Winter Haven Chain of Lakes



  • System of 19 interconnected lakes, made up of two major groups; five in the northern chain and 14 in the southern chain
  • Lakes were interconnected through the construction of canals to promote commerce
  • Located in Polk County
  • 32-square-mile watershed


Two main challenges exist in the Winter Haven Chain of Lakes watershed:

  • Nutrient loading from urban runoff
  • Destruction of natural systems


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

  • Developing projects aimed at the reduction of non-point source pollutant loadings through pollutant reduction goals and stormwater management
  • Restoring upland and aquatic habitats while preserving plant and wildlife populations
  • Implementing ecologically and environmentally sound land use practices

Success Indicators

Successful project implementation is indicated by:

  • Water quality improvements including a reduction in non-point source loading of phosphorus
  • An increase in native aquatic and upland vegetation and decreases in non-native or undesirable species

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