|The lakes and canals
in your community serve many purposes, including the storage of water
for flood protection and the treatment of stormwater runoff to improve
the water quality of South Florida’s fresh water ecosystem.
This page provides information on what steps individuals and communities
can take to help protect their local water bodies.
Stormwater runoff occurs when precipitation from rain flows over
the ground. As we all know, “water flows downhill”,
so stormwater runoff flows from the high point of a road or property
to the low point. At the low points, the runoff is typically collected
in a drainage inlet (or “catch basin”) and then conveyed
to an adjacent water body. Stormwater runoff can also flow directly
across back yards or properties and into a lake or canal.
Along its path, stormwater runoff can pick up debris, chemicals,
dirt and other pollutants, all of which have the potential to flow
into adjacent lakes, canals or wetlands. There are rules and regulations
that require stormwater runoff to be treated prior to entering these
sensitive water bodies. However, far too often, actions (or sometimes,
inactions) by individual property owners or businesses can compromise
the intentions of drainage regulations and cause unnecessary consequences
for South Florida’s water bodies.
STEWARDSHIP AND BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES
South Florida’s water bodies serve a number of important and
beneficial purposes to our community, such as:
• Aesthetic features for homes and properties
• Storage areas that provide flood protection for roads, homes,
• Detention basins that provide water quality benefits
• Conveyance systems that move water from one location to
• Helps recharge the local and regional water network during
the dry season
• Source of water for irrigation purposes
• Recreational uses such as canoeing, kayaking and fishing
• Observing nature, especially along wetland areas
The protection and preservation of South Florida’s
fresh water ecosystem is a community-wide responsibility, including
both public agencies and private individuals and businesses. We
are all stewards of this precious and important natural resource.
Lake and Canal Stewardship is an attitude and an important step
in protecting your community’s lakes and canal, and ultimately
your source of drinking water. Stewardship reflects an understanding
that “what we do on land affects the water”. The first
step that everyone can take is to follow Best Management Practices
(BMPs) when it comes to South Florida’s water bodies.
To find out more about BMPs and other ways you can help
protect your community’s fresh water ecosystem, click on the