Charlotte Harbor

2020 Charlotte Harbor SWIM Plan Public Comment Period

The District is currently taking comments on the Charlotte Harbor SWIM Plan – June 2020 Agency Review DRAFT. At their meeting on June 23, 2020, the Governing Board authorized submittal of the draft plan to the appropriate state agencies and local governments for review and comment.

The deadline for comment submissions is August 31, 2020.

Submit Public Comments



  • Charlotte Harbor is Florida's second largest open water estuary at 270 square miles
  • Generally considered one of the most productive estuarine ecosystems in southwest Florida
  • Designated an "Estuary of National Significance" in 1995
  • Includes Charlotte, Lee, and a portion of Sarasota County
  • 4,400-square-mile watershed


Three main challenges exist in the Charlotte Harbor watershed:

  • Alteration and loss of coastal uplands and wetlands due to development
  • Spread of non-native animal and plant species
  • Degraded water quality from point and non-point source pollutant and nutrient loading


Through cooperation with other government agencies, these challenges are met by:

  • Developing a comprehensive conservation and management plan
  • Restoring the balance between coastal upland, wetland, and intertidal habitats
  • Implementing water quality improvement projects

Success Indicators

Successful project implementation is indicated by:

  • Improved water quality
  • Increased hydroperiods within wetlands
  • Increased coverage of seagrasses within the Harbor
  • Reduction/removal of non-native terrestrial and wetland species
  • Increased wildlife use

Future goals are then developed through an adaptive management process, always striving to help restore Florida’s natural ecosystems.