January 20, 2017
Helping Save Florida Bay

This January 14, 2017, TCPalm news article (click here to read article) exaggerated the quantity of fresh water delivered into Shark River Slough that actually reaches Florida Bay. The South Florida Water Management District Governing Board firmly stands behind its adopted plan, which delivers clean water to Taylor Slough and helps save Florida Bay. Opponents of this plan are pushing an inaccurate narrative that highlights Shark River Slough as the gateway to delivering water to Florida Bay. This view ignores real world conditions, and therefore has little benefit to Florida Bay today. Science-based information about Florida Bay's hydrology was presented and discussed during the June 16, 2016, meeting of SFWMD's Water Resources Advisory Commission. To view the full presentation, click here.

The Facts:
  • Hydrology studies do not show that fresh water from Shark River Slough, once it gets into the Gulf of Mexico, flows around Cape Sable and into Florida Bay as the article claims.
  • Hydrology studies show that, for most of the time, the prevailing tides and mud banks in the area prevent the briny mix of Gulf and Slough waters from entering Florida Bay.
  • Occasionally, in the spring when tides allow, the briny mix of Gulf and Slough waters do reach extreme parts of Florida Bay. Even then, only a very small amount of water delivered to the Gulf from Shark River Slough can enter the extreme western edge of Florida Bay.
  • The plan approved by the South Florida Water Management District's Governing Board will soon be under construction. It will deliver billions of gallons of needed clean fresh water to Taylor Slough, which directly connects to Florida Bay, even during a typical drought year.
  • The water delivered to Taylor Slough will reach the northeastern part of the Bay, close to the central regions where droughts elevate salinity levels and kill seagrasses.
  • Implementing SFWMD Governing Board's plan for Taylor Slough and finishing existing projects to improve the ability to convey water south, such as the Central Everglades Planning Project, will all help in saving Florida Bay.
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The South Florida Water Management District is a regional governmental agency that manages the water resources in the southern part of the state. It is the oldest and largest of the state's five water management districts. Our mission is to protect South Florida's water resources by balancing and improving flood control, water supply, water quality and natural systems.


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