Florida Environmental Protection
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is responsible for environmental management and stewardship and is one of the more diverse agencies in state government, protecting our air, water, and land. The Department is divided into three primary areas: Regulatory Programs, Land and Recreation and Planning and Management. Florida's environmental priorities include restoring America's Everglades, improving air quality, restoring and protecting the water quality in our springs, lakes, rivers and coastal waters, conserving environmentally-sensitive lands and providing citizens and visitors with recreational opportunities, now and in the future.
DEP has been designated the lead state agency for responding to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in Florida. Under the leadership of Governor Charlie Crist, DEP has been working with the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) to coordinate and respond to any impacts from the Deepwater Horizon incident to Florida’s shorelines and citizens. In addition, DEP works with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, the United States Coast Guard, VISITFLORIDA, the Florida Department of Health, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and many more to coordinate the statewide response to the oil spill.
Numerous bureaus and divisions within the agency are coordinating response efforts such as DEP’s Division of Law Enforcement recently moved to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC), Law Enforcement), Florida Coastal Office, Water Resource Protection Programs, Division of Air Resource Management, Division of Waste Management and the Beaches and Coastal Systems.
Response activities include air and water sampling; conducting reconnaissance missions; issuing emergency permits and authorizations; providing use of facilities; protecting wildlife and natural and cultural resources. DEP is also responsible for communicating with the media and developing and maintaining the statewide response website.