The first steps designed to clean up polluted water entering Lake Okeechobee are complete. Nutrient-rich water discharged from the Lake has been blamed for harming the estuaries downstream.
South Florida water managers and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cut the ribbon on projects designed to improve the health of Lake Okeechobee. The water management district’s Randy Smith says two storm water treatment areas north of the lake should help improve the quality of water flowing from farm fields into the lake.
“It’s man-made filter marsh – uses natural vegetation where the water enters from the north and the plants extract the phosphorous from the water. And when it’s released on the south end into Lake Okeechobee it has much less phosphorous then when it came in to the storm water treatment areas.”
Tomorrow, the Army Corps and Water Managers open the Ten Mile Creek Water Preserve Area project. It will provide relief to the St. Lucie River from damaging freshwater discharges.
The first of nine critical Everglades restoration projects authorized by Congress a decade ago are now open. The Water Management District and U-S Army Corps of Engineers celebrated the opening of two filter marshes north of Lake Okeechobee Thursday. The district’s Randy Smith says they will clean water coming from farms before it enters the lake.
“And that’s one of the biggest problems that we have is water with a lot of nutrients that enter the lake from the north have really had no way of being cleaned before these projects were completed so this is going to be one of the projects that’s going to create a system of cleaner water that enters the lake.”
Smith calls this a great start in a series of projects Governor Jeb Bush put in place to clean up the water entering Lake Okeechobee. Smith says the water his agency must discharge from the lake for flood control measures - down the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Rivers – will now be a bit cleaner. Polluted water has been blamed for harming the estuaries downstream.
Friday, 28 April 2006 01:00