Title: Ecosystem Management Implementation Strategy - Volume II - Appendices
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Title: Ecosystem Management Implementation Strategy - Volume II - Appendices
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Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
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Abstract: Jake Varn Collection - Ecosystem Management Implementation Strategy - Volume II - Appendices (JDV Box 49)
General Note: Box 21, Folder 1 ( Land and Water Task Force - 1994 - 1995 ), Item 1
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
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Ecosystem
Management
Implementation
Strategy
Volume II Appendices















Ecosystem Management Implementation Strategy Committee and Florida
and
Department ofEnvironmental Protection
Working Draft
August 1, 1995


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Table of Contents

Appendix I A Place-Based Approach to Ecosystem Management ...................... 4
Appendix II Ideas for Establishing Ecosystem Management Areas ..................... 9
Appendix III Examples of Net Environmental Benefit ............................. 53
Appendix IV Conceptual Ecosystems Permit ............. ..................... 57










Appendix I A Place-Based Approach to
Ecosystem Management


Guidelines For Success

Managing Florida's- environment by focusing on particular ecosystems, and special places
within those ecosystems, requires a thoughtful process that should include several key
ingredients in one form or another. The particular form that the process takes will
depend on the characteristics of the ecosystem (e.g., highly impacted vs. pristine), the
human resources available (e.g., money and staff), and the type and degree of management
initiatives already in the works (e.g., SWIM and NEP programs). In some cases a very
formal and comprehensive approach will be warranted. In other cases an informal and
streamlined approach will be the way to go. In some cases you'll have to start from
scratch. In other cases the trick will be to blend into existing management initiatives.
Since every ecosystem and situation is different flexibility is the key. However, regardless
of form, there are key ingredients that cannot be overlooked. This guide is intended to
provide a brief description of those key ingredients.

After reading this guide some of you may be a bit overwhelmed and even discouraged.
You might be saying to yourself, there's just no way we can do all of this. Don't be
discouraged. Great things can happen with a little vision and a lot of heart.

1. Identify Boundaries of Management Area

Once a decision has been made to manage a natural system on an ecosystem basis it is
important to clarify the boundaries of the area to be managed. Boundaries of
management areas should be based on environmental features (e.g., particular
resources of concern) and should ideally be broad enough to protect natural systems of
regional significance. Drainage basins or watersheds are often a convenient and
practical means of establishing boundaries. Other boundaries may be appropriate,
especially when highly mobile species of concern are targeted for management or
when management of particular upland communities or existing management units
(e.g., parks or state/national forests) is not adequately served by a strict
basin/watershed approach.

Formal legal descriptions of management areas will e+-be required in most cases. ; f
More importantly, boundaries should be described in a way that generates common r
understanding and a sense of ownership among all of the players. Boundaries are no
necessarily set in stone and may change as new information is gained and goals are a
modified. / ,.


2. Assemble a Management Team

Assembling a team that will be responsible for overseeing management activities is a


- .









crucial step that needs to be approached with great care. Team members must be
committed to active participation in all phases of an ecosystem management effort.
Before embarking on an ecosystem management initiative it is a good idea to get a
preliminary feel for the extent that key players will be able to commit to the process.
In cases where an up front commitment is problematic it might be a good idea to start
small and gradually obtain greater commitment as the team learns to work together
and can build upon initial successes. Team composition should be broad enough to
have diverse interests represented. This will often require that the team be composed
of industry representatives, landowners, and other private sector folks in addition to
government.

Teams should have an identified team leader that assumes the role of coordinating
things and taking care of administrative matters such as preparing an agenda for
meetings, sending out notices, etc. Team leaders should have good social skills and
strong leadership qualities, but not be too dominating.

Teams should function on a consensus basis. A consensus approach requires that team
members come to the table with an open mind and a willingness to become educated
as to the desires of others, and a willingness to discover solutions satisfactory to all.
Team members should have an attitude/expectation of doing things in a way that is
generally good for the ecosystem, but not necessarily perfect for any one entity.
Everyone needs to be willing to dedicate the time necessary for discovering solutions.

Support from middle and upper management is crucial for teams to be effective. Team
members must know that they will have time and other needed resources at their
disposal. Team members must also feel as though they have been granted sufficient
authority to get the job done.

3. Have a Plan gcoo-.;C c ,c- .',s-

An ecosystem management team must have some sort of a plan to work from. Plans
don't have to be long and fancy. Good plans are ones that are actually 4 sed by the
team, are action-oriented, and facilitate getting desired results. Getting results
demands that the full range of management tools (e.g., land acquisition cooperative
agreements with landowners, regulation,, education, pollution prevention) be used in an
integrated fashion.

The first step in the planning process is to describe the ecosystem. The description
should answer the basic questions of what's there, the condition of what's there, and
how what's there has changed historically. This is the resource component of the
description. The description should also answer the question of what's going on in the
system in terms of land use, industry, agriculture, etc. This is the human component of
the description. The overall description should of course be accurate but doesn't have
to be totally comprehensive. Information gaps should simply be identified and then
addressed later in the goals/objectives phase.

The next step is to develop a common vision of what participants want the ecosystem


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to be. The vision should relate directly to those things in the ecosystem that are
valued. If you close your eyes, and imagine a snapshot of the ecosystem, what would
you like to see? The vision should be lofty but attainable.

The ecosystem description and vision form the basis for establishing goals and
objectives. Goals are the general management directions that need to be pursued to
close the gap between current conditions and the vision. Objectives are more specific,
measurable, and time certain results that will be pursued to achieve the goals.
Establishing good objectives is frequently problematic. Special efforts will be required
to ensure that objectives are resource based and relate to "on the ground" or "in the
water" results. For example, an objective of "have the Technical Advisory Committee
meet at least three times by January 1, 1997" would generally be a poor kind of
objective to see in a plan. In contrast, an objective of "increase the percentage of
shoreline with native preferred vegetation from 39 to 75% by January 1, 1997" would
be an example of a good objective that relates to meaningful results. Things like
meetings, modifying rules or policies, conducting research, applying for grant money,
and so on are the kinds of things that should be addressed as action steps (strategies)
under each of the objectives. They are important things to pursue but in and of
themselves have no meaning to the ecosystem.

During the planning process it is extremely important to identify key players up front
and work closely with them. Key players generally fall into three categories, the Who
Knows, Who Cares, and Who Decides. The Who Knows are those that know a lot
about the ecosystem. They may be agency people, academics, enviros, or landowners
that have lived in the ecosystem for many years. The Who Cares are those that care a
lot about the ecosystem and want to be actively involved. This is where the grass
roots support for an ecosystem management initiative will come from. The Who
Decides are those that have a lot of influence, either through formal authority or other
means. They are the people that will be making decisions or undertaking other
activities that will significantly impact the initiative. These categories are not mutually
exclusive. There are folks out there that know a lot, care a lot, and have a lot of
influence. They are the really critical players that you've got to work extra hard with
to nourish positive relationships.





4. Implement the Plan

Implementation is where many plans fall short. To help avoid that pitfall it is critical to
get an up front commitment from team members to implement strategic actions
identified through the planning process. It also helps to only include implementable
objectives in the plan. After the plan is finalized (remember, "the plan" might be a two
page hand written note or a 200 page document with bunches of charts and graphs!)
it's time to divide up the work and do something. Agreeing to who's going to do what


I I









can be done on a team member by team member basis, or subgroups can be formed for
particular portions of the plan.

For complex ecosystems with lots of controversial issues a comprehensive planning
process might take over a year to complete. In such cases it is wise to adopt a
staggered planning/implementation approach whereby some implementation actions
for priority issues take place before the entire plan is finished. Getting the team
involved with implementation early in the process (but not prematurely) will help to
energize the team and keep things rolling.

Implementing an ecosystem management initiative is invariably a rocky road due to the
complexity of natural systems and diverse human interests typically involved. It is
crucial for the team to have an attitude of perseverance. It is also crucial for the team
to maintain focus on common goals when things appear to be falling apart.

5. Evaluate and Monitor

In order to measure success and make decisions about how to change the overall
management initiative it is imperative to have an evaluation and monitoring program in
place. The program may be crude or very sophisticated whatever the case you've got
to have something. Evaluation and monitoring should take place at two levels which
are integrated to the maximum extent possible. The first level relates to what the
environment is telling us. Is water quality getting better or worse? Are critical
habitats increasing or declining? Is habitat quality improving or declining? What's
going on with particular species of interest and the diversity of species? Are fisheries
improving or declining? Are recreational values getting better or worse? The major
focus should of course be on those things that are most valued in the ecosystem. The
second level of evaluation and monitoring should relate to the management plan.
What parts of the plan are working? What parts are not working and why?

6. Adapt

The information gained through evaluation and monitoring should be used as a basis
for determining how the overall management initiative needs to be modified. Adapting
the initiative to new information, new conditions, unexpected events, and so on is
critical. Adaptation should be an on-going process and may have widespread
implications. You may have to revisit the overall vision for the ecosystem, modify
goals and objectives, or introduce new goals. Ecosystem management teams, and
upper level management folks supporting those teams, must have an attitude of
flexibility and willingness to try new things if the old way of doing things is not leading
to desired results.

This guide is intended to provide a brief description of key steps in the process of
managing particular places on an ecosystem basis. Remember that the form the process
takes can and should vary from one place to another. Flexibility is the key. As teams are
brought together they will have the chance to decide for themselves the approach that


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will work best for them. Success will ultimately be measured by what the environment is
telling us, not by the degree of compliance with some process that may appear somewhat
formalized and overly bureaucratic. With that in mind, please use this guide in the spirit it
is intended.





I ,


Appendix II Ideas for Establishing Ecosystem
Management Areas



Introduction

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), in conjunction with a large
number of other agencies, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector, is
currently embarking on an ambitious effort to promote management of Florida's
environment on an ecosystem basis. As the initiative unfolds it has become clear that one
of the principal cornerstones of ecosystem management will be to focus management
efforts on particular "places". This draft document is intended to offer some initial
ideas regarding how Ecosystem Management Areas (EMA's) might be formulated to
provide a statewide framework for implementing place-based management
activities.

When identifying boundaries of possible EMA's we tried to establish a broad management
framework that facilitates addressing major hydrological and ecological connections.
Establishing a broad management framework will result in some management units (e.g., a
particular state park or SWIM waterbody) being "nested" within the larger framework.
Nesting of management units should be viewed as an opportunity to improve overall
management capabilities for both the individual units and the larger system. When
formulating boundaries we carefully considered the need for EMA's, and associated
management activities, to complement rather than duplicate existing management
initiatives. To that end we have included, for each proposed EMA, a brief description of
the recommended management approach. This description recommends new management
initiatives that might be needed and identifies major management initiatives that are
already underway. For those EMA's that warrant a new and/or significantly expanded
initiative, we coined the term "Comprehensive Ecosystem Management Initiative" as the
recommended management approach.

Boundaries of proposed EMA's should not be viewed as set in stone. As teams are
created for particular EMA's and component places they will fine tune boundaries as
needed to address priority issues. Fine tuning of boundaries will in some cases result in
overlap between different EMA's. Overlap should be viewed as an opportunity for
improved management of environmental features (e.g., certain community types) that may
not fit neatly into set boundaries.

Confusion and concern regarding the ecosystem management initiative invariably results
from difficulty in explaining and understanding two issues, one relating to the question of
geographic scale (levels of management), and the other relating to the need to complement
rather than duplicate existing management efforts that have ecosystem flavor (e.g., SWIM,
NEP, South Florida Restoration, Game and Fish Critical Habitat Initiative). We hope that
the concepts of nested vs. overlapping boundaries, together with a recognition of and
appreciation for the management initiatives that are already underway, will go a long way









toward clearing up some of the confusion and concern.

Identifying EMA's is just the first step in the process. Once consensus has been reached
regarding general EMA boundaries the next step will be to assemble teams that develop
and implement plans and generally oversee management activities. Draft guidelines on
how to develop and implement a place-based management approach for an EMA are
included in Appendix I.

This draft document identifies 24 EMA's for consideration. Of those, 15 are
recommended as needing a Comprehensive Ecosystem Management Initiative. Of those
15, three initiatives are already underway (Apalachicola, Suwannee, and Lower St. Johns),
leaving 12 "new" initiatives to be developed.


Evaluation Criteria

Several criteria were used to provide some structure to the process of evaluating possible
boundaries of EMA's. Some of these criteria are ecological in nature whereas others
relate to practical issues of government organization and other constraints. These criteria
cannot be used in isolation from each other and must be considered as a package.


1. Hydrological Connections

Natural systems are connected to a great extent by hydrology. Managing natural
systems therefore requires a good understanding of and appreciation for hydrology.
Boundaries of EMA's should recognize major hydrological connections, thus providing
a management framework that unifies major river systems and integrates those systems
with the coastal environment. Basin and watershed delineations described in DEP's
November 1994 305(b) report were used extensively as a basis for addressing
hydrology.


2. Conservation Lands

Existing conservation lands (parks, CARL purchases, state and national forests, other
public and private lands) and regionally significant natural communities often do not
follow basin or watershed boundaries. Effective management of those conservation
lands, community types, and associated biota requires that management activities not
be rigidly confined to a particular hydrologic unit such as a basin or watershed.
Boundaries of EMA's must recognize existing conservation lands and natural
community types, and integrate them for effective ecosystem management.

3. Human Uses and Impacts

The types of human uses taking place in an area, and associated impacts to natural
resources, will dictate to a great extent the type of management activities that need to


I









be implemented. For example, management tools in a rapidly developing area will
differ from tools used in an area with very stable agricultural practices. Management
can be facilitated if boundaries of management areas tend to integrate areas with
similar uses and impacts.


4. Agency Jurisdiction

Even the simplest management activity can bog down quickly when lots of players
with overlapping jurisdictions get involved. Therefore, as a matter of practicality and
organizational concern, we attempted to structure each EMA in a manner that
minimizes the degree of overlap within major governmental jurisdictions. This has
resulted in most EMA's being located entirely within the jurisdictions of a single DEP
District Office and Water Management District.


5. Overall Manageability

Simply put, ecosystem management areas should not become so large that they
become unmanageable due to the number of jurisdictions that would need to be
involved, complexity and number of issues, and frequent logistical problems that limit
agency and citizen participation. This is a problematic issue, because addressing
hydrological connections and integrating conservation lands and natural community
types invariably results in making management areas bigger rather than smaller.
Striking the right balance between size and manageability is a difficult judgement call.









PERDIDO RIVER & BAY EMA


Basic Facts

Component Basins: Perdido River, Perdido Bay
Drainage Area: 1,263 square miles (578 in Florida)
SWIM Waterbodies: none
Conservation Lands: Big Lagoon State Recreation Area, Gulf Islands National Seashore,
Perdido Key State Recreation Area


General Description

This EMA integrates the Perdido River basin with Perdido Bay. The Perdido is a
blackwater river that forms the boundary between Florida and Alabama. The river basin,
mostly forested lands that are largely undeveloped, supports a diversity of plant and animal
species. Silviculture and agriculture are the major land uses throughout the region, with
increasing urban development associated with the westerly expansion of Pensacola. Water
quality in the upper river basin is generally good, but only fair in the lower basin due to
influences from Perdido Bay. Water quality in the bay is generally poor due to industrial
and wastewater discharges and other impacts from urban development.


Management Considerations

Effective management of this EMA will clearly require an integrated approach that
addresses restoration needs in the bay and lower river basin and preservation of existing
pristine areas of the upper river basin. Given the absence of major public owned
conservation areas, extensive cooperative interaction with private landholders and
silviculture/agriculture interests will be essential. Development of a Comprehensive
Ecosystem Management Initiative is recommended. A lead agency will have to be
identified.


"













PERDIDO RIVER AND BAY




ESCAMB R.
OP'TAmOOemE I.


PERDIDO


APALACH100LA 6AY









GREATER PENSACOLA EMA


Basic Facts

Component Basins: Escambia River, Blackwater River, Yellow River, Pensacola Bay
Drainage Area: 7,013 square miles (2,140 in Florida)
SWIM Waterbodies: Pensacola Bay System
Conservation Lands: Blackwater River State Forest, Blackwater River State Park,
Blackwater Wildlife Management Area, Champion International Wildlife Management
Area, Eglin Air Force Base, Escambia River Wildlife Management Area, Fort Pickens
Aquatic Preserve, Garcon Point SBS, Gulf Islands National Seashore, Lower Escambia
Wildlife Management Area, Yellow River Marsh Aquatic Preserve


General Description

The Greater Pensacola EMA integrates the basins of the Escambia, Blackwater, and
Yellow River systems with their receiving waterbody, Pensacola Bay. Each of the
component river basins have unique geological and ecological characteristics, and all are
relatively undeveloped with diverse biological communities along the river corridors. The
Blackwater River originates in Alabama within the Conecuh National Forest, and the
Escambia and Yellow Rivers form portions of the eastern and western borders of Conecuh
National Forest. Contiguous lands of Conecuh National Forest, Blackwater River State
Forest, Blackwater River State Park, forested wetlands of the Yellow River, and the
western portion of Eglin Air Force Base form an impressive block of conservation lands
included entirely within this EMA.

Silviculture and agriculture are major land uses throughout the region. Intensive urban
development is limited to the Pensacola area, with moderate development around Milton
and Crestview. Water quality in the river basins is generally good to excellent, with
localized problems caused by agricultural uses and point source discharges. Numerous
water quality problems in Escambia Bay, East Bay, and Pensacola Bay have been
attributed to both point and nonpoint pollution sources.


Management Considerations

Discharge into a common coastal system, similar land uses in the river basins, and
excellent potential for integrating management of contiguous parcels of conservation lands
all support creation of the Greater Pensacola EMA. Development of a Comprehensive
Ecosystem Management Initiative is strongly recommended. A lead agency will have to
be identified.



















ESCAMBA R.


GREATER PENSACOLA BAY E.M.A.




PEA R.
CHATTAH4OOCHEE R.


PERDIDOO


APALACHICOK A BAY









CHOCTAWHATCHEE RIVER & BAY EMA


Basic Facts

Component Basins: Choctawhatchee Bay, Choctawhatchee River, and Pea River
Drainage Area: 5,345 square miles (3,999 in Florida)
SWIM Waterbodies: none
Conservation Lands: Chipola/Econfina Wildlife Management Area, Choctawhatchee
River Wildlife Management Area, Eden State Gardens, Eglin Air Force Base, Falling
Waters State Recreation Area, Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Recreation Area,
Grayton Beach State Recreation Area, Henderson Beach State Recreation Area, Ponce
DeLeon Springs State Recreation Area, Point Washington Wildlife Management Area,
Point Washington State Forest, Rocky Bayou Aquatic Preserve, Pine Log State Forest


General Description

This EMA integrates the Choctawhatchee River basin with Choctawhatchee Bay. The Pea
River basin is included as a major tributary of the Choctawhatchee. Choctawhatchee
River is alluvial, receives input from several tributaries and springs, and is characterized by
a variety of terrain features such as floodplain and upland forests, marshes, and swamps.
The river corridor is rich with flora and fauna and includes several designated species.
Choctawhatchee Bay is dominated by freshwater input from the river, and exchanges
water with the Gulf of Mexico through only one inlet, East Pass, lying at the western end
of the bay.

Much of the river corridor is undeveloped with large public parcels managed by the
Northwest Florida Water Management District. Along Choctawhatchee Bay major
conservation lands include the eastern portion of Eglin Air Force Base and the recently
acquired Point Washington State Forest. High quality and unique coastal habitats can be
found at Grayton Beach, Henderson Beach, and Topsail Hill. Valued conservation lands
in private ownership are located throughout the region.

Agriculture and silviculture are the dominant land uses in the river portion of this EMA,
with rapid urban development and intensive recreational uses restricted primarily to the
coastal areas. Water quality in the river is generally good, but fair to poor in several
tributaries due to both point and nonpoint pollution sources. Water quality in the bay is
also generally good but threatened due to continuing development within the basin.
Eutrophication, sediment contamination, fish kills, and grass bed decline have been
documented in portions of the bay.


Management Considerations

Management of the Choctawhatchee River and Bay as a single system is essential.
Management efforts will require close coordination across state boundaries and active


.1 .1










involvement by local governments, private landowners, agriculture and silviculture
interests, and state/federal arms of government. Development of a Comprehensive
Ecosystem Management Initiative is strongly recommended. A lead agency will have to
be identified.


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CHOCTAWHATCHEE BAY & RIVER E.M.A.




PEA R.
CHATTAHOOCHEE RI


PERDIDO


APMACHIOA BAY


ESCAMBIA R









ST. ANDREWS BAY EMA


Basic Facts

Component Basin: St. Andrews Bay
Drainage Area: 1,350 square miles
SWIM Waterbodies: Deer Point Lake
Conservation Lands: Chipola/Econfina Wildlife Management Area, Constitution
Convention SM, Grayton Beach State Recreation Area, Moore's Pasture Unit WMA,
Rosewood Timber Wildlife Management Area, St. Andrews Bay Aquatic Preserve, St.
Andrews State Recreation Area, St. Joseph Bay Aquatic Preserve, St. Vincent National
Wildlife Refuge, St. Joseph Peninsula State Park


General Description

This EMA includes the watersheds of St. Andrews Bay, Lake Powell, and St. Joseph Bay.
St. Andrews Bay is an estuarine system receiving freshwater input from Econfina Creek
and smaller creeks and bayous lying both east and west of the Econfina. The Econfina is
fairly pristine and has high recreational and biological value. Numerous springs and other
geologic features contribute to the unique character of the creek. Lake Powell is also
fairly pristine and has characteristics of both freshwater and saltwater lakes. St. Joseph
Bay is a saline bay receiving little freshwater input. It is a highly productive system with
extensive areas of seagrass.

Silviculture is a major land use in the inland portions of this EMA, with urban and
industrial development concentrated along the coast. Although Lake Powell and St.
Joseph Bay have little hydrological connectivity within this EMA, geographic proximity
and human linkages (e.g., similar land use issues) within the overall system warrant their
inclusion.


Management Considerations

Current management initiatives in the St. Andrews Bay EMA are focused on Deer Point
Lake (a SWIM waterbody) and individual parcels of conservation lands. An integrated
management approach is needed for the overall system. As such, development of a
Comprehensive Ecosystem Management Initiative is recommended. A lead agency will
have to be identified.


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ST. ANDREWS BAY E.M.A.



ESCAMBIA R.
PEA R.
CHATTAHOOCHEE R.


APALACHIOLA BAY









GREATER APALACHICOLA EMA


Basic Facts

Component Basins: Chattahoochee River, Chipola River, Apalachicola River, New River,
Apalachicola Bay
Drainage area: 21,794 Square Miles (4,039 in Florida)
SWIM Waterbodies: Apalachicola Bay/St. George Sound, Apalachicola River
Conservation Lands: Apalachee Wildlife Management Area, Apalachicola Bay Aquatic
Preserve, Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines, Apalachicola National Forest, Apalachicola
Wildlife Management Area, Apalachicola River WMA, Apalachicola River and Bay
National Estuarine Research Reserve, Cape St. George SR, St. George Island State Park,
Edward Ball Wildlife Management Area, Florida Caverns State Park, Fort Gadsden
National Historic Site, John Gorrie SM, St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge, Three
Rivers State Recreation Area, Torreya State Park


General Description

This EMA integrates the Chattahoochee, Chipola, Apalachicola and New Rivers with their
major receiving waterbody, Apalachicola Bay. All of the component river basins have
outstanding natural features, with varying degrees of impacts from human uses. Major
habitats of the Apalachicola basin include coastal and freshwater marshes, flatwoods, and
bottomland hardwood swamp. The eastern side of the river is rich with rare and
endangered plants and contains a series of unique ravines. The Chipola is spring fed and
has excellent fish and wildlife diversity. The New River basin has been extensively altered
by ditching and draining, but remains largely undeveloped and has significant habitat value.
Apalachicola Bay is an extremely productive estuary supporting important commercial and
recreational fisheries.

Agriculture and silviculture are the major land uses throughout this EMA, with limited
urban development in small rural communities within the Florida portion of the basin.
Lake Seminole, part of the Chattahoochee basin, receives large volumes of water
containing urban and agricultural runoff from areas outside of Florida. Monitoring of
water quality in the lake has been very limited. Water quality in the Chipola River and
Apalachicola River and Bay is generally good, with localized problem areas associated
with agricultural and silvicultural practices and point source discharges.


Management Considerations

Major hydrological and ecological connections between the Chattahoochee, Chipola,
Apalachicola, and New River basins, combined with high dependance of Apalachicola Bay
on those basins, provide compelling arguments for treating the entire region as EMA.
Given that over 80% of the drainage for component basins of this EMA lies outside of
Florida, effective management clearly demands close coordination with municipal,
agricultural, and other out-of-state users. The federal government will likely serve as a









key avenue for achieving close coordination, as evidenced by the tri-state agreement with
the Corps of Engineers. In Florida, management efforts must focus on a wide range of
issues, including land development, forestry and agricultural practices, and point/nonpoint
pollution sources.

A Comprehensive Ecosystem Management Initiative is currently being developed for this
EMA, with DEP's NERR program and NWFWMD's SWIM program assuming lead roles.
A permanent management team, with representation from the full range of public and
private sector interests, should be assembled. A lead agency should be identified to handle
administrative matters for the team and coordinate team activities. Given the number of
basins and complexity of issues it may be advantageous to assemble working groups for
each of the component basins, and have the management team for the overall EMA serve
as a coordinating forum.













GREATER APALACHICOLA E.M.A.




PEA CHATTAHOOCHEE R.


ESCAMBL Ri


PERDIDO


APALACHICOtA BAY









OCHLOCKONEE AND ST. MARKS EMA


Basic Facts

Component Basins: Ochlockonee River, St. Marks River
Drainage Area: 3,159 square miles (2,733 in Florida)
SWIM Waterbodies: Lake Jackson
Conservation Lands: Alfred B. Maclay State Gardens, Apalachicola Wildlife Management
Area, Big Bend Seagrasses Aquatic Preserve, Lake Jackson Mounds, Lake Jackson
Aquatic Preserve, Lake Talquin State Recreation Area, Cypress Creek Wildlife
Management Area, Joe Budd Wildlife Management Area, L. Kirk Edwards Wildlife
Management Area, Ochlockonee River Wildlife Management Area, Natural Bridge
Battlefield State Historic Site, Ocklockonee River State Park, Robert Brent Wildlife
Management Area, San Marcos de Apalache State Historic Site, Tallahassee-St. Marks
Historic Railroad ST, Talquin Wildlife Management Area, Wakulla Springs State Park


General Description

This EMA integrates two major river basins which discharge into a common coastal
system. Both the Ochlockonee and St. Marks river systems originate in higher-elevation
clays of the Tallahassee Hills, and then run through a region of plastic upland lakes.
Hydrological connections among these lakes and two river basins are complex. Some
lakes discharge into river systems; others discharge into aquifers; still others have primarily
closed watersheds. Some lakes combine or change these hydrological connections
intermittently. Below the Tallahassee Hills both rivers run through low coastal plain and
discharge into Apalachee Bay. The Ochlockonee flows through sandy substrata of coastal
pine forests, with mostly surface-water inputs. The St. Marks River receives input from
both forested watersheds and the Floridan aquifer, including inflow from its major spring-
run tributary, the Wakulla River. Tidal inflow from Apalachee Bay plays an important role
in the ecologies of lower reaches of both rivers. Large parcels of conservation lands
within Apalachicola NF and St. Marks NWR cut across basin boundaries and provide
important ecological linkages between basins.

Outside of the Tallahassee urban area, privately owned lands in this EMA are largely in
agricultural or silvicultural use, with intensive agriculture primarily in the upper portions
of the Ochlockonee basin. Runoff from agriculture has degraded water quality in some
Ochlockonee watersheds. Urban development in Leon County has degraded many lakes
and threatens the long term health of both the Ochlockonee and St. Marks River systems.



Management Considerations

High dependance of both the Ochlockonee and St. Marks River basins on activities of
Leon County, their discharge into contiguous portions of Apalachee Bay, and linkages









between basins provided by lands ofApalachicola NF and St. Marks NWR all support
their inclusion together as one EMA. Current management initiatives are generally
confined to individual parcels of conservation lands. Such initiatives must be better
integrated to improve management of conservation lands and the system as a whole.
Development of a Comprehensive Ecosystem Management Initiative is strongly
recommended. A lead agency will have to be identified.


I














OCHLOCKONEE ST. MARKS E.M.A.



PA I CHATTAMOOCHE R


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BIG BEND COAST EMA


Basic Facts

Component Basins: Aucilla River, Econfina-Fenholloway Rivers
Drainage Area: 1,977 square miles (1,850 in Florida)
SWIM Waterbodies: Econfina River, Fenholloway River, Steinhatchee River
Conservation Lands: Aucilla Wildlife Management Area, Big Bend Seagrasses Aquatic
Preserve, Champion International Corp. Wildlife Management Area, Forest Capital SM,
Hickory Mound Wildlife Management Area, Jena Wildlife Management Area, Middle
Aucilla River Wildlife Management Area, Proctor & Gamble Cellulose Co. Wildlife
Management Area, St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Spring Creek Wildlife
Management Area, Steinhatchee Wildlife Management Area, Steinhatchee Springs
Wildlife Management Area, Tide Swamp Wildlife Management Area


General Description

The Big Bend Coast EMA includes watersheds drained by several small riverine systems,
including the Aucilla River, Econfina River, Fenholloway River, Spring Warrior Creek,
Steinhatchee River, and Sanders Creek. Each system runs mostly through low, forested
coastal plain into contiguous marsh estuaries of the Gulf of Mexico. They are
predominantly blackwater streams, with varying degrees of connection to the Floridan
aquifer and limerock substrata. Tidewater wetlands of this EMA comprise a substantial
portion of the vast undeveloped emergent wetland extending from the St. Marks River to
Pasco County.

Silviculture is the dominant land use throughout this EMA. Large tracts of forested lands
in private ownership are managed via cooperative agreements with the Florida Game and
Freshwater Fish Commission. Urban development has been very limited. Water quality is
generally good, with the Fenholloway (a class V waterbody approved for industrial use)
being one notable exception.


Management Considerations

Similar ecology of component rivers and creeks, discharge into a common coastal system,
and extensive silvicultural use throughout the region all support creation of the Big Bend
Coast EMA. Although current management efforts are substantial due to numerous
conservation lands and SWIM designations, overall management will improve with an
integrated approach. Development of a Comprehensive Ecosystem Management Initiative
is strongly recommended. A lead agency will have to be identified.















BIG BEND COAST E.M.A.


I









GREATER SUWANNEE EMA


Basic Facts

Component Basins: Alapaha River, Withlacoochee River, Upper Suwannee River, Santa
Fe River, Lower Suwannee River
SWIM Waterbodies: Alligator Lake, Falling Creek, Santa Fe River System, Suwannee
River System
Conservation Lands: Big Bend Seagrasses Aquatic Preserve, Cypress Creek Wildlife
Management Area, Ichetucknee Springs State Park, Lake Butler Wildlife Management
Area, Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge, Manatee Springs State Park, Occidental
Wildlife Management Area, O'Leno State Park, Olustee Battlefield State Historic Site,
Osceola National Forest, Osceola Wildlife Management Area, River Rise State Preserve,
Suwannee River State Park, Twin Rivers Wildlife Management Area, Holton Creek
Wildlife Management Area, Big Shoals Wildlife Management Area


General Description

This EMA integrates the major tributaries of the Suwannee River with the Suwannee
River proper and Suwannee Sound along the coast. The Suwannee originates in the
Okefenokee swamp of southeast Georgia. Biological, geological, and recreational values
within the entire system are outstanding. Upper parts of the system drain swamp or
upland forests and are blackwater streams. Lower parts of this EMA are characterized by
spring discharges, sinks, and discharges of surface water into the Floridan aquifer.

Agriculture and silviculture are the major land uses within this EMA, with urban
development generally limited to small rural communities. Phosphate mining is fairly
extensive in several watersheds in the Upper Suwannee basin. Water quality throughout
the system is generally good, with localized problems resulting from sedimentation and
wastewater/industrial discharges.


Management Considerations

A Comprehensive Ecosystem Management Initiative is currently being developed and
implemented for the Greater Suwannee EMA, with DEP and the SRWMD assuming lead
roles. Refinement of this initiative will require that a permanent management team be
assembled, with representation from the full range of public and private sector interests.
Given the number of basins, complexity of issues, and geographic extent of the system it
may be advantageous to assemble working groups for each of the component basins, and
have the management team for the overall EMA serve as a coordinating forum.

















GREATER SUWANNNEE E.M.A.


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WACCASASSA AND WITHLACOOCHEE EMA


Basic Facts

Component Basins: Waccasassa River, Withlacoochee River
Drainage Area: 3,026 square miles
SWIM Waterbodies: Lake Panasoffkee, Rainbow River, Waccasassa River System
Conservation Lands: Big Bend Seagrasses Aquatic Preserve, Cedar Key SM, Cedar Key
Scrub State Reserve, Cedar Key Scrub Wildlife Management Area, Citrus Wildlife
Management Area, Croom Wildlife Management Area, Cross Florida Greenway, Dade
Battlefield State Historic Site, Flying Eagle WMD, Fort Cooper State Park, Green Swamp
Wildlife Management Area, Gulf Hammock Wildlife Management Area, Half Moon
Wildlife Management Area, Jumper Creek Wildlife Management Area, Lake Rousseau
State Recreation Area, Rainbow Springs Aquatic Preserve, Richloam Wildlife
Management Area, Waccasassa Bay State Preserve, Withlacoochee State Forest,
Withlacoochee ST


General Description

This EMA includes the basins of two lowland river systems with adjacent coastal
discharges. The Waccasassa originates as a spring run that flows through coastal lowlands
into the Gulf of Mexico. The Withlacoochee originates from the Green Swamp near the
junction of Polk and Lake Counties, then meanders northward through a diversity of lake
and riverine habitats before reaching the Gulf. The Waccasassa discharges into a relatively
pristine coastal estuary, whereas the Withlacoochee's estuary has been hydrologically
altered through impoundment (Lake Rousseau) and construction of the Cross-Florida
Barge Canal.

Silviculture is the major land use in the Waccasassa basin, with both silviculture and
agriculture assuming major roles in the Withlacoochee basin. Urban development is
limited to Cedar Key and a few small rural communities in the Waccasassa basin, and is
moderate in Dade City, Inverness, Dunellon, and other small cities of the Withlacoochee
basin.


Management Considerations

Development of a Comprehensive Ecosystem Management Initiative is recommended for
this EMA. Such an effort will be complicated by the number of jurisdictions involved, in
particular two DEP District Offices (Northeast and Southwest) and two WMD's
(Suwannee River and Southwest Florida). A joint management initiative might be
valuable in (a) addressing management of the coastal estuarine system in an integrated
manner, and (b) developing unified cooperative management efforts with silviculture
interests that are widespread throughout both basins. On the other hand, separate
ecosystem management initiatives might be much easier to develop and implement.










Additional analysis and communication between the agencies is needed to make a final
determination.


I















WACCASSASSA- WITHLACOOCHEE E.M.A.


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SPRINGS COAST EMA


Basic Facts

Component Basins: Springs Coast (Crystal River to Clearwater excluding St. Pete Beach
and Boca Ciega Bay)
Drainage Area: about 1100 square miles
SWIM Waterbodies: Crystal River/Kings Bay
Conservation Lands: Anclote Key State Park, Caladesi Island State Park, Chassahowitzka
National Wildlife Refuge & Wildlife Management Area, Crystal River State Reserve &
SAS, Homosassa Springs State Park, Honeymoon Island State Recreation Area, Starkey
Wilderness Park (WMD), St. Martin's Marsh Aquatic Preserve, Withlacoochee State
Forest (aka, Citrus Wildlife Management Area), Pinellas Co. Aquatic Preserve, Yulee
Sugar Mill Ruins State Historic Site


General Description

This coastal EMA stretches from Crystal River on the north to Pinellas County on the
south, and consists of many short meandering streams which have tidal characteristics.
The Chassahowitzka, Crystal, Homosassa and Weeki Wachee rivers have headwaters
which are major Florida springs. They empty into the large sawgrass and Juncus
dominated estuary that lines this entire 40 mile stretch of the coast. The waterbodies in
this basin are typically clear, high transparency waters which are major recreational and
economic attractions. Two streams in the central portion of the basin, the Pithlachascotee
and Anclote Rivers, have their origin in the same swampy area in Pasco County and are
blackwater rivers. The southernmost reaches of the basin includes St. Joseph Sound,
Stevenson Creek, Clearwater Harbor and those portions of Pinellas County that drain
westward directly to the Gulf of Mexico.

The major land uses in this area are forestry, rangeland, and increasing levels of urban
development. Crystal River has very good water clarity, but the water is nutrient enriched
causing dense aquatic weed growths in the Kings Bay area. Continuing sources of
nutrient input result from septic tank drainage and stormwater runoff. The Homosassa,
Weeki Wachee, lower Pithlachascotee, and Anclote rivers have experienced bacteria
problems of varying degrees, presumably from septic tank drainage and/or urban runoff.
The Pinellas County portion of this EMA is entirely urbanized and exhibits the worst
water quality in the Springs Coast EMA.




Management Considerations

There are currently no initiatives in place that address management of this coastal system
in an integrated fashion. The similarity of issues between the tidal creeks/rivers and the










highly connected ecological features along the immediate coastal environment from
Crystal River south to Pinellas County all demand that a Comprehensive Ecosystem
Management Initiative be developed. A lead agency will need to be identified.


i















UPPER ST. JOHNS RIVER E.M.A.


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INDIAN RIVER LAGOON EMA


Basic Facts

Component Basins: Middle East Coast and South Indian River
Drainage Area: 1542 square miles
SWIM Waterbodies: Indian River Lagoon System
Conservation Lands: Banana River State Aquatic Preserve, Canaveral National
Seashore, Fort Pierce Inlet State Recreation Area, Ft. Pierce State Aquatic
Preserve, Indian River Aquatic Preserve, Jupiter Inlet State Aquatic Preserve,
Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, Savannas State Reserve, Sebastian Inlet
State Recreation Area, St. Lucie Inlet State Park.


General Description

The Indian River Lagoon EMA extends from Ponce de Leon Inlet at New Smyrna
Beach south through Sebastian Inlet to Stuart and contains three major bodies of water
- Mosquito Lagoon, the Indian River and the Banana River. All three are actually
long, shallow, 1-2 mile wide estuarine lagoons, which are bounded to the east by a
narrow coastal ridge, with tidal influence extending only approximately 10 miles north
and south of each inlet. There is little freshwater influence from natural stream
drainage areas, hence the salinity is only slightly less than oceanic. In their natural state
the lagoons are bordered by mangrove swamp or Spartina marsh and have either
mudflats, lush seagrass beds, or shell hash on their bottoms. Much of the mangrove
forests have been lost to development or mosquito control. The water itself is used
extensively for fishing, shellfishing and recreation. Manatees are common residents in
the area. Much of the Indian River is classified as shellfish harvesting waters, as
Outstanding Florida Waters, as a National Estuary, and as an Aquatic Preserve. The
Florida Legislature passed a bill in 1990 banning sewage discharge into the Indian
River Lagoon by July 1, 1995. The land portion of the basin is dominated by urban
developments (low to high density residential), rangeland, and orchards. The eastern
portion of the basin is one of Florida's most preeminent citrus growing regions, known
for its famous "Indian River Fruit".

Management Considerations

The inclusion of the Indian River Lagoon into EPA's National Estuary Program (NEP)
has given area scientists and managers the opportunity to study the bay and its
problems in a holistic fashion. The Indian River NEP has also been used as a forum
to bring state and local governments together to develop a management scheme to
conserve and restore the Lagoon's environment. In recognition of these achievements,
the Indian River NEP (or its successor) should be designated as the lead agency to
oversee the development of ecosystem management initiatives for this EMA.


















INDIAN RIVER LAGOON E.M.A.


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LAKE WALES RIDGE EMA


Basic Facts

Component Basins: Portions of Fisheating Creek, Kissimmee River, Peace River, and
Withlacoochee River basins
Drainage Area: About 1,000 square miles
SWIM Waterbodies: Winter Haven Chain of Lakes
Conservation Lands: Arbuckle Wildlife Management Area, Archbold Biological
Station, Catfish Creek State Preserve, Highlands Hammock State Park, Lake Arbuckle
State Forest, Saddle Blanket Lakes Preserve, Tiger Creek Preserve


General Description

The Lake Wales Ridge EMA, located primarily in Polk and Highlands Counties,
includes remnant ecosystems that are highly unique at the global level. The most
famous natural community characterizing the ridge is Florida's ancient interior scrub.
The deep sands and variable topography also couch numerous sandhill upland lakes,
marsh lakes, and sinkhole lakes interspersed between areas of pine flatwoods.
Remnants of biodiversity are distributed throughout the ridge, with significant scrub
communities existing in numerous distinct fragments. Approximately 40 species of
plants and vertebrates survive within these remnants, of which 17 species are federally
listed, and 13 additional species are proposed for federal listing. These species and
fragmented natural areas are all that remain of an ancient flora and fauna once
widespread in North America.

The Lake Wales Ridge is the primary divide between the Kissimmee River and Peace
River basins. It also provides headwater drainage for the Withlacoochee River to the
north and Fisheating Creek to the south. Rapid seepage of precipitation into the ridge
provides important recharge for the Floridan Aquifer. Agriculture, mining, and urban
development are widespread throughout the region.


Management Considerations

Current management efforts rely almost exclusively on land acquisition, with about
31,000 acres already purchased and an additional 42,000 acres proposed for
acquisition. Many of these parcels will be managed by the USFWS under the umbrella
of the proposed Lake Wales Ridge NWR. Expanding management efforts to include
cooperative agreements with private landowners (e.g., less than fee acquisitions, long-
term development agreements) will be essential to provide connectivity between
purchased parcels and otherwise maintain ecological integrity within the region. As
management efforts expand there will be a greater need for close coordination between
the various agencies, private landowners, agricultural interests, and other interested
parties. Coordination will be problematic due to the large number of jurisdictions









involved, which includes three DEP District Offices (Central, South, and Southwest)
and two WMD's (South and Southwest). Achieving close coordination and ensuring
that the full range of management options be pursued in an integrated fashion demand
that a Comprehensive Ecosystem Management Initiative be developed for this EMA.
A lead agency will have to be identified.


I











LAKE WALES RIDGE E.M.A.









SOUTH FLORIDA EMA


The South Florida EMA encompasses roughly 1/3 of the state and includes the
Kissimmee River, Lake Okeechobee, and the Everglades. Lands included within this
EMA generally correspond with the boundaries of the South Florida Water
Management District. For descriptive purposes, and for consideration as a possible
way to organize management efforts, the following three sub-regions are presented:

1. Greater Kissimmee/Okeechobee
2. Loxahatchee/Hungryland Slough & Allapattah Flats
3. Greater Everglades



1. GREATER KISSIMMEE AND OKEECHOBEE


Basic Facts

Component Basins: Kissimmee River, Fisheating Creek, Taylor Creek and Lake
Okeechobee
Drainage Area: 4954 square miles
Swim Waterbodies: Lake Okeechobee/Kissimmee River
Conservation Lands: Lake Arbuckle State Forest and WMA and State Park, Lake
Kissimmee State Park, Avon Park Air Force Bombing Range, Kicco WMA
(WMD), Three Lakes WMA, Prairie Lakes WMA.


General Description

Areas throughout the Kissimmee River and Fisheating Creek's corridors have been
identified by the GFC as "Strategic Habitat Conservation Area". Listed below are
descriptions of the component basins within this system.


Kissimmee River Basin 3,054 square miles
The Kissimmee River has its origin in the southern outskirts of the highly urbanized
Orlando area. Shingle, Boggy, and Reedy Creeks are the principal streams making
up the headwaters. Shingle Creek flows sluggishly through urban and swampy land
and eventually empties into Lake Tohopekaliga. Reedy Creek flows from the
Disney World complex through swamps into a slough between Cypress Lake and
Lake Hatchineha. From here, the river flows southward into Lake Kissimmee.
After leaving Lake Kissimmee, the river used to meander 99 river miles through an
extensive floodplain to Lake Okeechobee. Between 1965-1971 the Army Corps of
Engineers converted the river into a 56 mile long canal, C-38. The original
conversion was for flood control, navigation, and to reclaim land for farming and









grazing. Unfortunately, a significant price was paid in aesthetics, biological
diversity, and downstream water quality. This stretch of the river corridor is
sparsely populated, and the land is used mostly for grazing. The channel flows
mostly through unimproved rangeland. However, as it nears Lake Okeechobee,
cattle become more concentrated and dairies more numerous. Nutrient and BOD
rich runoff from all along the channel flows quickly through the river to Lake
Okeechobee and exacerbates eutrophication problems there. Perhaps more
significant than theater quality problems in the river is the habitat modification
and consequent loss of biological diversity and functional wetlands. Recently,
efforts have been made to restore parts of the river to its natural, meandering
course by strategically placing weirs in the channel. In those sections the river has
returned to its original floodplain, effectively re-creating the buffering wetlands.
Land purchases, design plans and monitoring are being continued toward the
restoration goal of 32,000 acres.
The Arbuckle Creek drainage area which forms the western portion of the
Kissimmee River basin begins near Reedy Lake in Polk County. This lake drains
via Reedy Creek and Livingston Creek to Lake Arbuckle and from Lake Arbuckle
to Lake Istokpoga, picking up Carter Creek along the way. The Istokpoga Canal
connects Lake Istokpoga to the Kissimmee River 35 miles above Lake Okeechobee.
There are other flood control/drainage canal networks that run between Lakes
Istokpoga and Okeechobee. Land use in this drainage includes orchards, rangeland
and wetlands.


Fisheating Creek Basin 918 square miles

The Fisheating Creek basin forms part of the northwest drainage basin of Lake
Okeechobee. The creek itself is a meandering blackwater stream that flows through
rangeland in Highlands and Glades Counties, eventually emptying into Gator
Slough, which then flows into Lake Okeechobee. It is mostly lined by cypress
swamps. The creek has excellent wildlife values, and several remote segments are
used for recreational canoeing and swimming. In drier years, many of Lake
Okeechobee's wading birds seek refuge in the swamp and sloughs surrounding the
creek.

The basin drains primarily improved rangeland with some agriculture. Other
waterways in the basin include several major canals connected to a network of
smaller canals designed to drain land for more intensive grazing and some
agricultural areas. The canals, however, are impaired from rangeland and
agricultural runoff. Habitat and flow alteration (due to ditching and draining) and
nutrient enrichment have lead to low biotic indices and declining fisheries and weed
growth. This basin is one of the many sources of nutrient loading to Lake
Okeechobee. The basin is very sparsely populated and has no major urban areas.


Taylor Creek Basin 282 square miles


I









The Taylor Creek basin forms a portion of the northeast drainage basin of Lake
Okeechobee. The basin is relatively small, with Taylor Creek as the largest stream.
Although sparsely populated, the basin is highly developed with agriculture lands
and rangelands. There are also many dairies in the basin, often located directly
adjacent to the streams and creeks. All of the reaches in this basin have severe
pollution problems, with frequent violations of the dissolved oxygen standard. The
majority of the problems are due to dairy farm runoff which contains high
concentrations of BOD and nutrients. Many of the creeks in the basin actually run
through dairy operations. As part of the Lake Okeechobee SWIM plan some
dairies have been removed from the Taylor Creek basin.


Lake Okeechobee Basin 700 square miles for lake surface

Lake Okeechobee covers 700 square miles, depending on lake level, making it the
largest lake in Florida and second largest lake within the boarders of the United
States. Land use in the surrounding basins is predominantly dairy farming,
improved pasture, and rangeland. The natural drainage from the lake, basically a
spillage into the extensive wetland system south of the lake, has been diked and
dredged into six major exiting canals: the westward flowing Caloosahatchee and
the eastward St. Lucie, West Palm Beach, Hillsboro, North New River, and Miami
Canals. These modifications and numerous other drainage canals allowed the
claiming of 1200 square miles of land for agricultural usage, known as the
Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA). It is planted mostly in sugar cane, but also
has significant amounts of row crop and sod farming.

Lake Okeechobee is part of the larger system known as the Kissimmee,
Okeechobee, Everglades drainage that is unique in the world. Historically, the
sluggish, meandering river system emptied into a high, shallow lake that slowly
released water to a 50 mile wide, 125 mile long "River of Grass", then to a
mangrove swamp, and finally to the Florida Bay estuary.

The hydrology of the Kissimmee Basin and the Everglades/Southeast Florida Basins
has been greatly modified for flood control and to produce farmland. Lake
Okeechobee still serves as a reservoir for the system, but both inflow to and
outflow from the lake is, to a great extent, managed by man through a system of
canals, pumps and control structures. All inflows and outflows to the lake (except
Fisheating Creek) are controlled. The price of managing water quantity so heavily
has been a marked lowering of water quality. Major sources of pollution to the lake
include runoff from ranch and dairy operations in the northern drainage and from
historic back-pumping of runoff from row crops and sugar cane in the southern
drainage. As part of the SWIM plan, some dairies have been removed from the
lake's drainage basin.


2. LOXAHATCHEE / HUNGRYLAND SLOUGH & ALLAPATTAH
FLATS





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Basic Facts

Component Basins: Loxahatchee and St. Lucie sub-basins
Drainage Area: about 1500 square miles
SWIM Waterbodies: None
Conservation Lands: Big Mound State Archeological Site, J.W. Corbett Wildlife
Management Area, Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge, Jonathan Dickinson
State Park, John & Susan DuPuis Wildlife and Environmental Area, Loxahatchee
River/Lake Worth Creek Aquatic Preserve, John D. MacArthur Beach State Park,
St. Lucie Inlet State Preserve, Savannas State Reserve


General Description

The Loxahatchee/Hungryland Slough is an area in northern Palm Beach & southern
Martin County bounded by the West Palm Beach Canal & S.R. 80 to the south, the
L8 Canal to the west, and the St. Lucie Canal to the north. The Allapattah Flats are
north of the Loxahatchee/Hungryland Slough and are bounded by the St. Lucie
Canal to the south, Lake Okeechobee to the west and S.R. 68 to the north.
Conservation and undeveloped lands are predominantly pine flatwoods interspersed
with ponded marshes and cypress sloughs. During the wet season much of the pine
flatwoods become inundated, thereby connecting all the ponded marshes and
cypress strands together to form a vast slough system. Part of this slough system is
now known as the West Palm Beach Water Catchment Area, which is the principal
drinking water supply for the City of West Palm Beach.

Land use in the Loxahatchee/Hungryland Slough region is urban along the east
coast and a mix of agriculture and low density suburban development in the central
and western areas. Land use in the Allapattah Flats region is urban and suburban
along the coast (east of 1-95), with agriculture and undeveloped pine flatwoods to
the west. Since the creation of numerous water control structures the predominant
flow of water in this region is now easterly (rather than southerly into the northern
Everglades), feeding the southwest forks of both the Loxahatchee and St. Lucie
Rivers.



3. GREATER EVERGLADES


Basic Facts

Component Basins: Southeastern Florida Coast Basin (except Loxahatchee & St.
Lucie River sub-basins) and the eastern portion of the Everglades West Coast Basin
(east of SR 29).
Drainage Area: about 8,000 square miles









SWIM Waterbodies: Biscayne Bay, Everglades National Park/Florida Bay,
Everglades Water Conservation Areas.
Conservation Lands: Big Cypress National Preserve, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State
Recreation Area, Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve, Biscayne National Park, Brown's
Farm Wildlife Management Area, Everglades National Park, Everglades Water
Conservation Areas & Water Management Area, Holey Land Wildlife Management
Area, Hugh Taylor Birch State Recreation Area, John U. Lloyd Beach State
Recreation Area, Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, Loxahatchee River/Lake
Worth Creek Aquatic Preserve, North Shore State Recreation Area, Oleta River
State Recreation Area, Rotenberger Wildlife Management Area, Southern Glades
Wildlife & Environmental Area (WMD), The Barnacle State Historic Site


General Description

This region includes the urbanized southeastern coast of Florida, the Water
Conservation Areas, all of Everglades National Park & Big Cypress Preserve, and
Florida Bay. In its natural state, drainage within this region was once a vast
continuous wetland with a slow sheet flow of water from Lake Okeechobee south
to Florida Bay. The native sawgrass plain is-dotted with cypress domes and
hardwood hammocks.


Southeast Florida is criss-crossed by literally thousands of miles of canals and
levees used to control and manage water. Controls are centered around Lake
Okeechobee with the remainder of the system including five major canals that
radiate out from Lake Okeechobee to the Atlantic, and one major waterway, the
Caloosahatchee River, to the Gulf. A sixth major Atlantic canal, the Tamiami Canal
stretching across the middle of the basin, serves as the primary drainage for the
Everglades and the lower southeastern coast.

Agriculture west of the urbanized southeast includes two major areas of agricultural
operations. A large area south and east of Lake Okeechobee, known as the
Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA), is used for intensive cultivation of sugar cane
and row crops. Another sizable row cropping operation occurs near Homestead.
The canals draining these areas exhibit poor water quality, are frequently choked
with weeds, have low biological diversity and many exotic plants and animals.

This region includes vast areas of state and federally owned wetlands which are
remnants of the historic Everglades. Of the federally owned lands, most notable are
the Everglades National Park (ENP) at 1.4 million acres and the Big Cypress
National Preserve at over 700,000 acres. In the area east of Everglades National
Park, land acquisitions continue to occur as a cooperative effort between SFWMD,
DEP and the National Park Service. North of ENP and south of the EAA are large
areas of diked wetlands which are called the Water Conservation Areas. These
historically sawgrass dominated wetlands, which are an important buffer between
the urban/agricultural areas and the National Park, are maintained for flood control









and water supply for agriculture, aquifer recharge, drinking water, and delivery to
ENP. Nutrient enrichment from the agricultural areas has contributed to poor
water quality and low biological integrity in the Water Conservation Areas.
Although the Conservation Areas absorb some of the nutrient load, the native
sawgrass community in these wetlands are being replaced by cattails, which are
considered a nuisance species.

Extensive channelization has exacerbated water quality'problems. Diversion of
water into canals that flow east to the Atlantic has reduced freshwater flows further
south to Florida Bay. Some areas in Florida'Bay have experienced a massive
seagrass and mangrove die-off.





Management Considerations

The overall management recommendation for the South Florida EMA is to support
and refine as necessary on-going management activities of the SFWMD, South
Florida Ecosystem Restoration Federal Initiative, the Governor's Commission for a
Sustainable South Florida, and Florida Bay Working Group. Refinement of these
initiatives will require that each be modified in terms of structure and/or process to
result in a single unified management effort for South Florida. Unification may be
facilitated by creation of the Everglades Partnership, a proposed consortium of
public and private institutions and individuals dedicated to working cooperatively to
restore and maintain the Everglades and South Florida ecosystem.


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SOUTH FLORIDA E.M.A.


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GREATER KISSIMMEE OKEECHOBEE


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LOXAHATCHEE/HUNGRYLAND SLOUGH

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GREATER EVERGLADES


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FLORIDA KEYS EMA


Basic Facts

Component Basin: Florida Keys
Drainage Area: 918 Square Miles
SWIM Waterbodies: None
Conservation Lands: Biscayne Bay-Card Sound Aquatic
Preserve, Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Key Largo National Marine
Sanctuary, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Lignumvitae Aquatic Preserve,
Shell Key State Preserve, Indian Key State Historic Site,Long Key State Recreation
Area, Coupon Bight Aquatic Preserve, Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary,
National Key Deer Refuge, Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge, Bahia
Honda State Park, Key West National Wildlife Refuge, Ft. Zachary Taylor State
Historic Site, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary


General Description

The Florida Keys are a limestone archipelago consisting of over 1,700 islands
extending from the southern tip of the Florida mainland to the Dry Tortugas west of
Key West. The Keys are bounded on the north and west by Biscayne Bay, Barnes
and Blackwater sounds, Florida Bay, and the Gulf of Mexico. Relatively shallow
and protected waters of the bays and sounds contain extensive areas of mud shoals,
seagrass beds, and numerous unique soft and hardbottom communities. The
southern side of the Keys is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, and includes extensive
patch and bank reefs that form the Florida Reef Tract. Many of the islands contain
thick mangrove fringes. Upland habitats of somewhat limited but ecologically
significant distribution include pine rockland, hardwood hammocks, coastal berm,
open beach dune/strand, and coastal rock barren. These habitats support a number
of threatened and endangered species.


Management Considerations

The number and diversity of conservation lands in the Florida Keys have led to
numerous management initiatives. It is hoped that the designation of the entire
region as a National Marine Sanctuary will result in a comprehensive and unified
management effort. The recommended management approach for this EMA is to
support further development and implementation of the management plan for the
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
















FLORIDA KEYS E.M.A.


I






r- c V, o .- -


Appendix III Exa pies ofNfet
Environmental -Benefi .-- pe //-

Net-Environmertal-Benefit-(NEB with respect to regulatory and ecosystem
management processes, is an advantage that accrues to natural systems from using
incentive-based innovative planning, engineering or design to produce a better
environmental outcome than likely would have been achieved through the
traditional regulatory or management processes. In order to promote and obtain
0 /(dNEB, the department, permit applicants, persons involved with compliance actions
as well as other parties must cooperate and look beyond the limits of regulatory
criteria for innovative solutions to environmental problems. The effectiveness and
value of the environmental outcome gained by the alternative decision-making
process ought to be measured against established community-based objectives for
improvement, management or protection of the ecosystem in terms of the system's
diversity, connectedness and ecological functions.

AGRICULTURE EXAMPLES OFN NFIT-
A I. D rS > -- C


1. Many landowners fear planting long leaf pine because of the potential for
restricted harvest resulting from listed species protection and future rule
promulgations strengthening protection. By no longer planting long leaf
pine, a negative net environmental benefit results with a loss of diversity and
habitat for listed species (plant or animal). If an incidental take is allowed to
occur on long leaf holdings when offset by rotationally reserved habitat, a
forester may be willn to plant long leaf pine and provide habitat for listed
species. The ne-e-nveronentat-benefit-would be an overall increase in listed
species and habitat, and maintain of seed source for a steadily disappearing
natural system.

2. The use of petroleum derived lubricants in equipment can result in
environmental degradation when leaks occur. Substitution of vegetable
based oils, where possible, will prevent wholesale degradation and will be
remediated by the environment. An example of one such material used in
the state is rapeseed oil.

INDUSTRY EXAMPLES OF NETENV ONMENTALBENEFIT / .

1. Until recently, petroleum contamination cleanup sites nationwide have been
the subject of regulations which drive cleanup efforts to achieve nearly
impossible goals. Benzene, and other carcinogens, present in petroleum
products were found in soil and water at leaking tank sites. In attempting to
determine appropriate cleanup levels, the DEP adopted a benzene target
level of one part per billion (ppb), a level less than the federal drinking water
standard of 5 ppb. The policy underlying such cleanup targets is that
drinking water must be "free from" substances which are carcinogenic.


. .. / / .,









These cleanup target levels are driven towards zero risk. In addition, costly
cleanup is being undertaken in areas with little likelihood of use as a source
of potable water (areas of saltwater intrusion, or industrial areas).

An alternative to complete' cleanup is to take a risk based approach. Sites
where groundwater is actually or reasonably expected to be a source of
drinking water would carry higher cleanup requirements, C leanup is
tailored to site specific conditions and risks. The-e. eiif r ntlbefit
is that more sites will be remediated with less money and at a faster rate,
thus garnishing more use of state cleanup funds.

2. Petroleum contact water (PCW) recovered from tank bottoms generally
includes a small among of gasoline and other materials when removed.
Tank bottoms are typically stockpiled until sufficient quantities are
composite for transport to a recovery facility. DEP has historically cited
terminal facilities for improper hazardous waste management of PCW by
storing on-site and customer generated PCW in gasoline storage tanks.
Sending the material to a recovery facility was also deemed to be a violation
as the facility did not have hazardous waste permits. PCW is being more
stringently regulated than the gasoline from which is was separated.
Treating the material as hazardous waste results in increased cost and the
potential for service stations to improperly dispose of PCW.

Recommendations are that DEP will not recognize PCW as a hazardous
waste if appropriate npement practices are followed in product
recovery. Thet befitfrom the proposed approach would
be reduced waste disposal and recovery of a nonrenewable resource while
providing cost control for industry. / /

GOVERNMENT EXAMPLES OF NET-ENV- NMENTAL-BENEFIT c -
E6A ?/ A
1. 1,NEB in an urban setting is demonstrated with the preparation and use of a
watershed management plan addressing issues such as flooding, drainage,
stormwater abatement, groundwater withdrawal, and property management.
Once the plan establishes resource or community based standards and
targets appropriate for there, oney can be budgeted and spent where it
will do the most good Ne, e w fental-benefit is realized when urban,
watershed-scale improvements are made providing stormwater design for
reduced nutrient loads and educating the public about proper land
management techniques. The Florida Yards and Neighbors project within
the National Estuary Program becomes an effective tool for educating the
public regarding the proper use of pesticides and fertilizers, xeriscaping, and
conservative use of w er properly educated public becomes involved
and perpetuates teAwetal-benefit-in their daily lives.
A
2. Local governments are able to incorporate innovative construction
techniques in building infrastructure such as the Bayside Bridge over Tampa









Bay. Historically, bridges of this magnitude were built in a causeway
fashion, on the shallow ends closer to land. This caused destruction of the
shoreline vegetation in shallow water systems. At best, the construction
techniques caused impact to shallow water systems. Bridges have not
required stormwater treatment for roadway runoff with discharges typically
occurring through scuppers directly into the receiving waterbody. Bayside
Bridges was constructed in the Tampa Bay National Estuary using innovate
design to retain shoreline features while placing the bridge above them. A
stormwater system was placed on the bridge and marshes were created to
cleanse the water prior to outfall to the Bay. The project was more
expensive but greater environmental benefit resulted. 7/ ,s i s n o

3. The Department of Environmental Protection reviews permit applications
for domestic wastewater treatment plants to ensure defined water quality
standards are met. While this has resulted in distinct improvements in some
waters of the state, improvements to others may be unnecessarily restricted.
One example is Whittaker Bayou which discharges to Sarasota Bay. The
City of Sarasota recently upgraded and expanded its treatment plant
discharging to Whittaker Bayou; although difficulties arose in demonstrating
that the operation would meet acceptable water quality in receiving waters.
However, construction allowed the operator to take many septic systems
discharging to the Sarasota Bay off-line. Although localized impacts to
receiving waters may occur, Ihe ew advanced wastewater treatment plant
will provide an overallgeenvr-onmental-benefi-to Sarasota Bay, a priority
waterbody by reducing the overall total load of nutrients to the system. T"A ,. .
ai- X a 0 A?. 0^ --,, 1., ..3
LAND DEVELOPMENT EXAMPLE OF EOT-ENV EONMNTAL- .
-BENERIT- .--

Land Development provides some of the best opportunities for
demonstration of etenvronmental-benefit. Projects can be constructed to
meet the needs identified in watershed management plans. In addition,
projects can be developed that address upland and wetland habitat and other
related issues without necessitating any shift of jurisdiction between state
regulatory agencies. Multi-agency, multi-disciplinary teams can be brought
in for permitting. Land development projects also provide the opportunity
to work with increased development concentrations in appropriate areas
while still meeting land use designations and providing protection or
conservation of significant resources.

Land development can be designed in such a way as to benefit a larger area
(a true ecosystem approach). The design is met by identifying and satisfying
community and natural resource based needs such as those that follow.

1. Greenway corridor connections.
2. Use of alternative energy sources such as natural gas or solar.
3. Maximized energy efficiency for buildings by upgrades in insulation.









4. The use of grey water for irrigation.
5. Bicycle or pedestrian paths.
6. Development-wide xeriscaping.
7. Area-wide stormwater treatment.
8. Connection of nearby septic systems to central sewer.

-7- ,, o o < .c ,, ^ /?.4


I











Appendix IV ConceptuakcEcosystems
Permit
SAMPLE
OPTIONAL PERMIT PROCESS
CONCEPTUAL ECOSYSTEMS IMPACT PERMIT

Section 1. Applicability--

Any person required to obtain an Environmental Resource
Permit pursuant to Part IV, Chapter 373, Florida Statutes,
which is believed by the applicant to require any other
permit or authorization from an agency of the state of
Florida or local government, may elect to submit an
application for approval of a Conceptual Ecosystems Impact
Permit.

Section 2. Effect and duration of permit--

A Conceptual Ecosystems Impact Permit shall approve
development of specified areas identified in the permit for a
period of 25 years, subject only to compliance with
performance standards and best management practices which are
required as permit conditions, or as subject to the
submission of future construction permits to particular
agencies, as determined in the final order concerning a
Conceptual Ecosystems Impact Permit. This Permit shall be in
lieu of any license, permit, certificate, or similar document
required by any agency pursuant to but not limited to
Chapters 125, 161, 163, 166, 186, 253, 298, 370, 372, 373,
380, and 403, Florida Statutes, and rules affecting land
development promulgated by the Florida Game and Fresh Water
Fish Commission pursuant to Article IV, Section 9 of the
Florida Constitution, the administration of which has been
funded through any general revenue appropriations from the
Legislature, provided that this permit shall not affect the
ability of local governments to establish and enforce zoning
classifications, land use designations in local government
comprehensive plans, impact fee requirements, or building,
plumbing, fire or electric codes.


D /
t- -e -e-






/..,/




I / L



/,M /.^


Section 3. Superseded laws, and regulations--

(1) If any provision of this act is in conflict with any
other provision, limitation, or restriction under any law,









rule, or regulation or ordinance of this state or any
political subdivision, municipality, or agency, this act
shall govern and control, and such law, rule, regulation or
ordinance shall be deemed superseded for the purposes of this
act; provided that this act shall not supersede local
government zoning classifications, land use designations in
local government comprehensive plans, impact fee
requirements, or building, plumbing, fire or electric codes.

(2) The state hereby preempts the regulation of any
activity that has been approved for development through a
Conceptual Ecosystems Impact Permit, except with regard to
local government zoning classifications, land use
designations in local government comprehensive plans, impact
fee requirements, or building, plumbing, fire or electric
codes. The Conceptual Ecosystems Impact Permit, and its
conditions incorporating performance standards and best
management practices, or specific requirements to obtain
future construction permits from particular agencies, shall
be the exclusive environmental permit required for
development.

Section 4. Agency taking final action concerning Conceptual
Ecosystems Impact Permit--

Depending upon the type of activity and development
contemplated, the Department of Environmental Protection, or
the applicable Water Management District shall process and
take final agency action concerning Conceptual Ecosystem
Impact permits. The division of authority between the
Department of Environmental Protection and the Districts
shall be the same as the "activity based split" which governs
agency processing of permits for particular activities which
is in effect on the effective date of this act; provided
however that the Department of Environmental Protection and
the Districts, subsequent to modification of existing
inter-agency agreements, may elect to approve by rule changes
in the "activity based split", reassigning the responsibility
among themselves for processing and final agency action
concerning Conceptual Ecosystems Impact Permits.

Section 5. Purpose of Conceptual Ecosystems Impact Permit;
standards for permit issuance

The Legislature finds that it is appropriate to
establish an optional permit process that will provide for
the complete and comprehensive review of all environmental









impacts caused by development projects, including without
limitation, air and water quality, surface water management,
wetlands, fish and wildlife, endangered and threatened
species habit, and other natural resources of the state. At
the same time, the legislature believes that it is desirable
to provide fast response to development applications for the
purpose of aiding the economic development of the State, and
providing for the resolution of environmental controversies
at the earliest possible time in the development approval
process. The purpose of the Conceptual Ecosystems Impact
Permit is to effect a prompt and comprehensive decision on
the basic threshold issue of what portions of a property
proposed for development may appropriately be committed to
development, and what portions of such a property must be
precluded from development in order to comply with the
environmental requirements of all relevant state, regional,
and local government agencies. The Conceptual Ecosystems
Impact Permit is intended to avoid unnecessary commitments by

the developers of projects to costly detailed engineering
design expenses until such time as the permissible
distribution of development and lands on the property which
much be precluded form development are determined.

(a) The decision of the agency reviewing and taking
final agency action of the Conceptual Ecosystems Impact
Permit shall effect a reasonable balance between the goals of
the proposed development and the environmental impact
resulting from the construction and operation of the project,
including air and water quality, fish and wildlife, and water
and other natural resources of this state.

(b) The decision shall incorporate compliance with the
non-procedural standards which are applicable, as cited in
Section 2 above, or any justifiable variances, exemptions, or
exceptions from such non-procedural requirements of the
department, or any agency claiming jurisdiction through any
of the statutory provisions cited in Section 2 above. No
variance, exemption, exception, or other relief shall be
granted from a state statute or rule for the protection of
endangered or threatened species, aquatic preserves,
Outstanding National Resource Waters, or Outstanding Florida
Waters, or for the disposal of hazardous waste, except to the
extent authorized by applicable statute or rule, or except
upon a specific finding by the agency taking final agency
action that the achievement of a more environmentally
desirable balance between the goals of the proposed









development and the environmental impact resulting from the
construction and operation of the project, including air and
water quality, fish and wildlife, and the water and other
natural resources of this state, will result from the
granting of such relief

(c) The decision of the agency reviewing and taking final
agency action of the Conceptual Ecosystems Impact Permit
shall incorporate and mitigation requirements that the agency
determines are necessary to achieve the balance required by
subsection (a) above. Such mitigation requirements shall
constitute a binding commitment between the agency and the
permit applicant, and all successors and assigns with regard
to the property for which a Conceptual Ecosystems Impact
Permit is issued, and shall bind both the agency and the
owner of land subject to the permit, so long as the
applicant, or its successors and assigns in title desire to
undertake the development authorized by the permit at any
time within 25 years of the effective date of the permit.
Mitigation may be either in the form of:

(1) Direct and site specific mitigation, including
land acquisition, construction and management sufficient to
offset environmental damage caused by the development project
approved in the permit, which will be performed by the
applicant, or its successors and assigns, either at or
adjacent to the project site, or at some ecologically
relevant site as proposed by the applicant or the agency
taking final agency action or;

(2) Contribution of capital assets to a mitigation
bank approved by the agency taking final agency action in an
amount sufficient, in the determination of the agency, to
achieve the balance required by subsection (a) above.

Section 6. Processing time lines--

Within 10 days of the submission of an application for a
Conceptual Ecosystems Impact Permit, the agency shall meet
with the applicant to establish a mutually acceptable
time line for processing the application and taking final
agency action. Subsequent to this meeting, the agency shall
issue an Order establishing a processing time line for the
permit. This timetable shall specify a date certain for the
agency to issue its notice of intent to take final agency
action. The length of the time line shall be dependent upon
the size, location, and complexity of the project for which









approvals is requested, provided however, that the agency
taking final agency action shall agree to issue its notice of
intent to take final agency action within 120 days of receipt
of the application for any application involving 500 acres of
land or less, and within 240 days of receipt of the
application for any application involving any application
incorporating a land area greater than 500 acres.

Section 7. Agency Participation in the review process--

Within 20 days of receipt of the application, the agency
taking final agency action shall forward to each agency with
responsibilities under requirements of Section 2 above, a
request for comments on the application. Each of these
agencies shall have 60 days from the receipt of such requests
for comments (or such other time period for comments as is
specifically established in the Order establishing processing
times) to respond with:

(a) Any objections to the approval of the project as
proposed by the applicant;

(b) Any proposed permit conditions, including performance
standards and best management practices that should be
required
as permit conditions in order to meet the non-procedural
requirements of the commenting agency, or whether due to
size, complexity, location, or character of the project, a
construction permit should be obtained from any agency prior
to the commencement of construction of the project.


(c) Any modifications of the project which the commenting
agency believes are necessary to meet the non-procedural
standards of the commenting agency;

(d) Any proposed mitigation requirements necessary to
meet the non-procedural standards of the commenting agency
believes are necessary to achieve the balance required in by
Section 5 (a) above.

Any agency that fails to respond to this request for
comments within 60 days of its receipt of a request to
comment (or such other time period for comments as is
specifically established in the Order establishing processing
times) shall be deemed to have waived its jurisdiction over
the project, provided however, such waiver shall not affect









local government zoning classifications, land use
designations in local government comprehensive plans, impact
fee requirements, or building, plumbing, fire or electric
codes.

Section 8. Public Participation--

The agency taking final agency action on the Conceptual
Ecosystems Impact Permit shall give public notice of the
receipt of the permit application, and the period for public
comment, which shall be the same as the time period for
commenting agencies, at the time of its issuance of the Order
establishing processing times. Such notice shall be in the
form required for notices of Environmental Resource Permits
under Part IV, Chapter 373.

Section 9. Content of Notice of Intent--

The notice of intent to take final agency shall include,
without limitation, the specification of areas of the project
site where development will be permitted, the limits of areas
on the property to be cleared, disturbed, dredged, or filled,
or otherwise impacted directly by the "footprint" of
development, and any required buffer areas. The Notice of
Intent shall also specify the areas of the project site, if
any, which must be preserved as mitigation through the
conveyance of conservation casement, fee simple title, or
through other binding commitments that run as covenants with
the land. The notice of intent shall also specify other
mitigation, if any, either on the site of the project,
offsite, or in a designated mitigation bank, which is
required for approval of the conceptual permit. Conditions,
performance standards, or best management practices which
must be fulfilled by the applicant at the time of
construction will also be specified, and a determination
provided as to whether these conditions, performance
standards, or best practices must be met through:










(a) The submission of subsequent construction permit
applications to specified agencies, or;

(b) The provision of as-built drawings, signed and sealed
by a registered professional engineer, to specified agencies.

Section 10. Final disposition of application--

In the event that no petition for formal proceedings is
within 14 days publication of its intent to take final agency
action, or within 45 days after the receipt of a Hearing
Officer's Recommended Order should a petition for formal
proceedings be filed and a hearing held, the Department or
District shall act upon the application by written order,
approving the permit or denying the issuance of permit. If
the decision is permit denial, the Order shall specifically
set forth the reason for denial, and the actions that the
applicant would have to take to secure approval of the
application. If the decision is to issue the permit, the
Order shall contain specific conditions containing
performance standards, or best management practices required
to meet the non-procedural standards of the agencies whose
authorities are enumerated in Section 2 of this act, and
shall specify the construction permits, if any, which may be
required from any agency.

Section 11. Vesting of development rights--

A Conceptual Ecosystems Impact Permit once obtained,
shall create vested rights for the holder of the permit and
any successors and assigns against the need to comply with
any environmental regulations, permitting requirements,
performance standards, or best management practices, or to
obtain any construction permits not specified in the final
order approving the permit, provided however, this vesting
shall not pertain to local government zoning classifications,
land use designations in local government comprehensive
plans, impact fee requirements, or building, plumbing, fire
or electric codes.

Section 12. Prioritized Processing--

Each agency processing and taking final agency action on
a Conceptual Ecosystems Impact Permits, and each agency
commenting on such permits, pursuant to Section 7 above is
directed to give priority to processing and commenting on









such permits, including the assignment or reassignment of
agency personnel as necessary to assure that the most timely
and highest quality review of, and decisions concerning such
permits can be assured. In general, agencies should assign
their must senior staff members, with the greatest degree of
experience to the task of reviewing and commenting upon
Conceptual Ecosystems Impact Permits.


Section 13. Appeal of Agency Decisions--

Final Orders issued pursuant to this act shall be subject
to review pursuant to Section 373.114 Florida Statutes.





















SPRINGS COAST E.M.A.


1 *


MwnMeArr









GREATER TAMPA BAY EMA


Basic Facts

Component Basins: Alafia River, Hillsborough River, Little Manatee River, Manatee
River, and Tampa Bay.
Drainage Area: 2057 square miles
SWIM Waterbodies: Lake Tarpon, Lake Thonotosassa, Tampa Bay
Conservation Lands: Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve, Gamble Plantation State Historic
Site, Green Swamp Wildlife Management Area, Hillsborough River State Park, Lake
Manatee State Recreation Area, Lake Manatee Lower Watershed (WMD), Little Manatee
State Recreation Area, Lower Hillsborough Wilderness Park (WMD), Pinellas County
Aquatic Preserve, Terra Ceia Aquatic Preserve, Upper Hillsborough Wildlife Management
Area


General Description

The Greater Tampa Bay EMA integrates four major river basins with their receiving
waterbody, Tampa Bay. Outside of Tampa, the Hillsborough River basin is largely
undeveloped and is home to many diverse habitats and several threatened or endangered
species. The north prong of the Alafia River has been extensively altered and impaired by
phosphate mining. The middle reaches of the Alafia and its south prong still retain
significant resource value, with the lower portions of the river being severely impacted by
urban and industrial development. The Little Manatee River basin has scrub oak and sand
pine scrub communities that are imperiled in Florida, and the lower basin at the outlet to
Tampa Bay contains abundant mangrove forests and grassbeds. The Manatee River basin
contains pockets of scrub sand pine communities, and the river corridor is home to many
threatened wildlife species. Tampa Bay is the second largest estuary along the gulf coast.
It has been severely impacted historically but is experiencing some improvement in water
and habitat quality. Land use throughout these basins consists of mining, rangeland,
agriculture, and widespread urban development.


Management Considerations

High dependence of Tampa Bay on the ecological integrity of the four river systems,
together with a clear need to develop unified management strategies between basins to
deal with the challenges of intensive agricultural, industrial, and urban use, provide strong
justification for creating the Greater Tampa Bay EMA. Given the complexity of issues
and number of component basins, successful management of this EMA will most likely
require the creation of working groups for component basins, with the management team
for the overall EMA assuming the role of a coordinating forum. The inclusion of Tampa
Bay into EPA's National Estuary Program (NEP) has given area scientists and managers
the opportunity to study the bay and upstream pollution sources in a holistic fashion. The
Tampa Bay NEP has also been used as a forum to bring state and local governments










together to develop a management scheme to conserve and restore the bay's environment.
In recognition of these achievements, the Tampa Bay NEP (or its successor) should be
designated as the lead agency to oversee the development of ecosystem management
initiatives for this EMA.

A major ecosystem management initiative is already being developed and implemented for
the Hillsborough River via the Hillsborough River Greenways Task Force. Similar
initiatives will be needed for the Alafia, Little Manatee, and Manatee River basins.
Management needs for the Tampa Bay basin proper should be adequately represented by
the RPC's Agency on Bay Management.











GREATER TAMPA BAY E.M.A.









SARASOTA BAY EMA


Basic Facts

Component Basin: Sarasota Bay (excluding Lemon Bay)
Drainage Area: About 250 square miles
SWIM Waterbodies: None
Conservation Lands: Oscar Scherer State Park


SGeneral Description

Sarasota Bay is more like a sound, protected by a strip of barrier islands and receiving
little fresh water inflow from several small streams, most of which are less than five miles
long. The relatively clear waters of the bay support currently healthy but threatened
seagrass beds. The area has two major urban centers, Sarasota and Bradenton, with most
of the rest of the area developed into subdivisions and small municipalities. Stormwater
runoff is a major problem. Many of the streams running through developed areas are
affected by septic tanks, particularly in lower Phillippi Creek. There is also some
agricultural drainage in the basin, mostly from citrus groves in the east section of the basin
and rangeland at the headwaters of Phillippi Creek and Cowpen Slough. Tributaries and
direct runoff and discharges supply the bay system with heavy nutrient loads. Seagrass
beds are declining in upper Sarasota Bay presumably because high algae concentrations
are reducing water transparency.


Management Considerations

The inclusion of Sarasota Bay in EPA's National Estuarine Program (NEP) has given area
scientists and managers the opportunity to study the bay in a holistic fashion. The
Sarasota Bay NEP has also been used as a forum to bring state and local governments
together to develop a management scheme to conserve and restore the bay's environment.
In recognition of these achievements, we recommend that the Sarasota Bay NEP (or its
successor) be the lead agency in overseeing the development of ecosystem management
initiatives for this EMA.



















SARASOTA BAY E.M.A.


~1


I









L. GREATER CHARLOTTE HARBOR EMA


Basic Facts

Component Basins: Peace River, Myakka River, Lemon Bay and Charlotte Harbor, excluding
Pine Island Sound/Matlacha Pass south of an east-west line from Boca Grande Inlet.
Drainage Area: about 3010 square miles
SWIM Waterbodies: Banana Lake, Charlotte/Placida Harbor, WinterHaven Chain of Lakes
Conservation Lands: Cape Haze Aquatic Preserve, Cecil Webb Wildlife Management Area,
Carlton Reserve (Sarasota Co.), Charlotte Harbor State Reserve, Don Pedro Island State
Recreation Area, Gasparilla Sound/Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserve, Green Swamp
Wildlife Management Area, Highlands Hammock State Park, Lemon Bay Aquatic Preserve,
Mound Key, Myakka River State Park, Paynes Creek State Historical Site, Port Charlotte
Beach State Recreation Area, Teneroc State Reserve, Upper Myakka River Watershed
(WMD).


General Description

L. This EMA integrates the basins of the Peace and Myakka rivers with Charlotte Harbor and
Lemon Bay. Lemon Bay was added to the Charlotte Harbor system because of their
ecological similarity and hydrological connections. The headwaters of this EMA go all the
way to the Green Swamp in north central Polk County, east to the Lake Wales Ridge in
Highlands County, and west to the flat marshy areas ofHardee and Manatee Counties. This
EMA is characterized by hammock and swamp (cypress and hardwood) in the north, and
marsh, prairie (dry & wet), pine flatwood, and estuary to the south. Numerous lakes and
large areas of poorly drained swamps in the headwaters of the Peace River act as important
recharge areas for the Floridan Aquifer.

Land use in the upper Peace River basin is predominately agriculture, citrus processing, and
phosphate mining. Citrus groves are prevalent in the middle reaches of the river. In the lower
portion of the river basin land use is primarily agriculture and rangeland. The Peace River
corridor itself has little development and is a popular canoe trail from Ft. Meade to Arcadia.
Major urban areas in the upper basin include Lakeland, Winter Haven and Bartow. Pollution
sources in this basin include discharges from sewage treatment plants, phosphate mines,
fertilizer chemical plants, citrus processing plants, and surface runoff from urban, agricultural,
rangeland and reclaimed mined areas. The upper Myakka River basin is used mostly for
pasture and some citrus groves. South of the Myakka State Park, the basin is relatively
undeveloped, contains many habitats and is home to many endangered species. The Myakka
River is a very popular recreation area and much of the river is designated as a State Wild and
Scenic River.
Urban development is heavily concentrated in Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda. The barrier
islands are moderately developed, primarily for vacation homes and tourism.


Management Considerations


I- *





* I


Development of a Comprehensive Ecosystem Management Initiative is strongly
recommended. Given the number of basins, complexity of issues, and geographic extent of
the system it will be necessary to assemble working groups for each component basin, and
have the management team for the overall EMA serve as a coordinating forum. With some
refinement, existing management efforts could serve as the framework to build upon. In the
Myakka basin, considerable effort has been put into developing management initiatives
associated with the Wild and Scenic River designation. Charlotte Harbor is a SWIM
waterbody receiving priority attention from the SWFWMD, and has recently been designated
as a NEP. Lemon Bay (as well as Cape Haze and Gasparilla Sound-Charlotte Harbor) is a
designated aquatic preserve receiving priority management attention from DEP's Bureau of
Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas. The Peace River is receiving considerable management
attention from DEP, SWFWMD, and Florida Game and Fish, and a decision regarding future
ecosystem management initiatives for that basin is imminent. All of these initiatives should
be brought together into an integrated management approach for the entire EMA. A lead
agency will have to be identified.


I











GREATER CHARLOTTE HARBOR E.M.A.









CALOOSAHATCHEE & LEE COAST EMA


Basic Facts

Component Basins: Caloosahatchee River; Lower Charlotte Harbor (including Pine
Island Sound, San Carlos Bay, and Matlacha Pass); Estero Bay portion of
Everglades West Coast basin
Drainage Area: about 1,500 square miles
SWIM Waterbodies: None
Conservation Lands: Cayo Costa State Park, Charlotte Harbor State Reserve, Ding
Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve, Gasparilla Island
State Recreation Area, Koreshan State Historical Site, Lovers Key State Recreation
Area, Matlacha Pass Aquatic Preserve, Pine Island Sound Aquatic Preserve, Sanibel
Island SBS.


General Description

This EMA integrates the Caloosahatchee River basin with lower Charlotte Harbor
and Estero Bay. The Caloosahatchee River is a channelized flood control waterway
that runs from Lake Okeechobee westward to lower Charlotte Harbor at San
Carlos Bay. It is part of the Okeechobee Waterway, which is the only navigable
passage between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. From Olga to the
Gulf the river broadens into a tidally influenced estuarine system. The river drains
low, flat muck lands and is blackwater in nature. The river itself is of low
ecological value, but lands in the Caloosahatchee drainage basin have been
identified by the GFC as a "Strategic Habitat Conservation Area". Maintaining
good water quality in the river will be essential for the long term health of receiving
coastal waters.

Land use in the upper Caloosahatchee basin is currently dominated by rangeland
and agriculture, with rapid urban development occurring in the lower reaches
around Ft. Myers, North Ft. Myers and Cape Coral. Tributaries are generally
drainage canals. The lower river, below Ortona Locks, still has portions of the old
meanders and natural tributaries. The Orange River, a tributary that discharges
below Franklin Locks, is a favored wintering place for manatees. The barrier
islands in southern Charlotte Harbor (Pine, Sanibel, Captiva, & Gasparilla Islands)
are moderately developed, primarily for tourism. The extensive mangrove fringe
and seagrass meadows in Pine Island Sound, Matlacha Pass and Estero Bay support
important commercial and recreational fisheries in the area.

Management Considerations

Current management efforts within this region are somewhat confined to
conservation lands. With some refinement, such efforts could address a full range
of ecosystem management issues on a broad scale. Since most conservation lands










within this EMA are managed by DEP, we recommend that DEP take a lead role in
developing and implementing an ecosystem management initiative for the
Caloosahatchee & Lee Coast EMA.


I









CALOOSAHATCHEE TO LEE COAST EMA









SOUTHWEST COAST EMA


Basic Facts

Component Basin: Everglades West Coast (excluding Lee Co., Big Cypress
National Preserve, Everglades NP, and lands east of SR 29).
Drainage Area: about 1000 square miles SWIM Waterbodies: None
Conservation Lands: Cape Romano- Ten Thousand Islands Aquatic Preserve,
Collier Seminole State Park, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary (Audubon), Delnor-
Wiggins Pass State Recreation Area, Fakahatchee Strand State Park, Rookery Bay
Aquatic Preserve & National Estuarine Research Reserve


General Description

The Southwest Coast EMA includes the entire coastal region between Naples and
the Ten Thousand Islands area. This area has very little topographic relief, with
extensive wetlands in the southeastern portions and mixed dry and wetland areas in
the northwestern portions. The predominant wetland vegetation is sawgrass with
patches of cypress or hardwoods. The immediate coast below Naples consists of
extensive mangrove forests and a series of rich estuaries where freshwater sloughs
and rivers mix with the bays and tidal creeks of the Gulf of Mexico. About one-half
of the area covered by this EMA has been identified as a "Strategic Habitat
Conservation Area" by the GFC.

Determining the inland extent of this EMA was problematic and should probably be
viewed as a "floating" boundary subject to refinement as the need arises. State
Road 29, which represents a major hydrologic boundary within the region, is
proposed as the initial inland boundary. Much of the inland landscape has been
extensively drained by a network of ditches which support farming and cattle
ranching. A large area of about 175 square miles east of Naples (Golden Gate
Estates) was subdivided into lots in the 1960s. This involved ditching and draining
through a network of 183 miles of canals and an associated 813 miles of roads.
Severe alteration of fresh water flow caused by the numerous drainage canals has
significantly altered the ecology of the area. Excess fresh water drains into the
estuaries in the wet season while saltwater intrusion is greater in the dry season.
Unnatural oscillations of salinity are suspected of damaging sea grasses and
lowering estuarine productivity.


Management Considerations

Current management efforts within this region are somewhat confined to
conservation lands. With some refinement, such efforts could serve to address a
full range of ecosystem management issues on a broad scale. Since most
conservation lands within this EMA are managed by DEP, we recommend that DEP









take a lead role in developing and implementing an ecosystem management
initiative for the Southwest Coast EMA.










SOUTHWEST COAST E.M.A.









ST. MARYS AND NASSAU RIVERS EMA


Basic Facts

Component Basins: Nassau River, St. Marys River
Drainage Area: 2,041 square miles (1,397 in Florida)
SWIM Waterbodies: none
Conservation Lands: Amelia Island State Recreation Area, Big Talbot Island State
Park, Cary State Forest, Cary Wildlife Management Area, Cumberland Island
National Seashore, Fort Clinch State Park, Fort Clinch State Park Aquatic
Preserve, Little Talbot Island State Park, Nassau River St. Johns River Marshes
Aquatic Preserve, Nassau Wildlife Management Area, Osceola National Forest, St.
Marys Wildlife Management Area, Timucuan Indian Preserve


General Description

The St. Marys and Nassau Rivers are blackwater streams that empty into a common
coastal system, the Amelia River Estuary. The St. Marys is a long, meandering
river with origins far inland in Okefenokee swamp and Osceola National Forest. It
is fairly pristine and supports a diversity of plant and animal life, with inland
portions of the basin dominated by hardwood and pine/palmetto communities. The
Nassau River is much shorter, with a drainage basin of only 431 square miles. Both
rivers flow through low-lying flatwoods and coastal plain into extensive tidal marsh
habitats that are interconnected by the Amelia River estuary.

Silviculture is a major land use within both basins. Urban development in Florida is
limited to small rural communities in inland areas and Amelia Island along the coast.
Increasing development associated with expansion of the Jacksonville urban area is
of concern, especially for portions of the Nassau River basin.


Management Considerations

Geographic proximity, discharge into a common estuary, and extensive silviculture
in both basins support integration of the St. Marys and Nassau River basins into a
single EMA. Since current management activities are confined to individual parcels
of conservation lands, development of a Comprehensive Ecosystem Management
Initiative is recommended. A lead agency will have to be identified.















ST. MARY'S NASSAU E.M.A.


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NORTHEAST COAST LAGOONS EMA


Basic Facts

Component Basin: Upper East Coast
Drainage Area: 730 Square Miles
SWIM Waterbodies: None
Conservation Lands: Guana River Marsh Aquatic Preserve, Guana River Wildlife
Management Area, Guana River State Park, Anastasia State Park, Pellicer Creek
Aquatic Preserve, Faver-Dykes State Park, Washington Oaks State Gardens,
Tomoka State Park, Bulow Creek State Park, North Peninsula State Recreation
Area, Flagler Beach State Recreation Area


General Description

The Northeast Coast Lagoons EMA includes the watersheds of four estuarine
lagoons extending from south of Jacksonville to New Smyrna Beach. The four
lagoons are the Tolomato River, Guana River, Matanzas River, and Halifax River.
The entire lagoon system is connected to some extent by navigable waters, with the
intracoastal waterway extending through the Tolomato, Matanzas, and Halifax
portions of the system. Hydrological connections within the system result primarily
from tidal action and wind driven circulation. Exchange with the Atlantic Ocean
occurs at St. Johns River Inlet, St. Augustine Inlet, Matanzas Inlet, and Ponce de
Leon Inlet just north of New Smyrna Beach.

Ecological features of the lagoons and associated wetland/upland areas comprising
this EMA are very similar. The lagoons are characterized by extensive stretches of
salt marsh mixed with tidal flats and oyster bars. These habitats support important
commercial and recreational fisheries. Habitats along the coastal ridge include
beach dune, coastal strand, and some coastal scrub. Interior sections include
freshwater marsh, cypress swamp, and extensive areas of pine flatwoods.
Silviculture is a major land use throughout the region, with intensive urban
development centered around Ponte Vedra Beach, St. Augustine, Palm Coast, and
Daytona Beach.


Management Considerations

There is no comprehensive management initiative in place to deal with the
Northeast Coast Lagoons system in an integrated fashion. Current management
efforts are generally confined to individual parcels of conservation lands. Similar
ecological features, hydrological connections, and unification via a single drainage
basin suggest that management of conservation lands and the overall system would
benefit greatly through an integrated approach. As such, development of a
Comprehensive Ecosystem Management Initiative is strongly recommended. Such









an initiative would be supported by the pending nomination of the Tolomato,
Guana, and Matanzas Rivers as a National Estuarine Research Reserve. A lead
agency will have to be identified.















NORTHEAST COAST LAGOONS


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LOWER ST. JOHNS RIVER EMA


Basic Facts

Component Basin: Lower St. Johns River
Drainage Area: 2,200 square miles
SWIM Waterbodies: Entire Lower St. Johns River Basin
Conservation Lands: Big Talbot Island State Park, Camp Blanding Wildlife
Management Area, Georgia-Pacific Wildlife Management Area, Gilman Paper
Company Wildlife Management Area, Fort George SCS, Jennings State Forest,
Lake George Wildlife Management Area, Little Talbot Island State Park, Mike
Roess Gold Head Branch State Park, Ordway-Swisher Preserve, Ravine State
Gardens, Relay Wildlife Management Area


General Description

This EMA is the lower part of a three-basin river system, and includes the St. Johns
River north of Lake George all the way to the mouth of the river east of
Jacksonville. Between Lake George and the Duval/St. Johns County line large
areas of preserved habitats support a diversity of natural resources. The immediate
river corridor is largely undisturbed with extensive stretches of wetland vegetation
and nearshore submerged seagrasses. Water quality is fair to good, but threatened
by numerous agricultural uses, septic tanks, and wastewater discharges. Urban
development and industrial uses in the Jacksonville area have resulted in significant
loss of habitat value and poor water quality. The mouth of the river merges into an
extensive tidal marsh estuary extending both north and south behind barrier islands.


Management Considerations

A Comprehensive Ecosystem Management Initiative is currently being developed
for the Lower St. Johns EMA, with DEP and the SJRWMD assuming lead roles.
Refinement of this initiative will require that a management team be assembled and
a single lead agency identified.

















LOWER ST. JOHNS RIVER E.M.A.








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OKLAWAHA RIVER EMA


Basic Facts

Component Basin: Oklawaha River
Drainage Area: 2,769 square miles
SWIM Waterbodies': Lake Apopka Basin, Upper Oklawaha River Basin
Conservation Lands: Cross Florida Greenway, Half Moon Wildlife Management
Area, Fort McCoy Wildlife Management Area, Hawthorne ST, Lake Griffin State
Recreation Area, Lake Louisa State Park, Lake Weir Aquatic Preserve, Lochloosa
Wildlife Management Area, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings State Historic Site, Ocala
National Forest, Ocala Wildlife Management Area, Oklawaha River Aquatic
Preserve, Paynes Prairie State Preserve, Silver River State Park


General Description

The Oklawaha is a major tributary of the St. Johns River that originates in central
Florida near Lake Apopka, with discernable flow beginning just north of Lake
Griffin. Upper reaches of the basin are dominated by hydrologies and ecologies of
lakes, including upland sandhill lakes and marsh lakes of the Clermont Chain of
Lakes and Oklawaha Chain of Lakes. Middle reaches of the Oklawaha River
receive substantial input from the Floridan Aquifer via Silver Springs/Silver River.
North of Silver River the Oklawaha begins to meander through a wide hardwood
swamp and receives surface-water inputs from creeks draining large marsh or
swamp lakes, including Lake Lochloosa, Paynes Prairie and Orange Lake. Varied
communities along the river support diverse populations of fish and wildlife,
including several endangered or threatened species.

The Oklawaha basin has traditionally been a center for intensive agriculture. Such
use has resulted in numerous water quality problems in the southern portion of the
basin. Major tracts of forested lands are confined to Ocala National Forest. Mild
urban development is widespread throughout the basin, with intensive development
centered around Ocala and Gainesville.


Management Considerations

Effective management of the Oklawaha River EMA will require focused initiatives
relating to restoration of degraded areas, better integration of management
activities within conservation lands, and development of creative approaches to
address the challenges of urban growth and intensive agricultural use. The
SJRWMD has been active on all fronts. It is recommended that on-going
management activities of the SJRWMD be supported and refined as needed through
enhanced coordination with other agencies and interested parties.


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OKLAWAHA RIVER E.M.A.


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UPPER ST. JOHNS RIVER E.M.A.


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INDIAN RIVER LAGOON EMA


Basic Facts

Component Basins: Middle East Coast and South Indian River
Drainage Area: 1542 square miles
SWIM Waterbodies: Indian River Lagoon System
Conservation Lands: Banana River State Aquatic Preserve, Canaveral National
Seashore, Fort Pierce Inlet State Recreation Area, Ft. Pierce State Aquatic
Preserve, Indian River Aquatic Preserve, Jupiter Inlet State Aquatic Preserve,
Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, Savannas State Reserve, Sebastian Inlet
State Recreation Area, St. Lucie Inlet State Park.


General Description

The Indian River Lagoon EMA extends from Ponce de Leon Inlet at New Smyrna
Beach south through Sebastian Inlet to Stuart and contains three major bodies of water
Mosquito Lagoon, the Indian River and the Banana River. All three are actually
Long, shallow, 1-2 mile wide estuarine lagoons, which are bounded to the east by a
narrow coastal ridge, with tidal influence extending only approximately 10 miles north
and south of each inlet. There is little freshwater influence from natural stream
drainage areas, hence the salinity is only slightly less than oceanic. In their natural state
the lagoons are bordered by mangrove swamp or Spartina marsh and have either
mudflats, lush seagrass beds, or shell hash on their bottoms. Much of the mangrove
Forests have been lost to development or mosquito control. The water itself is used
extensively for fishing, shellfishing and recreation. Manatees are common residents in
the area. Much of the Indian River is classified as shellfish harvesting waters, as
Outstanding Florida Waters, as a National Estuary, and as an Aquatic Preserve. The
Florida Legislature passed a bill in 1990 banning sewage discharge into the Indian
River Lagoon by July 1, 1995. The land portion of the basin is dominated by urban
developments (low to high density residential), rangeland, and orchards. The eastern
portion of the basin is one of Florida's most preeminent citrus growing regions, known
_ for its famous "Indian River Fruit".

Management Considerations
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The inclusion of the Indian River Lagoon into EPA's National Estuary Program (NEP)
has given area scientists and managers the opportunity to study the bay and its
problems in a holistic fashion. The Indian River NEP has also been used as a forum
to bring state and local governments together to develop a management scheme to
conserve and restore the Lagoon's environment. In recognition of these achievements,
Sthe Indian River NEP (or its successor) should be designated as the lead agency to
oversee the development of ecosystem management initiatives for this EMA.






















INDIAN RIVER LAGOON E.M.A.


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LAKE WALES RIDGE EMA


Basic Facts

Component Basins: Portions of Fisheating Creek, Kissimmee River, Peace River, and
Withlacoochee River basins
Drainage Area: About 1,000 square miles
SWIM Waterbodies: Winter Haven Chain of Lakes
Conservation Lands: Arbuckle Wildlife Management Area, Archbold Biological
Station, Catfish Creek State Preserve, Highlands Hammock State Park, Lake Arbuckle
State Forest, Saddle Blanket Lakes Preserve, Tiger Creek Preserve


General Description

The Lake Wales Ridge EMA, located primarily in Polk and Highlands Counties,
includes remnant ecosystems that are highly unique at the global level. The most
famous natural community characterizing the ridge is Florida's ancient interior scrub.
The deep sands and variable topography also couch numerous sandhill upland lakes,
marsh lakes, and sinkhole lakes interspersed between areas of pine flatwoods.
Remnants of biodiversity are distributed throughout the ridge, with significant scrub
communities existing in numerous distinct fragments. Approximately 40 species of
plants and vertebrates survive within these remnants, of which 17 species are federally
listed, and 13 additional species are proposed for federal listing. These species and
fragmented natural areas are all that remain of an ancient flora and fauna once
widespread in North America.

The Lake Wales Ridge is the primary divide between the Kissimmee River and Peace
River basins. It also provides headwater drainage for the Withlacoochee River to the
north and Fisheating Creek to the south. Rapid seepage of precipitation into the ridge
provides important recharge for the Floridan Aquifer. Agriculture, mining, and urban
development are widespread throughout the region.


Management Considerations

Current management efforts rely almost exclusively on land acquisition, with about
31,000 acres already purchased and an additional 42,000 acres proposed for
acquisition. Many of these parcels will be managed by the USFWS under the umbrella
of the proposed Lake Wales Ridge NWR. Expanding management efforts to include
cooperative agreements with private landowners (e.g., less than fee acquisitions, long-
term development agreements) will be essential to provide connectivity between
purchased parcels and otherwise maintain ecological integrity within the region. As
management efforts expand there will be a greater need for close coordination between
the various agencies, private landowners, agricultural interests, and other interested
parties. Coordination will be problematic due to the large number of jurisdictions










involved, which includes three DEP District Offices (Central, South, and Southwest)
and two WMD's (South and Southwest). Achieving close coordination and ensuring
that the full range of management options be pursued in an integrated fashion demand
that a Comprehensive Ecosystem Management Initiative be developed for this EMA.
A lead agency will have to be identified.


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LAKE WALES RIDGE E.M.A.


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UPPER ST. JOHNS RIVER EMA


Basic Facts

Component Basins: Upper St. Johns River
Drainage Area: 4,017 square miles
SWIM Waterbodies: Lake George Basin
Conservation Lands: Blue Spring State Park, Bull Creek Wildlife Management
Area, Farmton Wildlife Management Area, Hontoon Island State Park, Lake
George Wildlife Management Area, Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge,
Lower Wekiva River State Reserve, Ocala National Forest, Ocala Wildlife
Management Area, Rock Springs Run State Reserve, Rock Springs Run Wildlife
Management Area, St. Johns River National Wildlife Refuge, Seminole Forest
Wildlife Management Area, Seminole Ranch Wildlife Management Area, Seminole
State Forest, Tiger Bay Wildlife Management Area, Tosohatchee State Reserve,
Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area, Upper St. Johns Wildlife Management
Area, Wekiva River Aquatic Preserve, Wekiva Springs State Park


SGeneral Description

The Upper St. Johns River EMA includes that portion of the river system south of
Sthe confluence of the St. Johns and Oklawaha rivers, including Lake George. The
headwaters of the river originate from St. Johns Marsh in St..Lucie and Indian
River Counties. Northward flow is slow, resulting in extensive areas of floodplain
swamp or marsh and river floodplain lakes. Major tributaries with significant
natural resource and recreational value include the Econlockhatchee River east of
Orlando and the Wekiva River north of Orlando.

Southern portions of the Upper St. Johns near the headwaters have been
extensively altered by canals and dikes to support rangeland and agriculture.
Forested lands are prevalent in the northern sections of the system which includes
significant portions of Ocala National Forest.. Urban development is concentrated
in the Orlando area. Water quality throughout the system is generally fair to good,
with numerous localized problem areas attributable to urban development and
agriculture.


Management Considerations

Effective management of the Upper St. Johns River EMA will require focused
initiatives relating to restoration of degraded areas, better integration of
Management activities within conservation lands, and development of creative
approaches to address the challenges of urban growth and intensive agricultural use.
The SJRWMD has been active on all fronts. In addition, the Wekiva River Basin
Working Group has been active for many years in coordinating management of the









Wekiva portion of the system. It is recommended that on-going management
activities of the SJRWMD and Wekiva River Basin Working Group be supported
and refined as needed through enhanced coordination with other agencies and
interested parties.




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