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Florida Lake Management Society Annual Conference, Naples, Florida, June 4 – 7, 2007

LAKE WORTH LAGOON SALINITY VARIABILITY AND ITS REMEDIATION

Miriam Barranco Jason Moretz Jim Bolleter Ecology and Environment, Inc. Palm Beach, FL

Abstract

Lake Worth Lagoon (LWL), located in Palm Beach County, was originally a freshwater lake. By1927 it had been converted into a saltwater lagoon with two inlets at its northern and southern ends. The C-51 canal releases fresh water into the central portion of the LWL causing rapid and substantial changes in salinity and the accumulation of large amounts of anoxic sediment. The resulting conditions have caused substantial declines in oyster and seagrass populations by creating harmful salinity fluctuations, by reducing levels of light which inhibit seagrass growth and create substrate conditions that prohibit both oyster and seagrass colonization. As part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Program (CERP), the South Florida Water Management District, United States Army Corp of Engineers and other various stakeholders have proposed a number of project alternatives and management measures designed to restore favorable ecological conditions to the lagoon. Currently a number of measures are being modeled that are aimed at reducing peak flows to the lagoon, reducing sediment loading and restoring substrate conditions conducive to oyster and seagrass colonization. This talk will review those measures and discuss the pros and cons of each.

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NOTES

Session 10 – Page 6

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