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Supercharged Waters from North of Lake 'O' Devastating to Florida's Coral Reefs

July 19, 2019 - 9:00am
Key West's coral die-off
Key West's coral die-off

The evidence is undeniable: Some 97 percent of the water coming into Lake Okeechobee from the north -- particularly from the Kissimmee area -- show the lake's contaminated water originates on the highly developed northwest side of the Everglades' headwaters. And this has been devastating to so much of  Florida life, particularly to our too-lightly regarded coral reefs.

On the heels of a landmark 30-year study of ailing Florida Keys coral, the Florida Chamber of Commerce on Thursday released the latest in its series of educational water videos showing nutrient-supercharged water from as far north as Orlando contributes significantly to the harmful impacts on our coral reefs.
The just-released coral research, and the Florida Chamber’s 11th in a series of educational water videos, were led by top FAU-Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Research Professor Brian Lapointe, Ph.D.
“When it comes to securing Florida’s future, there are few issues more important than water,” said Mark Wilson, president and CEO of the Florida Chamber. “With 4.5 million more people expected to call Florida home by 2030, science-based data is key to meeting the challenges Florida faces.”
The educational water video, also features water and environmental leaders:
  • Dale Gawlik, PH.D., Professor and Director of Environmental Science, Florida Atlantic University

  • Nyla Pipes, Executive Director, One Florida Foundation

  • Tommy Strowd, P.E., Director of Operations & Maintenance, Lake Worth Drainage District

  • Newton Cook, President, United Waterfowlers Florida

  • Jeff Couch, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

  • Bill Louda, PH.D., Research Professor, Florida Atlantic University

  • Marty McKenna, citrus grower

The latest video was released in connection with the Florida Chamber’s Environmental Permitting Summer School, happening this week in Marco Island.
Click HERE to view the entire series of educational water videos.
To learn more about the latest coral research, visit the Palm Beach Post, National Public Radio, the Key West Citizen, UPI and the journal Marine Biology.

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