The Safe Waterways Act Needs Your 9th Inning Support!

After years of advocating for improvements to public health notifications in the state of Florida, HB 165 finally passed the FL House and Senate earlier this year.

But now Calusa Waterkeeper has learned this legislation, better known as the “Safe Waterways Act,” may be in jeopardy of being vetoed by Governor DeSantis in the coming days.

The timeline for approving or vetoing legislation is by the end of this week, prior to July 1, 2024. If he does not veto it, it will become law on Monday.

We ask you to contact the Governor’s office ASAP to voice your support for HB 165 becoming law!

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This bill requires the Department of Health (DOH) to adopt and enforce rules to protect the health, safety, and welfare of persons using beach waters and public bathing places. The DOH is required by the bill, rather than allowed, to issue a health advisory, within 24 hours or the next business day, if water quality does not meet certain standards and must require the closure of beach waters and public bathing places if necessary to protect public health, safety, and welfare. The closure must remain in effect until the water quality is restored.

Additionally this bill will require authorities to post and maintain health advisory signs around public bathing places affected by elevated fecal coliform, E.coli or Enterococci bacteria (Fecal Indicator Bacteria). DOH must coordinate with DEP, FWC and municipalities to implement appropriate signage.

This issue of consistent and timely notification has been a primary pillar in Calusa Waterkeeper’s water quality advocacy efforts for many years, as we seek to establish water quality standards that protect human health and compel restoration that helps our community, culture, economy and ecosystems to flourish.


Learn more about our Fecal Indicator Bacteria program, independent monitoring performed by our volunteer Rangers.

Support the mission of Calusa Waterkeeper by making a donation today.