Proposed Numeric Nutrient Criteria
Everglades National Park (ENP) has worked closely with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) on the numeric nutrient criteria for south Florida estuaries and coastal waters. The National Park Service has three large units in south Florida that will be directly affected by the proposed criteria: Everglades National Park, Dry Tortugas National Park, and Biscayne National Park. These parks contribute immensely to the ecological resources of the state and local communities by providing invaluable habitat to multiple wildlife species, serving as a nursery to valued commercial species of fish and shrimp, and offering exceptional recreational opportunities to national and international visitors.
Recently, FDEP amended Chapters 62-302 and 62-303, F.A.C., and received approval from the Environmental Review Commission and ratification from the State House. These amendments limit the amount of nutrients in surface waters by setting numeric criteria. The park supports the State's effort to develop numeric nutrient criteria for surface waters but considers that certain changes to the criteria and methodology are necessary.
Below is a brief summary of the park's comments.