Aquatic Plant Management Agencies
The Invasive Plant Management Section of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is the lead agency for permitting aquatic plant management in Florida and for funding aquatic plant management in Florida's public lakes and rivers. View a list of public lakes and rivers that qualify for state funds for aquatic plant management. While FWC is the lead agency, many agencies have authorities to manage aquatic plants. For questions about who manages aquatic plants in specific lakes and rivers in Florida, contact your FWC regional biologist.
On the federal level, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) manages the floating invasive plants water hyacinth and water lettuce within the levee of Lake Okeechobee as well as on the St. Johns River and its tributaries from the north end of Lake Poinsett in Brevard County through Jacksonville. Both of these systems are designated Federal Navigation Projects and floating invasive plants are routinely managed to sustain their navigability. Learn more about the USACE role in managing aquatic plants in Florida.
FWC contracts with the St. Johns, Southwest, and South Florida Water Management Districts to control aquatic plants in some public waters within district boundaries. Water Management Districts also control aquatic plants in waters that are not eligible for funding through the FWC, but are integral to the operating objectives of the district. Most notably, the South Florida Water Management District controls aquatic plants in hundreds of miles of flood control and water supply canals that interweave southern Florida. Water Management Districts also control invasive plants in wetlands that lie within district boundaries.
FWC contracts with and permits several county and city governments to control aquatic plants in lakes and rivers. There are also many water control districts, mostly in southern Florida, that have express authority to raise revenues to control aquatic plants in canals for flood protection. These districts, sometimes called 298 districts, are authorized under Florida Statutes – Title XXI Chapter 298 Drainage and Water Control.