Lake Management Program
Altamonte Springs is home to seventeen lakes, which are home to a variety of plants and animals. The City currently has nine lakes and approximately 60 ponds under active management. These water bodies range in size from less than an acre to over 130 acres. Depending on their size and location, recreational activities vary from lively waterskiing and wave-running to serene bird-watching. The City’s lakes are a fundamental component of the areas ecological integrity, and have a significant impact on property values, as well as, the quality of life in the community.
The goal of the City’s Lake Management Program is to assist in the maintenance of the City’s lakes, ponds, and stormwater systems through effective aquatic weed control; provide technical assistance to the local community on environmental impacts and permitting; and update/analyze lake water quality data. Additionally, the Program assists the City Engineer with the inspection and maintenance of stormwater systems, and reviews Waterfront Improvement Control Permits (i.e., boat docks; seawalls; shoreline improvements) for conformance with City Code.
Lake Management Program Components
Aquatic Plant Management
Florida Yards & Neighborhoods Program
Florida LAKEWATCH Program
Lakes in Altamonte Springs
Water Quality Monitoring & Watershed Atlas
Waterfront Improvement Control Permitting (Waterfront Property Owners)
Plants are an important part of our environment. They provide habitat, food, medicine, and are pleasing to the eye. However, the introduction of non-indigenous invasive aquatThursday, August 26, 2010 9:01ructive consequences. The impacts of the spread of invasive aquatic plants are well known: habitat disruption, loss of native plant and animal communities, reduced property values, impaired fishing and degraded recreational experiences, and enormous and ongoing control costs.
No matter how comprehensive and aggressive our prevention efforts are, chances are, some invasive organisms will slip through the cracks. In such cases, it is crucial that the invaders are detected as early as possible, before they have had an opportunity to cause significant damage or to spread to other water bodies. Early detection provides the best (and sometimes only) hope of eradication. If we truly want to have an effective, citywide early detection system we must act swiftly and take preventive measures.
To achieve this, the City of Altamonte Springs has an in-house program, which is comprised of a licensed aquatic plant applicator that makes regular site visits to the City’s managed lakes, and if necessary treats problem areas. The City’s ponds are on a routine maintenance schedule and are monitored by field personnel. Additionally, the City relies heavily on its waterfront residents to provide early notice of problems on the lakes or neighborhood ponds. For more information on the Aquatic Plant Management Program or to report a problem, please call (407) 571-8331 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Florida yards & Neighborhoods Program
Do you want to make your yard more beautiful? What about making yard work easier and saving money? How about if doing this would also protect Florida's water quality at the same time? The Florida Yards & Neighborhood Program (FYN) is designed to educate homeowners about better lawn and landscape management practices that will reduce the amount of herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers that enter stormwater runoff or leach into our ground water. For more information on the FYN Program workshops and/or training visit http://cfyn.ifas.ufl.edu/ or contact the Seminole County Extension office at (407) 665-5551.
Florida LAKEWATCH Program
The City of Altamonte Springs supports the Florida LAKEWATCH Program for any lake within City limits. Florida LAKEWATCH is a volunteer citizen lake monitoring program that facilitates "hands-on" citizen participation in the management of Florida lakes through monthly monitoring activities. Coordinated through the University of Florida's (UF) Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS)/Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, the program has been in existence since 1986. In 1991 the Florida Legislature recognized the importance of the program and established Florida LAKEWATCH in the state statutes (Florida Statute 1004.49.). LAKEWATCH is now one of the largest lake monitoring programs in the nation with over 1800 trained citizens monitoring 600+ lakes, in more than 40 counties.
LAKEWATCH relies heavily on help from the local community such as local government agencies, educational institutions, citizens, neighborhood associations, and youth organizations. LAKEWATCH also provides educational material regarding their lakes, allows concerned individuals to work with professionals in government, and fosters a better understanding of Florida's lakes.
The most exciting aspect of Florida LAKEWATCH is how widespread the benefits reach! The City of Altamonte Springs benefits from the Florida LAKEWATCH by receiving monthly data on the lakes enrolled. A citizen contact person on a specific lake can assist the City with distributing information to the local residents. That contact person can also act as a "watchdog" for their lake, notifying the City’s Stormwater Division of any events that occur which may be harmful to the lake.
The University of Florida benefits from the City because it has a local sample collection site and a trainer who teaches the volunteers the required techniques of collecting lake water samples. They benefit from the volunteers by having additional data on some of Central Florida’s lakes.
The most important beneficiaries are the citizen volunteers. They learn about their lake's natural life cycle and become more aware of what affects their lake's water quality. They also receive quarterly and annual test results from the University of Florida, keeping them informed about the quality trend of their lake. The volunteers are welcome to discuss any concerns or questions about their lake with environmental professionals at either the University of Florida or the City of Altamonte Springs.
Want To Become a LAKEWATCH Volunteer?
The City is in need of volunteers. Interested individuals should contact the City’s Compliance Coordinator. The volunteer(s) must have boat and lake access. They must also attend a two-hour training session, and dedicate approximately an hour a month to collect and prepare lake water samples. For a complete list of participating LAKEWATCH lakes within the City of Altamonte Springs click here.
Danielle Marshall, Compliance Coordinator (407) 571-8331 or email@example.com
David Watson, Florida LAKEWATCH Regional Coordinator (800) 525-3928 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Stormwater Division collects monthly water samples from a majority of the lakes in the City so that water quality can be monitored. The City collects and analyzes these samples as part of its requirements under the NPDES Stormwater Program. As a partner of the Watershed Atlas, the results are forwarded to Seminole County, then onto the University of South Florida (USF), the Watershed Atlas Administrator, who then uploads the data to the website. The results are compared to previous data collected and used to establish baseline conditions so lakes that have been degraded or are being degraded can be identified. Once these lakes are identified, corrective action can be determined and implemented, if possible.
The Seminole County Watershed Atlas is designed to provide citizens, scientists, professionals, and planners with comprehensive and current water quality, hydrologic, and ecological data, as well as information about recreational opportunities and a library of scientific and educational materials on water resource issues. Typically, scientists and citizens who live and work on water bodies have found it difficult to gather information they need from the myriad of agencies that collect the related data. To solve this problem, the Atlas was created as a "one stop information shop" for concerned citizens and scientists alike. The Atlas functions as a warehouse for a variety of current and historical water resources information, including documents and educational links. To find out more information on the lakes in Altamonte Springs visit the following links:
Adelaide East, Lake
Crane’s Roost Lake
Pearl Lake (West)
Spring Wood Lake
DO NOT REMOVE BENEFICIAL VEGETATION AND FORM SANDY BEACHES ALONG SHORELINES. The shoreline of a water body should remain completely natural; modification of the natural form or shape inhibits a water body’s ability to effectively utilize or absorb nutrients and pollutants. A natural shoreline is to a lake what your kidney’s are to you: the cleanser of impurities out of the system. High-level nutrient discharge of runoff from lawns and streets contribute to excessive growth of algae, rapid sediment buildup, and production of undesirable types of vegetation. All of these problems contribute to the accelerated death of your water body and directly cause short-term massive fish kills.
In addition to its erosion and pollution control benefits, shoreline vegetation provides a habitat for numerous species of wildlife. Green (Green-backed) Herons, Tricolored Herons, Little Blue Herons, Purple Gallinules, and Common Moorhens nest in or near emergent vegetation, such as cattails and pickerelweed. Emergent vegetation also provides protective cover for the young of these birds and for several other species that may nest elsewhere but bring their young to be reared on your water body. Frogs and turtles that live in your water body use emergent shoreline vegetation for cover, perches, and a place to forage for insects and other food sources.
Currently there exist restrictions on removal of shoreline vegetation by the City of Altamonte Springs and Florida DEP. Residents located within City limits should contact the Public Works Department at 407-571-8331 for permitting requirements prior to ANY activities along the shoreline. Depending on the scope of the proposed activities, you may ALSO require a permit from the Florida DEP. A general guideline for Florida DEP permitting restrictions is as follows:
Permits are NOT required for waterfront property owners seeking to remove non-woody vegetation and shrub species from fresh water bodies by mechanical means along 50 feet or 50% of the shoreline (whichever is less) in order to allow open water access to a boat or for swimmers, according to Florida statute 369.20(8). This exemption applies where the water bodies are not classified as Florida DEP aquatic preserves or Florida DEP Outstanding Florida Waters. For more detailed information please visit http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/guide/permit.html.
Building a boat dock, seawall, or boat ramp? Click here
Bureau of Invasive Plant Management, Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Aquatic Plant Control Research Program, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Program, U.S. Geological Survey
Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants, University of South Florida
St. Johns River Water Management District
Army Corps Aquatic Plant Control, Jacksonville District