An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: Seminole County, USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

Volunteers “SERV” Seminole County

The Seminole Education, Restoration, and Volunteer (SERV) Program engages the community in restoration activities that help to protect our precious aquatic resources, and in educational outreach to promote watershed awareness. The SERV Program is part of Seminole County Public Works, in the Watershed Management Division, and works closely with the county’s Lake Management Program (LMP). SERV volunteers make a significant contribution to the preservation of Seminole County waterways, and all volunteer activities are quantified and included as part of Seminole County’s compliance with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System/Total Maximum Daily Loads (NPDES/TMDL) regulatory requirements. Since the program was initiated in 2010, over 10,000 wonderful volunteers have contributed over 32,000 hours of their time to SERV activities!

Volunteers with the SERV Program have the opportunity to participate in a variety of restoration activities. The largest SERV events are waterway restoration projects, in which volunteers can help plant native vegetation along the shores of lakes and ponds. SERV and LMP staff teach participants about the benefits of aquatic plants, and guide volunteers in the planting. These events are open to the public, and are concentrated in the spring and fall.

The SERV Program also offers invasive species removal activities, litter clean-ups, and stormdrain marking throughout the year, which can be scheduled as group-tailored events. Invasive removal events focus on aquatic weeds or island apple snails, and volunteers are educated about the importance of biodiversity. Litter clean-up events involve the removal of litter/trash from roadways, shorelines of waterways, or directly from rivers and creeks. These events involve a discussion with volunteers about pointless personal pollution. Stormdrain marking offers volunteers a chance to both educate the public and do an active outdoor project; volunteers glue educational plaques (“no dumping, drains to lake” or “no dumping, drains to river”) above the stormdrain inlets and distribute informative doorhanger brochures.

This program is open to all individuals and groups interested in helping to preserve and protect their watershed and local environment. Many local groups have helped to achieve SERV restoration goals, including universities and colleges (University of Central Florida, Seminole State College, Valencia College), Seminole County Public Schools and private schools, community groups such as Rotary Club, Optimist Club, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, church groups, groups from environmentally focused organizations such as Keep Seminole Beautiful and the Central Florida Association of Environmental Professionals, as well as individuals and families.

Anyone interested in participating in the SERV Program can contact the SERV Coordinator by email (, phone (407-665-2457), or post (200 W. County Home Rd., Sanford, FL 32773). No membership is required, and SERV activities are always free to the public. To read about upcoming SERV events and see activity photos, individuals can visit the web (, Facebook (, Twitter (, and LinkedIn ( under SERV Program), or request to be added to the SERV e-list for quarterly newsletters. SERV further utilizes these outlets to connect volunteers to the Seminole County Adopt-A-Road and Adopt-A-River Programs, as well as the LAKEWATCH Program (for lakeshore residents interested in monitoring water quality).