1000 Friends of Florida

Water Resources

Photo courtesy of Mac Stone. Carlton Ward Jr and Joe Guthrie paddle toward Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge near the end of their journey.

Florida and its watery resources are inextricably linked. This state encompasses 11,000 miles of rivers, 8,000 lakes and one of the largest aquifers in the world.

Much of the state’s drinking water emanates from the Everglades and the massive Floridan aquifer to the north.

Protecting this state’s watery resources is essential. An Everglades poll shows that 81% of Florida voters agree: “We need the state to manage new development to protect our rivers, lakes, streams, and beaches from pollution.”

Recognizing the important interrelationships between land management and water resource protection, 1000 Friends has focused considerable attention on the impacts of land development on this state’s water resources.

Recently, we played a leading role in the founding of the Florida Conservation Coalition, which is focusing much of its emphasis on water resource protection.

Statewide information:

Springs and springsheds For more information on springs and springshed protection, please visit 1000 Friends’ web page on the topic.

Initiative to protect Florida’s springs and significant water resources (September 2013) — The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) released this white paper highlighting the urgent need to move forward in removing nutrient contamination and restoring flow to these damaged natural resources.  Also check out the PowerPoint Presentation on FCC priorities for 2014.

Florida Conservation Coalition Water Paper (2011) – This living document reviews the history of Florida’s water policy, and identifies critical issues. It is updated as events unfold in the state. 1000 Friends is a foundingmember of the FCC.

Florida’s Water: Ours to protect – Check here for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection website on protecting and restoring Florida’s waters.

Florida Department of Environmental Protection – Water – This website includes links to DEP resources on wastewater, stormwater, drinking water, wetlands/submerged lands, water quality, funding, permitting, and groundwater.

Low impact development:

Developing a better way – Produced jointly by Karst Productions and the Florida Department of Community Affairs, this video identifies low impact development practices suitable for Florida.

Florida-Friendly Landscaping – This website by IFAS focuses on low-impact development strategies that simultaneously conserves green space and manages stormwater effectively.

Program for Resource Efficient Communities – This University of Florida center includes a wealth of information on low- and reduced-impact development strategies for Florida.

Florida Watershed Journal:  LID success stories in Florida (2012) – Information is included on projects in Melbourne Beach and Sarasota County.

Sarasota County low impact development manual (2011) – This manual provides technical guidance and design specifications on Low Impact Development (LID) stormwater management practices for application to projects in Sarasota County.

Florida Watershed Journal:  Low-impact development comes to Florida (2011) – This journal includes a series of articles on modifying low-impact development practices for Florida watersheds, implementing low-impact development in Florida and more.

Best Management Practices for Protection of Water Resources in Florida (2002) – Sponsored by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, this manual is intended to assist the turf and landscape industry with water resource protection.

Useful links:

Photo courtesy of Carlton Ward Jr. Joe Guthrie and Mallory Lykes Dimmitt paddle around Brahma Island, in Lake Kissimmee, which is owned by Lightsey Family and protected by a conservation easement.

Florida Conservation Coalition

South Florida Water Management District

St. Johns River Water Management District

Southwest Florida Water Management District

Suwannee River Water Management District

Northwest Florida Water Management District

EPA in Florida


Florida Water Coalition

Clean Water Network of Florida

Clean Water Action Florida

Photo courtesy of Kevin Barry. White Water Lilly.

The Florida Watershed Journal

Low Impact Development Center

River Basin Center


Charity Navigator Foresight cover Foresight cover

Current Foresight

Annual Reports

Annual Reports

1% for the Planet