What is a watershed?
A watershed is an area of land in which all of the water that enters it, drains into a common waterbody.
Also known as a drainage basin, it can be thought of as a "funnel" that collects surface water and ground water and
drains it into a single stream, lake, ocean, or other reservoir. Hills and ridges usually separate one watershed from the next.
Why are watersheds important?
Humans, plants, and animals need clean water to survive, and the activities
in a watershed determine the health of its water. Florida's multi-billion dollar tourism, agriculture, and
manufacturing industries rely on clean water. Vegetation in a healthy watershed can filter pollutants,
reduce erosion, and prevent flash flooding during storms. Urban development and other
human activities can impact water quality. Because water flows freely across state and political
boundaries, it is important to focus management plans on entire basins instead of
single towns or tributaries.
How are watersheds protected?
Florida's Watershed Restoration Framework
was created to embrace this holistic, ecosystem-based approach and to integrate Florida's longstanding water protection programs into more
effective, comprehensive action. The program specifically carries out provisions of the Florida Watershed Restoration Act
403.067 of the Florida Statutes), as well as other legal authorities, volunteer networks, public education, and
financial assistance to clean up water pollution or prevent it in the first place.
Which water resources are addressed?
Rivers, streams, lakes, canals, and ground water systems are monitored by the Watershed Management Program.
coastal systems, and
are protected under separate programs.
Where is my watershed?
Florida has 29 major watersheds, as seen on the map below.
Water Quality Standards
Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Program
Basin Management Action Plans (BMAPs)
Ground Water Protection
Nonpoint Source Management
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Watershed Management
TMDL Water Quality Restoration Grants
Watershed Network Newsletter
Learn More About Watershed Management
Related Watershed Links
Pollutant Trading Policy Advisory Committee
Water Improvement and Management Program (SWIM)
|Information on the mechanics of implementing
Florida's watershed program, including the statewide 5-year cycle of
activities, is available from Basin 411,
the Basin Rotation Website. This site includes a link to a Geographic
Information System (GIS) mapping tool that allows detailed views of