The Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) invites the public to a workshop on Wednesday, Sept. 18, at 5:30 p.m. at the District’s Tampa Service Office, located at 7601 U.S. Highway 301. The purpose of the workshop is to allow for public comment on the proposed reevaluation of minimum levels for 41 wetlands in the Northern Tampa Bay Water Use Caution Area.
During the workshop, District staff will present the technical basis for the proposed minimum wetland levels. Minimum levels are established to protect lakes and wetlands, and the minimum level is the limit at which further water withdrawals will cause significant harm to the water resources and/or environment. Adopted levels are periodically reevaluated to support ongoing District assessment of minimum flows and levels in the Northern Tampa Bay Water Use Caution Area.
The workshop is an opportunity for local government, citizens, and others to provide input regarding the proposed minimum wetland levels. Information will be summarized and made available to the District’s Governing Board. At the Board’s November meeting, Board members will choose whether to recommend adoption of the revised minimum levels into District rules. Governing Board meetings are open to the public, and brief oral comments are permitted on meeting agenda items.
The Florida Legislature requires the District to set minimum flows and levels (MFLs) for priority water bodies within the District. Minimum flows are established to protect streams and rivers from impacts associated with ground water and surface water withdrawals, while minimum levels are established to protect lakes and wetlands. Minimum flows and levels serve as guidelines for the District’s permitting programs and for development of water resource projects.
A draft report summarizing the proposed minimum wetland levels will be posted before the meeting on the District’s website at WaterMatters.org/MFLreports. For more information regarding the proposed minimum levels, please contact Donna Campbell at 1-800-423-1476, ext. 4236.
Written comments can be submitted via mail or email to Donna Campbell, Staff Enviornmental Scientist, Water Resources Bureau, at 2379 Broad Street, Brooksville, FL 34604 or firstname.lastname@example.org.