Freshwater Conservation

How will the Action Plan revisions affect freshwater habitats?

To better collaborate on important freshwater issues and resources, the FWC is adding a section to the Action Plan that will identify priority river basins within the state.  The basin approach to conserving Florida's freshwater habitats and species is designed to look at all freshwater systems on a statewide scale and determine which basins are in the most need of conservation actions. This basin approach will also help the FWC better engage its stakeholders and partners, as well as develop actions that will benefit fish and wildlife.

Why develop a statewide basin approach? 

The FWC is developing a basin approach to better define its freshwater priorities and create greater opportunities to work with partners.  This approach will address the situation in a given basin, from issues caused by surrounding land use to threats to the stream channel itself.   This approach will focus on two types of basins, those that are currently in good ecological condition and need to be preserved, and those that potentially have good value to fish and wildlife but are imperiled and in need of enhancement.  Projects in these prioritized basins will vary in size and scope but will include habitat restoration, research, monitoring, education and stewardship.

How will the priority basins be decided?

An internal team of FWC staff created a draft priority basin list using GIS information including species occurrence data, identified threats to basins and potential urban development in Florida by 2060.  The basin list and methods used are being reviewed by both internal and external experts and stakeholders.  Final decisions on which basins will be prioritized will be made based on the internal and external review and comments.

Will softwater streams and spring and spring runs still be priorities after the basin approach is adopted?

Softwater streams and spring and spring runs located within priority basins will be recognized as priorities.   Special consideration may be given to specific projects that work in softwater streams or spring and spring runs that are not in priority basins if they address some other priority need.

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