November 14, 2014
~Florida Gulf Coast University conducts study to better understand hydrology and pollutant sources ~
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has committed more than $117,000 to Florida Gulf Coast University to develop a better understanding of Lake Trafford’s hydrology and anthropogenic, or human-based, nutrient sources. The completed study will provide guidance for improved management and restoration practices. The study will last 20 months, encompassing one full hydrological year.
“Water quality restoration is a long-term and complex endeavor,” said Tom Frick, director of the Division of Environmental Assessment and Restoration. “This information will be used to target restoration projects from groundwater sources, which can be difficult to identify.”
The study will focus on groundwater interactions and discharge from five dead-end collector canals connected to Lake Trafford. Groundwater fluxes and canal discharge will be measured, as well as precipitation and evaporation. Interconnection between pollutant-loading trends from both natural and anthropogenic activities within the contributing area will also be evaluated. The completed study will help to identify significant pollutant sources, which will help facilitate the elimination or reduction of these sources in the future.
Lake Trafford is a shallow, 1600-acre lake located in Collier County, the largest lake southwest of Lake Okeechobee. It acts as the headwaters to several valuable ecosystems, including the Imperial and Cocohatchee rivers. The lake is a recreational resource for the state, providing opportunities for both boating and fishing.