Shoreline Protection Ordinance

Shoreline Protection Ordinance

If you would like to review the Seminole County Shoreline Protection Ordinance, please click here

The Board of County Commissioners approved the Shoreline Protection Ordinance on April 27, 2021.

alt textSeminole County, Florida’s Natural Choice, has many beautiful lakes that bring nature to our suburban setting. Environmental stressors, including stormwater and fertilizer runoff, threaten the health of these natural resources by increasing the amount of nutrients and pollutants that reach each of these waterbodies. It is widely recognized that aquatic plants play a vital role in the protection of lakes by filtering pollutants, reducing erosion, and providing wildlife habitat.

Until 2018, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) was the permitting agency for most lakes in Florida. A 2018 legislative rule change increased the size of permit exempt waterbodies of Florida and reduced the State’s oversight of shoreline management to waterbodies that exceed 160 acres surface area. As a result of this, there are only a handful of lakes in Seminole County that remain protected from shoreline clearing under the new rule. The Seminole County Shoreline Protection Ordinance (SPO) would only pertain to those waterbodies no longer protected by the State rules.

Key Highlights from the Shoreline Protection Ordinance (SPO):

  1. Any shoreline alteration will require a Seminole County Shoreline Alteration Permit unless it meets one of the exceptions.
  2. Exceptions to the Shoreline Alteration Permit include:
    • Shorelines on waterbodies that are less than 2 acres or over 160 acres. (Shorelines on waterbodies larger than 160 acres require FWC permit).
    • If aquatic vegetation is removed via physical or mechanical methods within an access corridor of 50 feet or 50% of shoreline, whichever is less.
  3. These rules only apply to shorelines within the unincorporated limits of Seminole County, and not to areas within city boundaries.
  4. Permits will soon be available through the Seminole County’s online permitting system (
  5. The SPO requires new waterfront development or significant redevelopment to protect its shoreline by installing berm and swale systems or a vegetative buffer to reduce the stormwater runoff and associated pollutants from reaching the waterbody.

If you would like to review the Seminole County Shoreline Protection Ordinance, please click here.

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Thomas Calhoun, Program Manager
Phone: (407) 665-2459

Educational Resources -  Citizen Guide to Lake Management (booklet), Lakefront Revegetation (booklet), How to Plant Your Lakefront (booklet), the UF/IFAS Plant Directory and the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council.  For more information about invasive plants, permits, and the Florida Aquatic Weed Control Act, please visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) at