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Why Buy and Manage Land?

In Florida, land and water are interconnected and interdependent, in both obvious and subtle ways. Managing and restoring land helps to preserve water resources. In a landscape defined by water – by coastlines and lake shores, inland waterways and wetlands – the lands neighboring or underlying these water bodies are components of complex ecosystems.

Land is a key component in most efforts to restore and/or healthfully manage ecosystems from central Florida to the Florida Keys. Restoration efforts where land plays an essential role include the Kissimmee River, Lake Okeechobee, the Loxahatchee River, the Everglades and the Big Cypress Preserve, Florida Bay, the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon and the Caloosahatchee River.

Sometimes this means that the South Florida Water Management District or other state, local or federal governments need to buy lands, and retain ownership or access on behalf of the public. As part of the SFWMD's land acquisition activities, the agency handles negotiations for acquisitions, appraisals, environmental assessments, geographic information system (GIS) mapping, land surveying, property title searches and closings.


Surplus Land for Sale

The South Florida Water Management District acquires land for the purpose of helping the agency meet its mission of environmental restoration, flood control and water resource development and protection.

Surplus lands are District-owned properties that are no longer needed for mission-related projects. Lands that are designated for surplus may be (a) offered for public bid; (b) conveyed by the District to another governmental entity; or (c) used in potential real estate exchange transactions. Periodically reviewing all real estate holdings and identifying surplus lands helps ensure that the agency is directly devoting public assets toward its multi-faceted responsibilities.

Available for Surplus

The tracts listed below have been identified as surplus lands. The listing for each available parcel includes a map of the property and overview information on its size, estimated value, current zoning, deed restrictions and why it was declared surplus land by the District.

Additional information on this process is available in this Surplus Lands Information Packet [PDF]

  • 19103-829 (available July 2011)
    0.36 acre lot with residence



Surplus of Easements and Other Lands

In addition to the lands listed above, other land interests owned by the District may be available for surplus, including easements and canal rights of way.

Private landowners and commercial entities – especially those individuals or entities that reside adjacent to District canals -- who wish for more intense use of public land for their personal benefit; or whose property is encumbered by a District interest, may wish to apply for the surplus or release of that specific interest.

If you are interested in learning if a particular property interest may be available for surplus, contact Marcy Zehnder at (561) 682-669 or toll-free in Florida at (800) 432-2045 ext. 6694 or mail at

Additional information on this process is in this Sale or Exchange of Surplus Lands Information Packet [PDF]


Release of Reservations

Canal reservations that have been reserved by the Everglades Drainage District (EDD) and Trustees of the Internal Improvement Fund (TIIF) may be released. The property owner must complete and submit the Districts "Application for Release of Mineral, Canal, and Road Reservations Reserved" (Form #0108). In the case of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund (TIITF) canal reservations, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection requires this agencies approval prior to submitting its application requesting release. Staff will review, on parcels of any size, if present or future right-of- way requirements have been or can be readily determined. The South Florida Water Management District seeks the concurrence of the agency concerned with local or secondary water control prior to releasing Mineral, Canal and Road reservations. Contact the SFWMD Land Acquisition Department, Title and Closing Section, for more information at (561) 682-6836.



Independent appraisal professionals are contracted for most appraisal and some appraisal review needs related to the acquisition of land interests by the District. Qualified appraisers are matched to each appraisal assignment, and they prepare the appraisals in recognition that the vast majority of land acquisitions are accomplished by voluntary means. The judgment or opinion of these appraisers is governed by uniform legal standards.

The review appraiser plays an important role in the acquisition process and is charged with assuring the quality and consistency of the appraisal process is maintained. An appraisal review is completed for all appraisal reports of real property to be acquired. The qualified review appraiser determines if the estimate of market value is reasonably supported by an acceptable appraisal.

If you are an appraiser and would like more information regarding being added to the Districts approved appraiser vendor list, contact Brad Duncan at

Appraiser Standards

Appraiser Application

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SFWMD Headquarters: 3301 Gun Club Road, West Palm Beach, Florida 33406
561-686-8800 | 1-800-432-2045 (Florida Only)