The Green Swamp is recognized by the state of Florida for its ecological and hydrological importance. There are several unique characteristics of the area. The Green Swamp can store surface water and slow the flow of floodwaters while sustaining rivers and streams. Its relatively high elevation, together with a shallow depth to the aquifer, keeps water levels high. The water table for much of the year stands above the potentiometric surface of the Floridan aquifer, providing recharge to the area.

The makeup of the Green Swamp puts pressure onto the aquifer, helping to push water through to the Gulf of Mexico. The water flowing from the Green Swamp is generally of higher quality than other watersheds. This is due to the Green Swamp being largely undeveloped, plus its lengthy surface water detention time.