Water-Related News

Winter Haven lakes report shows progress being made

City of Winter Haven Natural Resources Division staff and Lakes Advisory Committee volunteers published the Lakes Advisory Committee 2018 Annual Report July 9.

The 140-page report about water quality in 35 lakes around the city is available on the City of Winter Haven’s website.

In 2018, Winter Haven received three more inches of rain compared to the city average, per the National Weather Service. Accordingly, the report states that surface levels in city lakes went up in 2018.

“This likely contributed to the decisively-improved water quality conditions observed in many of the lakes during 2018,” City of Winter Haven Environmental Scientist Devon Moore said.

The report suggests that above average rainfall was not the only contributor to the city’s improved water quality, though. City leadership has been committed to water quality in the Chain of Lakes for decades. According to the latest report, two-thirds of the city lakes have demonstrated “significant recovery from 2000 to 2018.”

A new old way to combat toxic algae: float it up, then skim it off

In Florida, the Army Corps of Engineers is working to combat a growing environmental menace: blue-green algae. Nitrogen and phosphorus runoff from farms and subdivisions combines with warm summer weather to create massive blooms of algae in rivers and lakes that can be toxic.

In central Florida, Lake Okeechobee has been hit hard in recent years. In Moore Haven, on the western shore of the lake, Dan Levy was recently working on a solution. He was standing on a platform peering into a large water-filled tank. Inside, floating on top of the water was a thick mat of blue-green algae. "This is our treatment system," said Levy. "This is where we actually float the algae up and skim it across."

Levy is with AECOM, an engineering and infrastructure company that's working with the Army Corps of Engineers on the nagging and sometimes devastating problem. Algal blooms aren't just a nuisance. The algae, actually cyanobacteria, can produce toxins that threaten drinking water supplies, local economies and human health.

Registration is open for 2019 CHNEP Nature Festival

The Coastal & Heartland National Estuary Partnership (CHNEP) is thrilled to present the 20th CHNEP Nature Festival!

CHNEP will celebrate the splendor of Central and Southwest Florida with environmental educators, live animal exhibits, engaging speakers, guided nature walks, games, and food trucks! Please join us on Saturday, November 16th, 2019, from 10 AM - 3 PM at Laishley Park in Punta Gorda.

This is a free family event and you do not need a ticket to attend. This registration form is for individuals and groups who wish to have a booth space, operate a food truck, be a vendor, or volunteer at the event. The Festival has become a showcase of our region's activities and it is a great opportunity to spread your message, demonstrate your accomplishments, and sell your creations. To participate in the festival, you are required to review and consent to these three documents:

This community festival is possible because of the generous support of its sponsors and volunteers. Please consider becoming a financial contributor at the Roseate Spoonbill, Alligator, or White-tailed Deer level. If interested, please submit this form to outreach@chnep.org by September 13th.

Visit the CHNEP Nature Festival webpage or follow CHNEP on Facebook.

Lake Beulah shoreline improvement: erosion restoration and stabilization project

The City of Lakeland will soon being work to restore approximately 240 linear feet of eroded shoreline on the south side of Lake Beulah. The project is budgeted at $16,000 and it will take approximately 2-4 weeks to complete. The restoration and stabilization project will include the use of Dredgesox technology installed by Lake & Wetland Management, Inc. Dredgesox liners will be installed along the eroded shoreline, filled with organic sediment dredged from the lake bottom and then covered with sod. The result is a stabilized, natural looking shoreline that will be protected from future erosion.

Laurie Smith, Manager of Lakes and Stormwater said, “We have used Dredgesox technology for other restoration projects around our lakes with great success. The area of improvement is adjacent to the multi-use path that is frequently used by citizens. The project is part of the Stormwater Capital Improvement Plan and it’s a continuation of the ongoing shoreline improvement for Lake Beulah.” Please contact the Lakes & Stormwater Division at 863/834-3300 for any questions or concerns regarding this project.