Water-Related News

SWFWMD to hold virtual workshop on MFL for Shell Creek in Charlotte County

The Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) invites the public to a virtual workshop Wednesday, Nov. 3, at 5:30 p.m. The purpose of the virtual workshop is to allow for public comment on recommended minimum flows for Lower Shell Creek in Charlotte County.

Members of the public may join the meeting via Microsoft Teams through this link https://bit.ly/3arKI1S. The Google Chrome browser is recommended for best compatibility with Microsoft Teams. For telephone-only participation, dial 1-786-749-6127 and when prompted enter the conference ID: 976694684#.

Minimum flows are limits established by the District’s Governing Board, and required by state law, to protect flowing water bodies from significant harm caused by ground and surface water withdrawals. The District’s scientists use numerous tools to collect, develop and analyze data before recommending a minimum flow. Their work is then evaluated by an independent peer review panel.

During the workshop, District staff will review the technical basis for the recommended minimum flows for Lower Shell Creek. Recommended minimum flows for Lower Shell Creek were summarized in a draft report that also addressed reevaluated minimum flows for the Lower Peace River and was presented to the District’s Governing Board and previously made available on the District’s website. A revised version of the draft report with updated status information for the recommended minimum flows for Lower Shell Creek is available for review and is posted at WaterMatters.org/documents-and-reports. All public comments are summarized and shared with the District’s Governing Board for its consideration when reviewing the recommended minimum flows. Public comments can be submitted to the District by filling out a virtual comment card.

District staff anticipates presenting the recommended minimum flows for Lower Shell Creek at the December Governing Board meeting, where the Governing Board may choose to initiate rulemaking for adoption of the minimum flow into District rules. Governing Board meetings are open to the public, and brief oral comments are permitted on meeting agenda items.

For more information regarding the recommended minimum flows, please contact Doug Leeper, MFLs Program Lead with the District’s Environmental Flows and Assessments Section at 1-800-423-1476, ext. 4272.

Written comments regarding the minimum flows are also welcome. They can be submitted via mail or email no later than Nov. 24, 2021, to Doug Leeper, at 2379 Broad Street, Brooksville, FL 34604-6899 or doug.leeper@watermatters.org.