Providing the District’s Mission and Protecting the Public During the COVID-19 Pandemic
As part of its ongoing efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) is implementing several safety precautions to keep the public informed on the District's operations.
Dedicated to Our Mission
SFWMD remains dedicated to its core mission of safe guarding and restoring South Florida's water resources and ecosystems, protecting communities from flooding, and meeting the region's water needs while connecting with the public and stakeholders. Executive Director Drew Bartlett signed an Emergency Order to support the continuity of District operations while responding to this public health emergency.
During this time, SFWMD is taking several proactive measures to ensure the health and safety of our staff, stakeholders and members of the public. All official travel has been suspended for SFWMD employees and is limiting in-person meetings.
Buildings Closed to the Public
All SFWMD offices, including field stations, services centers, and the SFWMD headquarters in West Palm Beach are closed to the public until further notice. Most SFWMD staff are working remotely and additional health protocols are in place for all facilities and operations. The District’s main switchboard remains operational between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday at (561) 686-8800. You can also write to us using the Ask Us button at the top of our website.
Enjoying Florida's Natural Resources
During this time, consider safely enjoying the natural wonders that Florida has to offer while embracing social distancing. All SFWMD-managed public lands are currently open to the public for individuals. We encourage you to visit one of our many recreation sites, but all visitors must practice social isolation and avoid gathering in groups of 10 or more.
For more recreational opportunities, public access lands managed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) are still currently open to the public. Overnight camping is still closed on District managed lands in concert with Florida State Parks. We will continue to monitor CDC guidelines and State/County orders to open our campgrounds as soon as possible.
The South Florida Water Management District announced that it will reopen the remainder of closed District-managed lands beginning May 4, 2020 at noon. Visitors must practice social distancing, including limiting group sizes to 10 or less and staying six feet apart from other visitors.
As of May 4, 2020, the following District-managed lands have been reopened:
- A-1 Flow Equalization Basin
- Allapattah Flats
- Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
- Atlantic Ridge Preserve State Park
- Baltic Road
- Blanket Bay Slough
- Blind Creek
- Bluff Hammock Management Unit
- Boney Marsh Management Unit
- Catfish Creek
- Chandler Slough
- Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed (CREW)
- Cornwell Marsh
- DuPuis Management Area
- Everglades & Francis S. Taylor Wildlife Management Area
- Frog Pond
- Gordy Road Recreation Area
- Halpatiokee Regional Park
- Harold A. Campbell Public Use Area
- Hickory Hammock Wildlife Management Area
- Horse Creek
- Huckleberry Island
- Hungryland Wildlife and Environmental Area
- Intercession City
- Istokpoga Boating Facility
- Johnson Island
- Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park (Closed)
- Lake Kissimmee: Bird Island
- Lake Kissimmee: Drasdo
- Lake Kissimmee: Eastshore and Westshore
- Lake Kissimmee: Gardner-Cobb Marsh
- Lake Kissimmee: Lightsey
- Lake Kissimmee: Rabbit Island
- Lake Kissimmee: Strum Island
- Lake Marion Creek
- Lake Russell
- Lakeside Ranch
- Lower Reedy Creek
- Loxahatchee River/Cypress Creek Management Area
- Loxahatchee Slough Natural Area
- MICCO Landing
- Miller/Wild Property
- No Name Slough
- North Fork St. Lucie River
- Oak Creek
- Okaloacoochee Slough Wildlife Management Area
- Pal-Mar East/Nine Gems
- Paradise Run
- Queen's Island
- Reedy Creek
- Riverbend Park
- Rough Island North and South
- S-65E Impoundment
- Seaboard Marsh
- Shingle Creek
- Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve
- Snell Creek
- Southern Glades
- Spruce Bluff
- Starvation Slough
- Stormwater Treatment Area 1 East
- Stormwater Treatment Area 1 West
- Stormwater Treatment Area 2
- Stormwater Treatment Area 3/4
- Stormwater Treatment Area 5/6
- Taylor Creek
- Telex Marsh
- Ten Mile Creek
- Three Scrub Sites (Closed)
- Tibet-Butler Preserve
- Turkey Hammock
- Upper Reedy Creek
- Water Conservation Area 1
- Water Conservation Areas 2 and 3
- Yates Marsh
Updates about other SFWMD-managed properties will be announced to the public as they develop.
Due to lake conditions, locks on the north shore of Lake Okeechobee are temporarily closed. SFWMD will continue to closely monitor water levels on Lake Okeechobee to determine if other locks should be closed. Closures will be announced to the public through email and posted on this page.
The following locks are temporarily closed for safety:
Martin County: S-135 boat lock, J&S Fish Camp
Okeechobee County: G-36 boat lock, Henry Creek
Glades County: S-127 boat lock, Buckhead Ridge and S-131 boat lock, Lakeport
Also on the north shore, the operating hours for the S-193 boat lock at Taylor Creek in Okeechobee County are Saturdays and Sundays between 5:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. The S-193 lock will close entirely if Lake Okeechobee is below 11 feet NGVD.
Locks will resume normal operations when the lake is at least 12.5 feet NGVD.
SFWMD continues to hold public meetings online to support our mission for strong participation and engagement. Any changes to upcoming meetings, including electronic meeting details, postponements and cancellations, will be posted on our Meetings Calendar.
Learn More About COVID-19
SFWMD will continue to take necessary steps to ensure the safety of its staff and members of the public. To learn more about COVID-19 and how to prevent its spread, please refer to the Florida Department of Health.