July 10, 2015
TAVARES, Fla. – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection hosted a public meeting today to further the water quality restoration of five water bodies in the Upper Ocklawaha Basin: Lake Harris, Palatlakaha River, Trout Lake, Lake Yale and Lake Carlton. Representatives discussed pollutant sources and solicited local knowledge to verify information related to the restoration plan.
“The expertise provided by stakeholders and residents is crucial to the restoration process,” said Tom Frick, director of the Division of Environmental Assessment and Restoration. “Combining the department’s research with first-hand knowledge allows us to identify the most targeted and efficient path toward restoration.”
In 2014 DEP adopted the second phase of a long-term restoration plan for the Upper Ocklawaha River. The restoration plan, known as a basin management action plan or BMAP, identifies strategies and projects that will be implemented over the next five years in order to improve the water quality of the upper basin.
Nutrient pollution, specifically excessive nitrogen and phosphorous, is the primary source of the water quality imbalance in the lakes and streams in the Upper Ocklawaha Basin. Nutrients are naturally present in the water and necessary for the healthy growth of aquatic plant and animal life. Excess nutrients, however, can cause rapid algal growth and lead to water quality complications including oxygen depletion in the water and habitat smothering. Stakeholders continue to be actively engaged in coordinating with DEP and implementing projects to improve water quality.
For more information about the Upper Ocklawaha River restoration plan click here.