Protect the Water You Love

Drinkable, swimmable, fishable water for all. 


Waterkeepers Florida is a regional entity composed of all 15 Waterkeeper organizations working in the State of Florida to protect and restore our water resources across over 45,000 square miles of watershed, which is home to over 15 million Floridians. Part scientist, teacher, and legal advocate, Waterkeepers combine firsthand knowledge of their waterways with an unwavering commitment to the rights of their communities and to the rule of law. Whether on the water, in a classroom, or in a courtroom, Waterkeepers speak for the waters they defend – with the backing of their local community and the collective strength of Waterkeeper Alliance.

Suncoast Waterkeeper
Apalachicola Riverkeeper

Water Quality WIN

The goal of the Clean Water Act (CWA) is to have water that is clean enough for people to swim in and fish from. One of the ways that the CWA seeks to achieve this goal is by requiring water quality standards for pollutants that can harm people and the environment. Water quality standards are supposed to be reviewed and updated by state environmental protection agencies, like the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), every three years in order to keep pace with updates in scientific research and technology, but Florida’s water quality standards are woefully outdated. Florida has failed to adopt water quality standards for many toxic pollutants that they are required to regulate under the CWA, and many standards for other toxic pollutants have not been updated since the early 1990s.

In January of 2022, Waterkeepers Florida, in partnership with attorney David Ludder on behalf of Environmental Defense Alliance, sent a petition to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urging the agency to make a determination that new and revised water quality criteria are necessary to meet the requirements of the Clean Water Act. After months of dialogue, in December of 2022, EPA issued a determination acknowledging that new and revised water quality standards are needed in Florida. Specifically, EPA identified 40 priority toxic pollutants that have outdated standards that need to be updated, and 37 priority toxic pollutants that Florida has no regulatory standards for, despite the fact that standards are required under the Clean Water Act. EPA has 12 months to develop new and updated water quality regulations, but FDEP could adopt updated water quality standards within that timeframe. This is a HUGE WIN for water quality in Florida, but there is still more work to do. Throughout the next year, Waterkeepers Florida will continue to engage on this issue to ensure that the new water quality standards are protective of human health and the environment.

Read the WKFL 50 Years of the Clean Water Act Report

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