Audubon Florida News

Florida’s Special Places: Sandhill Lakes Region Saved from Wellfield Drawdown

posted on July 26, 2012 in FL Special Places,Water Issues

Audubon commends Washington County and the Knight Trust for winning their legal challenge of Bay County’s proposed wellfield.

Administrative law judge David Maloney found today that a proposed Bay County wellfield is not in the public interest and does not have reasonable beneficial use, removing a major threat to the Sandhill Lakes region. Bay County and the Northwest Florida Water Management collaborated to establish an unnecessary 30 million gallon per day wellfield along the border between Bay and Washington counties.

Sandhill FloraThe area is known for its beautiful freshwater lakes and high quality aquifers.

Adjacent landowners and homeowners along with conservation groups objected to the permit because of the potential drawdown of the region’s lakes by the wellfield.

The permit was challenged by Washington County.  Audubon Florida testified during the hearing that the Northwest Florida Water Management District misused state alternative water supply funds, which were never intended to promote harmful use of groundwater.

Today the good guys and the environment won.  Private landowners and a small county prevailed to stop an ill-considered and harmful water project,”  said Eric Draper, Executive Director of Audubon Florida.

The Sandhill Lakes region of northwest Florida was the inaugural nominee for Florida’s Special Places:


Have you visited this special region of Florida? Tell us about your experience in the comment section below or on the Florida’s Special Places Facebook Page.


  1. I grew up swimming and skiing on these beautiful lakes and I am thrilled to read this news!

    Comment by Ellen Rentz — July 26, 2012 @ 3:09 pm

  2. Congrats Eric and Audubon….naming, then saving a Special Place

    Comment by terrell arline — July 26, 2012 @ 9:05 pm

  3. Congrats Eric.

    Comment by T Cotter — July 26, 2012 @ 9:15 pm

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