The mission of the Environmental Assessment Team is to assess Broward County's surface waters and provide technical basis for the development of policies that protect and maximize their designated uses. In addition; to facilitate public awareness, understanding, and appreciation for our unique, urban watershed.
The Environmental Assessment Team is responsible for the science needs of the Environmental Planning and Community Resilience Division with regard to the lakes, rivers, and canals of Broward County. Surface water quality is assessed based on data collected by the Environmental Monitoring Lab, at ambient monitoring stations located throughout the county. A variety of surface water quality parameters are monitored including but not limited to; dissolved oxygen, nutrients, chlorophyll, bacteria, turbidity and metals. The results are compared with standards outlined in Broward County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 27, Article V. These data are used to identify trends and are the basis of surface water management policy. This program also coordinates technical comments relating to pollution loading in waterways and ecosystem restoration. Additionally, the surface water assessment program interacts with the public to provide information and answer questions about Broward County's water resources. Our public outreach projects afford hands-on experience for children and adults to learn about our waterways. By making information available to the public and educating through outreach, we hope to promote responsible use and preservation of Broward County's waters.
What is Surface Water in Broward County?
With over 266 miles of fresh and estuarine waterways, and thousands of lakes, Broward County has an abundance of surface waters that are used for a variety of purposes by the people who live here, those who visit, and by the fish and wildlife that also depend on these waters.
Although we have a few natural, freshwater ponds and remnant rivers such as the Middle and New Rivers , the majority of our waterways are man-made canals and storm water management lakes. Significant drainage needs of south Florida for land development and flood control in the early 1900's resulted in the construction of an extensive canal network throughout Broward County . Our seven primary canals and numerous secondary and tertiary canals provide flood control and water supply protection for the area's enormous growth and development. Storm water management lakes are also used for flood protection as well as storm water treatment, and are created by removing rock to build up the surrounding land for homes. In addition to the canals and lakes, to the east we have the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) and other tidally influenced water bodies. These coastal waterways are brackish, meaning they are part saltwater and part freshwater.
Special Projects and Issues
- The Historical Water Quality Atlas
- North Fork of the New River
- Broward Urban River Trails (BURT) (PDF)
- Urban Institute of Environmental Studies (PDF)
- Marine Industries Association of South Florida's Annual Waterway Clean-up (PDF)
The following .pdf reports, related to water quality, are available on the DPEP Technical Reports webpage, or can be obtained by calling the Environmental Monitoring Laboratory:
What Can I Do To Protect Water Quality?
For More Information
Call the Environmental Lab at 954-519-1240 or go to the Publications Page Weather/Storm LinksWeather/Storm Links
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