Withlacoochee River Watershed- Biophysical Regulatory ... The Withlacoochee River Watershed: Biophysical

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  • A Collaboration of the University of Florida’s Conservation Clinic and Adaptive Management of Water Resources IGERT

    The  Withlacoochee  River  Watershed:   Biophysical  &  Regulatory  Characteristics  

    C h a d B i c k e r t o n , S u s a n n a B l a i r , A n n a C a t h e y , B y r o n F l a g g ,

    H o l l i e H a l l , D i n a L i e b o w i t z , M i c h a e l M o r e t z , M e g a n P o l i c a s t r o & T o m A n k e r s e n

     

  • The Withlacoochee River Watershed: Biophysical & Regulatory Characteristics

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    Table  of  Contents   Executive  Summary  ...................................................................................................  5   Overview  ................................................................................................................................  5   Land  Use  ..............................................................................................................................................  6   Water  Quality  ....................................................................................................................................  6   Water  Quantity  .................................................................................................................................  7   Ecology  .................................................................................................................................................  7   Special  Designations  ......................................................................................................................  7   Watershed  Governance  ................................................................................................................  7   Local  Governance  ............................................................................................................................  8   Citizen  Stewardship  .......................................................................................................................  8  

    Conclusions  &  Recommendations  .................................................................................  8   Water  Quality  ....................................................................................................................................  8   Outstanding  Florida  Waters  ....................................................................................................  10   Septic  Tank  Maintenance  &  Inspection  ..............................................................................  11   Buffers  and  setbacks  ...................................................................................................................  12   Minimum  Flows  and  Levels  .....................................................................................................  12   Consumptive  Use  ..........................................................................................................................  13   Springs  ..............................................................................................................................................  14   Herbicide  Use  .................................................................................................................................  15   Wetlands  Mitigation  ....................................................................................................................  16   There are no wetland mitigation banks in the Withlacoochee River

    watershed. Additionally, there is very little overlap between mitigation service areas for banks located outside of the watershed and the watershed. Therefore, little opportunity exists for mitigating wetland impacts to the watershed through wetland banks that serve the watershed, potentially resulting in a net loss of wetlands to the Withlacoochee Watershed.  ..............................................................................................................................................................................  16  

    Watershed  Governance  .............................................................................................................  16   General  Ecological  Characterization  .................................................................  18   Climate  .................................................................................................................................  18   Hydrology  ...........................................................................................................................  18   Upper  Floridan  Aquifer  System  .............................................................................................  18   DRASTIC  Assessment  of  Aquifer  Vulnerability  to  Pollution  ......................................  19   Rainbow  River  &  Rainbow  Springs  ......................................................................................  20   Wetlands  ..........................................................................................................................................  22   The  Withlacoochee  Bay  Estuary  ............................................................................................  23   Lakes  and  Engineered  Water  Control  Structures  ...........................................................  23  

    Habitat  .................................................................................................................................  28   Florida  Black  Bear  ........................................................................................................................  28   Birds  ...................................................................................................................................................  30   Fish  .....................................................................................................................................................  31   Threats  to  Freshwater  Habitat  ...............................................................................................  32  

    Water  Use  ...................................................................................................................  33   Land  Use  ......................................................................................................................  34   Publicly  Managed  Lands  ................................................................................................  35  

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    Water  Quality  ............................................................................................................  37   Water  Quality  Assessment  2010  .................................................................................  37   Lake  Water  Quality  ..........................................................................................................  38   Point  Source  Pollutants  ..................................................................................................  40   Non-­‐Point  Sources  of  Pollutants  .................................................................................  43   Dissolved  Oxygen  .........................................................................................................................  44   Nutrients  ..........................................................................................................................................  45   Septic  Systems  ...............................................................................................................................  47  

    Minimum  Flows  and  Levels  ..................................................................................  48   Mitigation  Banking  ..................................................................................................  49   Local  Government  Policy  &  Regulation  ............................................................  50   Status  of  Landuse  Policies  .............................................................................................  50   Current  Comprehensive  Plans  .....................................................................................  50   Marion  County  ...............................................................................................................................  50   Polk  County  .....................................................................................................................................  51   Green  Swamp  Area  of  Critical  State  Concern  ...................................................................  51   Sumter  County  ...............................................................................................................................  51   Citrus  County  ..................................................................................................................