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Water bodies, watersheds and storm water

Lake Monroe

The St. Johns River (with Lake Harney in the background) appears as fingers reaching across the landscape at the State Road 46 bridge.

The Lake Monroe Conservation Area protects a stretch of the St. Johns River in the river’s middle basin.

Lake Monroe is about 9,400 acres in size and is a shallow, wide area of the St. Johns River in central Florida. The Lake Monroe portion of the Middle St. Johns River Basin is heavily developed and is in an area designated as having the highest potential for growth in Seminole County. Significant development has impacted the wetlands and water­ways of this basin over the years, such as the Interstate 4 corridor and the development in the cities of Sanford, Lake Mary, DeBary and Deltona.

High levels of phosphorus from lawns and farming, untreated stormwater runoff from areas developed prior to stormwater regulations and waste­water plant discharges in the past led to the lake’s water quality degradation. Flooding has also occurred around the lake in the adjoining areas that drain poorly and in areas immediately along the shoreline.


Location of Lake Monroe

Projects cooperatively funded through the St. Johns River Water Management District and local sources have been completed in the watershed to address water quality issues and flooding through upgrading of old stormwater management systems, the construction of regional stormwater treatment facilities, and through the expanded use of reclaimed water for landscape irrigation.

As with the other subbasins within the Middle St. Johns River Basin, scientific evaluations are under way and computer models are being used to provide information on the flow charac­teristics and water quality issues in Lake Monroe, as well as in the segments of the St. Johns River upstream and downstream of the lake. These tools will be used to address the high level of nutrients going into the lake, which will reduce the potential for algal blooms within Lake Monroe and further downstream. The district continues to work on these issues and remains an active partner with the federal and state agencies, local governments and interested groups that all share an interest in the improvement of Lake Monroe.

The district also works closely with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) as it develops the total maximum daily load (TMDL) nutrient goals and with stakeholders and local governments in meeting Basin Management Action Plan allocations.


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St. Johns River Water Management District
4049 Reid Street, Palatka, FL 32177
(800) 725-5922