Florida’s largest freshwater lake has been contaminated by Algae. The lake is poisoned by a deadly algae that is spreading from coast to coast. The environmental crisis was directly caused by man-made activity.
Water laden with phosphorus has fertilized the growth of algae blooms that have been discharged into the ocean. The algae is unrolling at an unsettling pace, as this is a very dangerous amount of Phosphorus. The target Phosphorus level for the lake is 105 metric tons, while last year, the lake clocked in at an appalling 450 metric tons.
People blame several different man-made activities could be responsible for the poisoning of the lake. Some people blame the Obama Administration for it, as they failed to fix the federally controlled dike around the lake, where high water levels necessitated discharges to the ocean to protect the deteriorated earthen structure. But it also could be decades of over-development and only mild regulations of agriculture. The state authorities never forced farms, cities, and other city sources of phosphorus never reduced the amount of phosphorus produced to allow the lake to recover.
Phosphorus is a common constituent of agriculture fertilizers, manure, and organic wastes in sewage and industrial effluent. When there is too much phosphorus in freshwater, it can speed up eutrophication (which is a reduction in dissolved oxygen in water bodies caused by an increase of minerals and organic nutrients) of rivers and lakes. Basically, it is the lack of oxygen in the water, which prevents any living organism to survive. The series of levees, dikes, and canals that handle runoff from the lake in times of heavy rainfall, such as earlier in 2016, are now suffering from extensive contamination and even though the public has at times rallied in protest for political change, the contamination continues in large part because of the political factors involved with the local industries.
This certainly is an issue to be taken care of. It is a real tragedy as hardly any wildlife is able to live under the conditions. The problem should rightfully be taken care of by the state, in my opinion. Towns in the metropolitan Atlanta area are continuing to expand and upgrade existing waste water treatment facilities to handle the increasing volume of waste water and sewage and to meet stiffer regulations on effluent and river quality. Additional control of phosphorus from non-point sources (such as applications of lawn fertilizers and disposal of animal wastes) may be useful to maintain or improve the water quality in streams and lakes near growing urban areas.