With a surface area of 730 square miles, Lake Okeechobee is the largest lake in the southeastern United States and the liquid heart of Florida. The big lake lends its name to the South Florida Water Management District's Okeechobee region, which covers Glades County and portions of Okeechobee and Highlands counties. The area also features sections of the Kissimmee River and its floodplain that have been restored by the District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The Okeechobee Service Center offers local assistance with Environmental Resource and Consumptive Water Use permitting while providing regulatory oversight for Glades and St. Lucie counties and large portions of Okeechobee and Highlands counties. Regional Representatives develop partnerships with local governments and drainage districts, utilities, community groups and other stakeholders in these counties and create a better understanding of local water resource issues through outreach and education activities.
Okeechobee Service Center
3800 NW 16th Boulevard, Suite A
Okeechobee, FL 34972
(863) 462-5260 (800) 250-4200 Fax: (863) 462-5385 Regulatory Fax: (863) 462-5269 Google Map Map [PDF]
Okeechobee Field Station 1000 NE 40th Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34972 (863) 462-5280 (800) 250-4200 Fax: (863) 462-5328 Map [PDF]
GOVERNING BOARD MEMBERS
Daniel O'Keefe, Chair and an appointee representing areas including Glades, Okeechobee and Highlands counties
Mitch Hutchcraft, an at-large appointee representing areas including Glades, Okeechobee and Highlands counties
The AgTeam offers streamlined environmental resource and consumptive water use permitting and compliance assistance to the agricultural community along with non-agricultural regulatory services for Okeechobee, Glades, Polk, Highlands, western Martin, western St. Lucie, western Palm Beach, Hendry, eastern Collier and northeastern Lee counties.
The Dispersed Water Management Unit works with other agencies, organizations, landowners and researchers to enhance opportunities for storing excess surface water on private, public and tribal lands. The program encourages property owners to retain water on their land rather than drain it and/or accept and store regional runoff.
Task Force and Coordination Teams
Lake Okeechobee Basin Management Action Plan: The Okeechobee Service Center has been the local contact for information concerning the development of the Lake Okeechobee BMAP in partnership with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
Northern Everglades and Estuaries Protection Plan: The Okeechobee Service Center is the central meeting place for the NEEPP planning and implementation process for local stakeholders. more »
Lower Kissimmee Basin Water Supply Plan: With Governing Board approval in September 2014, SFWMD staff is beginning to reach out to local governments in Glades, Highlands and Okeechobee counties to assist them in their efforts to comply with the plan. more »
Central Florida Regional Planning Council: A planning and public policy agency working with public and private leadership in the Central Florida Region to achieve a healthy and sustainable future.
Florida's Heartland Rural Economic Development Initiative: Provides regional economic development coordination to counties designated as rural areas of economic concern. Promotes businesses interested in expanding or relocating to these areas.
Glades County Chamber of Commerce: Facilitates the improvement of all segments of the area's economy and is dedicated to representing the best interests of the business community.
Glades County Economic Council: A not-for-profit, non-governmental, non-partisan organization promoting the sound and judicious economic growth of Glades County.
Highlands County Local Mitigation Strategic Group: Provides broad-based, pre-disaster mitigation planning and an effective analytical method of integrating hazard mitigation concepts into policy and routine decision-making.
Lake Istokpoga Management Committee: Addresses lake management issues and provides public comment to the Highlands County Board of County Commissioners, the Lake Istokpoga Team Effort Accomplishing Management (TEAM) and others regarding exotic plant management, aquatic habitat enhancement, water level regulation, lake restoration and other topics.
Okeechobee Battlefield Friends, Inc.: A citizens' support organization for the Okeechobee Battlefield Historic State Park that coordinates the Annual Battlefield Re-enactment on a foot print of the original battlefield site. It is also assists in land management planning and restoration of park grounds.
Okeechobee Chamber of Commerce: Facilitates the improvement of all segments of the area's economy and represents the best interests of the business community.
Okeechobee Economic Council: A not-for-profit, non-governmental, non-partisan organization promoting the sound and judicious economic growth of Okeechobee County.
Okeechobee Emergency Management & Response Policy and Guidance Group: Makes management and policy decisions before, during and after an emergency.
Okeechobee Main Street: Improves aspects of the Okeechobee downtown district, and assists in economic development.
Okeechobee Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee: Promotes and coordinates recreation throughout the county and determines future recreational needs.
Okeechobee Red Cross: Provides relief to victims of disasters at home and abroad, teaches lifesaving skills and supports military members and families. Supports local emergency management operations in Okeechobee County and portions of Glades County.
Spring Lake Improvement District: An independent "298" water control district located in Highlands County that is active in the development and implementation of a water control plan that supports the Northern Everglades initiative and the Lake Okeechobee Basin Management Action Plan.