Quality of Florida’s Inland Waters

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  1. It is a shame that we have to determine how much pollution that the Suwannee River can carry away and how much harm can be done to its eco-system.  Sounds like someone is plotting an assassination of the last clean river in the United States.
  2. The TMDL’s are extremely biased toward the developers which mean more pollution than is agreeable with the river is going to be dumped in the river until it is overloaded to a calculated capability.  That calculated capacity is the edge of irreversible harm to the quality and quantity of the water in the Suwannee River Basin.
  3. The state is enforcing policies that will degrade of the quality of Florida’s water to Class III.  Class II water is required for shellfish propagation or harvesting.
  4. Class III water will not support the quantity or quality of any exoskeleton species that has commercial value.

A simple example:

My question is what happens to the wildlife that feed on shellfish.  The white ibis bird, whose favorite food is the – Pomacea paludosa – Florida apple snail, the apple snail lives in an exoskeleton, it and all others shellfish need suitable Class II water to propagate.   With only Class III water any shellfish or creature with an exoskeleton will eventually become extinct.  What is the white ibis bird going to eat? 

This simple event will be repeated thousands of times, in thousands of species if we do not insist on Class II water as the end result of water treatment.

Surface Water Quality Classifications


Class I – Potable Water Supplies
Fourteen general areas throughout the state including: impoundments and associated tributaries, certain lakes, rivers, or portions of rivers, used as a drinking water supply. 

Class II – Shellfish Propagation or Harvesting
Generally coastal waters where shellfish harvesting occurs. 

Class III – Recreation, Propagation and Maintenance of a Healthy, Well-Balanced Population of Fish and Wildlife
The surface waters of the state are Class III unless described in rule 62-302.400 F.A.C

Class IV – Agricultural Water Supplies
Generally located in agriculture areas around Lake Okeechobee . 

Act NOW!*

Put the Right to Clean Water Amendment on the 2022 ballot


Class V – Navigation, Utility and Industrial Use.

Currently, there are not any designated Class V bodies of water. The Fenholloway River was reclassified as Class III in 1998.

Stan Meeks
Manatee Advocate
Suwannee River Keepers, Inc.

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