LADY LAKE – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection held a public meeting today to further the development of restoration goals for Lakes Weir and Denham. The restoration goals under development are known as TMDLs, or total maximum daily loads. A TMDL defines the maximum amount of a certain pollutant that may be present for the waterbody to remain healthy and functional.
”Nutrient pollution is one of the most prominent issues facing water quality in Florida,” said Tom Frick, director of the Division of Environmental Assessment and Restoration. “Setting effective, achievable goals is the first step towards restoration.”
At this meeting, DEP representatives shared revised restoration goals based on previous stakeholder and public comment.
Nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous naturally exist in the water and support the growth of aquatic plant and animal life. When an excess of nutrients pollutes the environment, however, rapid algal growth can occur. Rapid algal growth can lead to algal mats, harmful algal blooms, habitat smothering and other complications.
Lake Weir is a 5,600-acre lake located in Marion County, consisting of two distinct portions: Lake Weir proper and Sunset Harbor. Lake Denham is a shallow, 250-acre lake in Lake County, just southwest of Leesburg. The lake water flows east through Helena Run to Lake Harris. Both lakes are located within the Ocklawaha River Basin.
More information on the restoration goals can be found here.