Farm Bureau Instrumental in Basin Management Action Plan

20160501

IMG_1344The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) is in the process of developing and managing 29 Basin Management Action Plans (BMAPs) throughout Florida.  Click here for a current map denoting BMAP boundaries.

BMAPs are “blueprints” for restoring impaired waters by reducing pollutants to meet the allowable loadings established in the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).  These strategies include agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) and they are designed to implement the pollutant reductions established by the TMDL.  The BMAPS require substantial input by stakeholders within the basin. Once adopted, they are enforceable.

A large amount of Farm Bureau staff time is allotted monitoring BMAP development and implementation in areas where agriculture is a potential source of the TMDL. The primary agricultural pollutant is either nitrate nitrogen (NO3) or phosphorus (P).

Currently, staff continues to work with FDEP on an annual review of the St. Lucie River and Estuary Basin Management Action Plan (adopted in 2013 as part of the Upper East Coast Water Supply Plan). The current goal of this plan is to implement BMPs on 90 percent of farm properties in the region within the next five years.

The Rainbow Springs Basin and Silver Springs, Silver Springs Group and Upper Silver River BMAPs were adopted in late 2015. FFB staff members made sure that FDEP was starting with accurate nutritional loading estimates for these plans.

The Jackson Blue Spring and Middle and Lower Suwannee River Basin BMAPs are being fast-tracked for adoption by June 1, 2016 to allow an extra two years to comply with increased regulations that passed in the most recent legislative session.  Agriculture has been deemed a substantial contributor to the TMDL standards prescribed for the regions.

For more information about the BMAP development process and Farm Bureau’s participation, contact Charles Shinn at charles.shinn@ffbf.org.