What lies beneath? Study aims to learn what’s in Lake O’s sediment

Reporter: Stephanie Byrne
Published: Updated:
An aerial image of Lake Okeechobee in July 2020. Credit: WINK News.

A study is underway to find out what’s below the surface of Lake Okeechobee.

Think of our water quality and the lake as a puzzle. There are many different pieces that contribute to the big picture. Understanding all those pieces gets us closer to cleaner water.

One area that’s getting a closer look right now is the sediment that builds up on the lake floor.

Within that sediment, you have nutrients that accumulate from decomposing plants, water runoff, fertilizers, and erosion.

The study by the U.S. Geological Survey and South Florida Water Management District focuses on what happens to the sediment transported from the lake to the estuaries.

In order to do the study and measure the sediment, the groups did short burst releases from both the west and east coasts.

The study will continue for at least two years.

There are also several other projects underway around the lake, including the construction of reservoirs to hold and clean water, and wells designed to do the same.

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