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Water Management District Tightens Camping Rules

Will Impact Camping at Several Popular Sites

The Southwest Florida Water Management District has announced changes to rules governing camping reservations on District lands.

These rules went into effect June 23 and will be enforced beginning Oct. 1, 2021. The draft rules were submitted to the Florida Legislature during the 2021 legislative session.

The newly implemented rules "provide more fair opportunities for all users and create greater consistency with the other water management districts," SWFWMD stated in a news release.

Some changes to the District's camping rules include a new requirement that reservations must be made at least 24 hours before the start of the camping permit. Campers can no longer make a reservation for the current day. Other rules changes impacting outdoor lovers include:

• Campers may arrive no earlier than 3 p.m. on the first day of their reservation.

• Campers must depart by 11 a.m. on the final day of their permit.

• Camping is limited to no more than seven consecutive days and 30 total days per calendar year. Any attempt to circumvent the seven-day maximum or 30-day total annual length of stay is prohibited.

• Permittees can hold no more than two active camping reservations at any one time.

• The quiet period is 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. at all campsites.

• An updated mobile emergency contact phone number is now required on each reservation.

The press release also states that "The District may revoke a camping permit if the permittee fails to comply with the rules in Chapter 40D-9."

You can find more information about camping on District lands at


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