St. Andrew Bay


The St. Andrew Bay watershed spans approximately 740,000 acres of the central Florida Panhandle adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico. The watershed includes Econfina Creek and the groundwater contribution area for springs discharging into the creek; the interconnected estuarine system of St. Andrew, West, North, and East bays; and St. Joseph Bay. The watershed also includes Deer Point Lake Reservoir, Lake Powell and other coastal dune lakes, and contributing basins and tributaries of all of these waterbodies.

To protect water quality, habitat quality, and groundwater recharge, as well as to maintain compatible public access and use, the District protects over 43,000 acres in Bay and Washington Counties as the Econfina Creek Water Management Area. The WMA encompasses the majority of the recharge area for springs contributing to Econfina Creek and Deer Point Lake Reservoir, as well as the Sand Hill Lakes.

St. Andrew Bay SWIM Plan

The St. Andrew Bay Watershed Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) plan describes watershed resources and issues and provides a comprehensive, basin-wide management strategy. Addressing continuing challenges affecting water quality and natural systems requires a range of strategies. Among these are additional improvements in the treatment and management of stormwater runoff; continued implementation of best management practices for agriculture, silviculture, and construction; and additional efforts to improve wastewater treatment and management. To complement these, long-term protection of critical habitats and associated buffer areas will further help protect water resources. Projects identified in the plan include the following:

  • Stormwater Planning and Retrofit
  • Septic Tank Abatement
  • Advanced Onsite Treatment Systems
  • Agriculture and Silviculture BMPs
  • Basinwide Sedimentation Abatement
  • Riparian Buffer Zones
  • Aquatic, Hydrologic, and Wetland Restoration
  • Estuarine Habitat Restoration
  • Strategic Land Conservation
  • Watershed Stewardship Initiative
  • Sub-basin Restoration Plans
  • Wastewater Treatment and Management Improvements
  • Analytical Program Support
  • Comprehensive Monitoring Program

For more information, please contact Paul Thorpe at or (850) 539-5999.

Supporting Documents

RWSP – Region III, Bay County

Water Supply Assessments

Assessment of Freshwater Inflows to North Bay (2008)

Delineation of the Floridan Aquifer Zone of Contribution for Econfina Creek and Deer Point Lake (1997)

Groundwater Flow Patterns in the Econfina Creek Springshed, Washington and Bay counties (2004)

Hydrogeology of the Northwest Florida Water Management District (1996)