advance. 

  • For group tour information, please phone (561) 434-5372. 

Text taken from Wakodahatchee Wetland brochures, Palm Beach County Water Utilities Department and CH2MHILL.

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Last updated: September 21, 2011

  2600 Blair Stone Road M.S. 3500   Tallahassee, Florida 32399   850-245-8336 (phone) / 850-245-8356 (fax) 
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