There are approximately 190,000 metric tons of phosphorus in the soil in the Kissimmee River basin. On June 23, 2017, the South Florida Water Management District was granted emergency permission to back pump clean water into Lake Okeechobee to save animals and plants in bloated water conservation areas." If you see water pollution in your area, you can call the Calusa Waterkeeper hotline at: 239-444-8584. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE 1-800-HELP-FLA OR ONLINE AT www.FloridaConsumerHelp.com, REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.” REGISTRATION #: CH49687. We visited Lake Okeechobee while in Okeechobee FL the lake is 40 miles long and 30 miles wide. Coronavirus Is Surging: How Severe Is Your State's Outbreak. For the last 140 years, people have developed the Everglades for agriculture, leisure, and urban development. WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Water discharges from Lake Okeechobee will continue for at least another week. Lake Okeechobee Tributaries Osceola, Polk, Okeechobee, Highlands, Glade, and Martin, Florida . Billions of dollars in research and infrastructure funds are needed to regenerate the area. To add to this, phosphorus occurs naturally in lakes and waterways. Blue gills, Okeechobee catfish and black crappies are other local catches. Draining polluted Lake Okeechobee water out to sea, to avoid flooding South Florida, spawns another disastrous outbreak of toxic green algae threatening coastal waterways. Some of the oysters, some of the larval fish, some of the crabs, they need that intermediate salinity level.". Approximately 14 percent of the phosphorus is from natural sources. The Lake Okeechobee phosphorus pollution problem is caused by this unnaturally high level of phosphorus being fed into the lake. To watch the water being discharged from the lake, visit http://w3.saj.usace.army.mil/h2o/cameras.htm. A vast area drains into Lake Okeechobee, where water laden with phosphorus has fertilized the growth of horrific algae blooms that have been discharged to the ocean. The large freshwater discharges are also problematic for the plants and the animals that are adapted to the brackish water estuaries. Yet, the Everglades still claims the top spot as the most diverse wetland in the United States. "When we have these discharges at the level that we're getting right now, it basically turns the estuary to essentially all freshwater," says Cassani. And once phosphorus is in the water, it does not disappear. Therefore, this article will firstly explore the Lake Okeechobee phosphorus pollution problem. Expediting Lake Okeechobee Pollution Control Lake Okeechobee, the largest freshwater lake in the Southeastern United States and liquid heart of the Greater Everglades, is critical habitat for Everglades birds and wildlife. Phosphorus forms a strong chemical bond with soil. As a result these blooms are killing aquatic animals and plants. On top of this, the Everglades offers the only place where both alligators and crocodiles coexist. However, he notes hat would require farmers to be willing to sell their land to, to create that outcome, and that's something corporate agricultural operations seem uninterested in. Scientists call this “legacy phosphorus.” There is currently no sound plan to remove it. Once the aquatic plant life dies, the lake is deprived of much needed oxygen and the aquatic life dies off as well. "That creates a public health and safety issue for communities near the lake that might be flooded out if there's a breach in the dike," said Cassani, adding that repairs to the dike haven't been finished yet. Now, the Everglades drives the multi-billion dollar economies of agriculture, recreation, and tourism. "And so many plants and animals that live there just can't tolerate freshwater for a long period of time. If you see water pollution in your … New aerial images show the Lake Okeechobee water discharges reaching the Gulf of Mexico near Sanibel Island. "We put a high value on private property rights. Everybody, he says, is going to have to compromise. Toxic blue-green algae has bloomed again in Lake Okeechobee, Florida's largest lake, an outbreak so severe that Governor Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency in seven counties. We are aware that an organization with a similar name to, killing aquatic animals and plants. Impacts of extreme high and low water levels 3. A vast area drains into Lake Okeechobee, where water laden with phosphorus has fertilized the growth of horrific algae blooms that have been discharged to the … Cassani adds that he’d like to see more storage, treatment, and movement of water through the Everglades Agricultural Area. These blooms can cause lung irritations, gastroenteritis, and skin irritations. Meaning that only a small amount is released from the soil at any given time. "Some stakeholders think that the comprehensive Everglades restoration plan is the answer, but it's a glacially slow process that largely depends on the funding from both the state and the federal government," sad Cassani. Ron DeSantis recently signed two major water quality bills into law.
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