The Southwest Florida Water Management District is inviting the public to comment on proposed minimum flows and levels (MFLs) for the Anclote River at a public workshop on Monday, Oct. 12. The workshop will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the District’s Tampa Service Office, 7601 U.S. Hwy. 301 N. in Tampa.
The state Legislature requires the District to set MFLs for all water bodies within the District. A minimum flow or level is the limit at which further water withdrawals will cause significant harm to the water resources and/or environment.
After evaluating the Anclote River, District staff has recommended two separate proposed MFLs. The first MFL is for the freshwater segment of the river above Little Road and the second MFL is for the estuarine portion of the river, which is from Little Road to the Gulf of Mexico.
During the workshop, District staff will review the regulatory framework and the technical basis for the proposed MFLs. The workshop will also provide an opportunity for local governments, citizens and others to be part of the development of minimum flows and levels for the river.
Public comment gathered at the workshop will be summarized and presented to the Governing Board when staff submits the results of an ongoing independent peer review at a Governing Board meeting in the coming months. Following consideration of the comments and peer review report, the Governing Board may choose to adopt the MFLs into District rules. Governing Board meetings are open to the public where brief oral comments are permitted on meeting agenda items.
Written comments are also welcome and can be submitted via mail or email to Mike Heyl, chief environmental scientist, no later than Oct. 30. The addresses are 7601 U.S. Hwy. 301 N., Tampa, FL 33637-6759 or Mike.Heyl@watermatters.org.
A draft report containing information on the development of MFLs for the Anclote River is available under the Minimum Flows and Levels heading on the Documents and Publications page of the District’s web site, WaterMatters.org. For more information, please contact Mike Heyl at 1-800-423-1476, ext 2211.