Watershed Management Planning

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Watershed Management Picture


The Watershed Management Plans (WMP) was developed to protect water resource quality and quantity by drainage area or watershed. Documents to support the development of the plan are archived. The Board of County Commissioners accepted the WMP at the Dec. 13, 2011 meeting. The WMP identifies concerns that need to be addressed to protect water resources including:

  • Excessive fresh water discharges from canals (including ground water discharges) especially to Naples Bay;
  • The drainage system does not provide the desired level of flood protection;
  • Pollutant loading associated with development may degrade water quality conditions;
  • Aquifer impacts due to canal discharge, reduced recharge, and potable and agricultural withdrawal demands.

 The BCC approved the WMP recommended Projects and Initiatives to mitigate for existing adverse impacts and to limit further adverse impacts by future development. The strategy to implement the recommendations along with the Surface Water Business Plan will be vetted in public meetings with the Environmental Advisory Council and the Floodplain Management Planning Committee. Annual progress reports will be presented to the committees.

Documents and information supporting the implementation of the WMP will be posted on the WMP Implementation resources web page.

Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)

FDEP developed TMDLs for pollutants causing water quality impairments in the Everglades West Coast Basin in 2008.  They released their Verified List of impaired water bodies May 19, 2009 for Group 1 basins (including Everglades West Coast).  In this cycle the Collier County affected water bodies included Cocohatchee River (estuary, 3259A, fecal coliforms), Gordon River Extension ( 3278K, 3259C, dissolved oxygen), and Lake Trafford ( 3259W, dissolved oxygen, nutrients, and unionized ammonia).  Final TMDL assessments are on FDEP’s TMDL web page.  Restoration work has already been done in Lake Trafford and the Gordon River Extension basins. The SFWMD Big Cypress Basin has finished dredging the muck from Lake Trafford, and the water quality treatment system for the Gordon River Extension basin in Freedom Park is completed.  FDEP has been developing BMAPS for Lee County TMDLs before moving to these two basins.    

The FDEP Impaired Waters evaluation will be revised on a 5 year cycle.   EPA has set nutrient criteria for lakes and flowing fresh waters except south Florida. FDEP has set nutrient criteria for all waters. The FDEP regulations have been submitted to EPA for approval. Challenges to the EPA and FDEP have been filed. The EPA regulations for lakes have been upheld in the most recent ruling. EPA has delayed implementation odf their rule to allow for review of the FDEP rule. Hopefully these issues will be resolved soon but not likely before the next TMDL assessment.

Fertilizer Ordinance

July 26, 2011 the BCC approved a fertilizer ordinance to assist with controling nutrient runoff.

If you wish to submit comments or be added or removed from the WMP email notification list please contact Steve Preston (239.252.5862).  We have added a Public Comment page and provided written comments we have received.

North Golden Gate Estates Flowway Restoration Study 

Last update: April 20, 2018