An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: Orange County, USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

Herbicide Application on Lake Odell, 1/28

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The Environmental Protection Division is performing an aquatic plant herbicide treatment on 1/28/2021.

This treatment is part of an ongoing effort to manage algae in the lake.

WATER USE RESTRICTIONS:
•  DO NOT USE FOR ANIMAL DRINKING SUPPLY FOR 1 DAY.
•  DO NOT USE FOR IRRIGATION WATER SUPPLY FOR 2 DAYS.

Please direct any questions to the Environmental Protection Division at 407-836-1400.

2020 CFWI Regional Water Supply Plan approved

Approval Kicks Off Utility, Local Government Requirements

The approval of the Central Florida Water Initiative (CFWI) 2020 Regional Water Supply Plan (RWSP) kicks off certain statutory requirements for utilities and local governments. Within six months following approval of the RWSP, the three water management districts are required to notify each public supply utility of the projects identified in the 2020 CFWI RWSP for utilities to consider and incorporate into their corresponding local government required water supply facilities work plan to help meet future water demands.

In addition to these utility requirements, local governments are required to adopt water supply facilities work plans, covering at least a 10-year planning period, and related amendments to their comprehensive plans within 18 months following approval of the 2020 CFWI RWSP. The work plans contain information to update the comprehensive plan’s capital improvements portion, which outlines specifics about the need for, and the location of, public facilities, principles for construction, cost estimates, and a schedule of capital improvements.

The CFWI 2020 RWSP was developed collaboratively among the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the St. Johns, Southwest and South Florida water management districts, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, public water supply utilities and other stakeholder groups.

The plan identifies existing and projected water needs as well as projects and funding sources to meet those needs in the CFWI Planning Area over the next 20 years. The CFWI Planning Area consists of all of Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Polk counties and southern Lake County, covering approximately 5,300 square miles.

The plan was approved by the governing boards of the three water management districts in November 2020. The final plan is posted on the CFWI website and the plan will be updated approximately every five years.

For questions about the utility and local government requirements, contact your districts’ government affairs staff.

Source: CFWI news release

Herbicide Application on Little Lake Conway, 1/27

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The Environmental Protection Division will be performing an aquatic plant herbicide treatment on 1/27/2021.

This treatment is part of an ongoing effort to manage Hydrilla in the following canals: Canals off of the Conway-Gatlin connector.

WATER USE RESTRICTIONS:
•  DO NOT USE FOR ANIMAL DRINKING SUPPLY FOR 1 DAY.
•  DO NOT USE FOR IRRIGATION WATER SUPPLY FOR 5 DAYS.

Please direct any questions to the Environmental Protection Division at 407-836-1400.

Restrictions ONLY apply to the areas in red here below:

Lake Conway Map

Orlando issues alert for Lake Sue

On January 21, 2021 the city took water samples in Lake Sue to determine the presence of cylindrospermopsin (toxins) resulting from an algae bloom in the lake. It was determined that potentially unsafe concentrations of toxins are present in Lake Sue. As a precaution, we are advising everyone to refrain from swimming, recreating and irrigating in/from Lake Sue until further notice.

For reference, cyanobacteria/blue-green algae are always present in the water, however, not all bacteria have the ability to produce toxins. Toxicity is hard to predict because a single species of algae can have toxic and non-toxic strains. This instance is believed to have occurred due to the water in the lake "flipping." During the colder months, the warm surface water begins to cool. As water cools, it will become more dense, causing it to sink. This dense water forces the water of the bottom layer to rise, turning the layers over. The bottom layer tends to be very nutrient rich, then is exposed to sunlight at the surface level and causes an algae bloom to occur.

Nothing can be done to treat algae blooms without causing massive fish kills. Due to this, the city will work closely with Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to closely monitor Lake Sue. The city staff will continue to routinely test the lake, but the city's tests will only provide an update on the presence of cylindrospermopsin. The official toxin determination is obtained from FDEP's laboratory data, and until the levels are deemed safe by state standards, the Lake Alert will remain in effect.

Please encourage your neighbors to register for the Lake Alert at orlando.gov/lakealert so they too will get important information about Lake Sue directly.

In the meantime, as we stated above, the city would advise refr

Orlando issues alert for Lake Ivanhoe

On January 21, 2021 the city took water samples in Lake Ivanhoe to determine the presence of microcystins (toxins) resulting from an algae bloom in the lake. It was determined that potentially unsafe concentrations of toxins are present in Lake Ivanhoe. As a precaution, we are advising everyone to refrain from swimming, recreating and irrigating in/from Lake Ivanhoe until further notice.

For reference, cyanobacteria/blue-green algae are always present in the water, however, not all bacteria have the ability to produce toxins. Toxicity is hard to predict because a single species of algae can have toxic and non-toxic strains. This instance is believed to have occurred due to the water in the lake "flipping." During the colder months, the warm surface water begins to cool. As water cools, it will become more dense, causing it to sink. This dense water forces the water of the bottom layer to rise, turning the layers over. The bottom layer tends to be very nutrient rich, then is exposed to sunlight at the surface level and causes an algae bloom to occur.

Nothing can be done to treat algae blooms without causing massive fish kills. Due to this, the city will work closely with Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to closely monitor Lake Ivanhoe. The city staff will continue to routinely test the lake, but the city's tests will only provide an update on the presence of microcystins. The official toxin determination is obtained from FDEP's laboratory data, and until the levels are deemed safe by state standards, the Lake Alert will remain in effect.

Please encourage your neighbors to register for the Lake Alert at orlando.gov/lakealert so they too will get important information about Lake Ivanhoe directly.

In the meantime, as we stated above, the city would a

Volunteers Help Communicate Essential Information to Residents

Have you ever noticed fellow Orange County residents on the side of the road near a storm drain inlet? Most likely they were volunteering to label the inlets with blue metal medallions bearing the phrase “No Dumping—Only Rain in the Drain.”

Storm drain labeling is a popular volunteer activity hosted by Orange County Government’s Environmental Protection Division. Volunteers are part of the Division’s Environmental Volunteer and Internship Program, or eVIP. The program is a great way for students to get involved to prevent stormwater pollution while gaining valuable community service or internship experience.

As part of one volunteer’s experience, University of Central Florida student Christopher Ge said, “What really struck me was the people we encountered while doing the work. They were curious about our presence in their neighborhood as well as receptive when we told them of our job and mission. It made me realize people cared about what we were doing and the quality of their neighborhood.”

Many volunteers become interested in storm drain labeling out of a general concern for the environment. Some are surprised to learn that stormwater pollution is a much bigger problem than they imagined. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, stormwater pollution, also called nonpoint source pollution, is the “leading remaining cause of water quality problems” in some states. When it rains, runoff picks up pollutants like excess nitrogen in fertilizer, insecticides, oil, chemicals, sediment from construction sites, pet waste and trash, and carries them into our stormwater sewer system at storm drain inlets.

Another student volunteer, Cole Mohanna, took storm drain labeling an extra step by producing a film to assist in virtually training volunteers how to label inlets. Cole is a 17-year-old senior at Winter Park High School. He labeled 106 inlets.

Every year up to 400 volunteers place as many as 2,100 medallion on storm drain inlets in Orange County. Each one serves as a reminder to neighbors that by keeping pollutants out of storm drains, they are doing their part to keep rivers, lakes and springs clean.

Learn more about Orange County Government’s Environmental Protection Division, and how you can volunteer by visiting ocfl.net/EPD or emailing eVIP@ocfl.net.

Controlled burn at Savage/Christmas Creek Preserve, 1/25-1/26

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Environmental Advisory – Controlled Burn being conducted on in East Orange County – Commission District 5

Orange County is conducting a controlled burn on 01-25-2021 and 01-26-2021 at its Savage/Christmas Creek Preserve (SCCP) property located on the northwest corner of Hwy 50 and West Christmas Road and smoke will be visible from several miles away.

The Savage/Christmas Creek Preserve address is 11046 NW Christmas Rd, Christmas, FL 32709-9742.

SCCP will be temporarily closed during the operation of the controlled burn.

Any specific questions should be directed to the Orange County Environmental Protection Division at 407-836-1400.

Herbicide Application on Lake Conway, 1/26

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The Environmental Protection Division will be performing an aquatic plant herbicide treatment on 1/26/21.

This treatment is part of an ongoing effort to manage hydrilla in the lake.

WATER USE RESTRICTIONS: NONE.

Please direct any questions to the Environmental Protection Division at 407-836-1400.

Orlando issues alert for Lake “C”

CITY OF ORLANDO – LAKE ALERT for Lake "C"

To address citizen concerns related to water quality, the Streets and Stormwater Division has developed a public information system, "Lake Alert," to provide seasonal and localized warnings for City of Orlando lakes. An announcement has been provided below regarding the lake(s) where water quality has been a concern.

Type of water quality concern: Possible elevated E. coli counts due to a sanitary sewer overflow

  • Location: Jessica Ave and Andrea Blvd
  • Cause: Possible directional drill into the gravity mainline by an unknown source at this time
  • City Response: City Water Reclamation staff responded to an overflow that occurred on January 24, 2021. An estimated amount of 400 gallons was spilled and able to be recovered. The staff contained, cleaned, and returned water to sanitary sewer. Warning signs and door hangers will be placed around the lake on January 25, 2021.

Out of a preponderance of caution, the City of Orlando has also issued a Lake Alert for Lake C.

The City is advising that water contact activities associated with Lake C cease until further notice, including irrigation. City Stormwater personnel will collect water samples on a routine basis. Once E. coli counts are acceptable State Water Quality Standards, the Lake Alert Hotline number and the City's Lake Alert website will be updated.

Please continue to call the Lake Alert number, 407.246.2220, for the most up-to-date information regarding your lake. During weekdays, the City's Lake Alert website, orlando.gov/lakealert will also have the latest information.

For further information regarding the sewer discharge, please contact Athena Tipaldos, Water Reclamation Compliance Program Manager, at athena.tipaldos@orlando.gov. For water quality questions, please contact Lisa Lotti, Stormwater Compliance Program Manager, at lisa.lotti@orlando.gov.

Herbicide Application on Lake Sheen, 1/22

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The Environmental Protection Division will be performing an aquatic plant herbicide treatment on 1/22/21.

This treatment is part of an ongoing effort to manage hydrilla in the SW canals.

WATER USE RESTRICTIONS:
•  DO NOT USE FOR ANIMAL DRINKING SUPPLY FOR 1 DAY.
•  DO NOT USE FOR IRRIGATION WATER SUPPLY FOR 5 DAYS.

Please direct any questions to the Environmental Protection Division at 407-836-1400.

Herbicide Application on Lake Tibet, 1/22

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The Environmental Protection Division will be performing an aquatic plant herbicide treatment on 1/22/21.

This treatment is part of an ongoing effort to manage hydrilla in the lake.

WATER USE RESTRICTIONS: NONE.

Please direct any questions to the Environmental Protection Division at 407-836-1400.

FWC, FOLA partner for inaugural Lake Apopka Fish Challenge

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has partnered with the Friends of Lake Apopka to announce the inaugural Lake Apopka Fish Tag Challenge. The contest, which runs from Jan. 15 to May 31, offers anglers the chance to catch a tagged fish in Lake Apopka and return the tag to the FWC for a prize from FOLA. The fish challenge is also a study to see if the competition elicits changes on Lake Apopka.

The FWC tagged 501 fish in a variety of species, such as black crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish and largemouth bass. Recently, biologists netted a sizable largemouth bass and gave it a unique tag (FOLA #091) next to its dorsal fin. They dubbed the fish “Jim Thomas” after the legendary Winter Garden environmentalist who founded FOLA in 1991 and then returned it to swim around in the 30,000-acre Lake Apopka, Florida’s fourth-largest lake. The angler who catches Jim Thomas during the contest period and returns the tag to the FWC will be awarded a $2,500 prize from FOLA and, if the angler submits the catch to and is approved in the TrophyCatch program, will win an additional $2,500 bringing the total prize to $5,000. To report a tag, call 352-406-7879. During this competition, the angler who submits the largest TrophyCatch-approved bass from Lake Apopka, not including Jim Thomas, will also win an additional $500 in Bass Pro Shops gift cards.

The FWC will track angler effort to determine if there was a change in angler behavior on Lake Apopka during the competition dates and afterwards. Angler effort will be tracked through TrophyCatch submissions, field cameras at all entry points on and to the lake along with on-the-water intercept surveys conducted by FWC staff. The goal is to see if a big fish promotion increases lake usage by anglers during and post competition dates and to help encourage bass anglers to explore or revisit Lake Apopka during the competition dates.

The TrophyCatch program rewards

Herbicide Application on Lake Down, 1/19

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The Environmental Protection Division will be performing an aquatic plant herbicide treatment on 1/19/2021.

This treatment is part of an ongoing effort to manage hydrilla in the lake.

WATER USE RESTRICTIONS: NONE.

Please direct any questions to the Environmental Protection Division at 407-836-1400.

Controlled burn at Long Branch on 1/19

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Environmental Advisory – Controlled Burn being conducted 1-19-2021 in East Orange County – Commission District 5

Orange County is conducting a controlled burn on 1-19-2021) at its Long Branch property located off of Hwy 50 on South County Road 13 and smoke will be visible from several miles away.

The Long Branch address is 710 South County Rd 13, Orlando, FL 32833.

Long Branch will be temporarily closed during the operation of the controlled burn.

Any specific questions should be directed to the Orange County Environmental Protection Division at 407-836-1400.

Herbicide Application on Lake Wauseon Bay, 1/20

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The Environmental Protection Division will be performing an aquatic plant herbicide treatment on 1/20/21.

This treatment is part of an ongoing effort to manage hydrilla in the lake.

WATER USE RESTRICTIONS: NONE.

Please direct any questions to the Environmental Protection Division at 407-836-1400.

Herbicide Application on Lake Butler, 1/20

OCAlerts logo

The Environmental Protection Division will be performing an aquatic plant herbicide treatment on 1/20/21.

This treatment is part of an ongoing effort to manage Hydrilla in the lake.

WATER USE RESTRICTIONS:
•  DO NOT USE FOR ANIMAL DRINKING SUPPLY FOR 1 DAY.
•  DO NOT USE FOR IRRIGATION WATER SUPPLY FOR 5 DAYS.

These restrictions apply only to the Sandy Shores Canal.

Please direct any questions to the Environmental Protection Division at 407-836-1400.

Environmental groups ask judge to throw out EPA decision to let Florida oversee wetlands permitting

Seven environmental groups asked a judge Thursday to throw out the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to give the state control of wetlands permitting.

The environmental groups say Florida's application was riddled with errors and the EPA violated the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act and the Administrative Procedures Act when it handed Florida control of wetlands permitting last month.

“There are such unreasonable things in the way EPA has acted in this case that I'd be surprised if any other EPA looking at it would have reached the same conclusion,” said Tania Galloni, managing attorney for Earthjustice’s Florida Office.

Wetlands clean and recharge the state’s water supply and Florida has lost more wetlands than any other state in the country — more than 9 million acres, according to federal estimates. Florida asked the EPA to take over issuing permits for about 11 million remaining acres of wetlands in August and became just the third state in the U.S. to administer the cumbersome process. Michigan took control of its wetlands permitting in 1984 and New Jersey assumed control in 1994.

Florida began seriously considering assuming control in 2005, when state legislators voted to move forward with the plan. But the attempt stalled later that year when the Florida Department of Environmental Protection concluded it would be better off expanding its own program and taking over the federal permitting would bog down the process.

Herbicide Application on Black Lake, 1/15

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The Environmental Protection Division will be performing an aquatic plant herbicide treatment on 1/15/2021.

This treatment is part of an ongoing effort to manage floating plants.

This treatment will ONLY target plants in the Black/Tilden Connector.

WATER USE RESTRICTIONS: NONE.

Please direct any questions to the Environmental Protection Division at 407-836-1400.

One-third of America’s rivers have changed color since 1984

America’s rivers are changing color — and people are behind many of the shifts, a new study said.

One-third of the tens of thousands of mile-long (two kilometer-long) river segments in the United States have noticeably shifted color in satellite images since 1984. That includes 11,629 miles (18,715 kilometers) that became greener, or went toward the violet end of the color spectrum, according to a study in this week’s journal Geographical Research Letters. Some river segments became more red.

Only about 5% of U.S. river mileage is considered blue — a color often equated with pristine waters by the general public. About two-thirds of American rivers are yellow, which signals they have lots of soil in them.

But 28% of the rivers are green, which often indicates they are choked with algae. And researchers found 2% of U.S. rivers over the years shifted from dominantly yellow to distinctly green.

“If things are becoming more green, that’s a problem,” said study lead author John Gardner, a University of Pittsburgh geology and environmental sciences professor. Although some green tint to rivers can be normal, Gardener said, it often means large algae blooms that cause oxygen loss and can produce toxins.

The chief causes of color changes are farm fertilizer run-off, dams, efforts to fight soil erosion and man-made climate change, which increases water temperature and rain-related run-off, the study authors said.

“We change our rivers a lot. A lot of that has to do with human activity,” said study co-author Tamlin Pavelsky, a professor of global hydrology at the University of North Carolina.

Orlando issues Alert for Lake Rowena

UPDATED Information – Lake Rowena is being closely monitored for presence of microcystins (toxins) by City of Orlando and Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) staff. On Thursday, January 21, 2021, the City of Orlando staff will be sampling Lake Rowena again for algal toxins. The city's tests will provide an update on the presence of microcystins, but the official toxin determination is obtained from FDEP’s laboratory data. We will not know results from FDEP for another 2-3 weeks. At this time, the Lake Alert remains in effect until FDEP’s results indicate that Lake Rowena is deemed safe by current state standards.

Please continue to call the Lake Alert number, 407.246.2220, for the most up-to-date information regarding your lake. During weekdays, the City's Lake Alert website, orlando.gov/lakealert will also have the latest information.


On January 7, 2021 the City took water samples in Lake Rowena to determine the presence of microcystins (toxins) resulting from an algae bloom in the lake. It was determined that potentially unsafe concentrations of toxins are present in Lake Rowena. As a precaution, we are advising everyone to refrain from swimming, recreating and irrigating in/from Lake Rowena until further notice.

For reference, cyanobacteria/blue-green algae are always present in the water, however, not all bacteria have the ability to produce toxins. Toxicity is hard to predict because a single species of algae can have toxic and non-toxic strains. This instance is believed to have occurred due to the water in the lake "flipping." During the colder months, the warm surface water begins to cool. As water cools, it will become more dense, causing it to sink. This dense water forces the water of the bottom layer to rise, turning the layers over. The bottom layer tends to be very nutrient rich, then is exposed to sunlight at the surface level and causes an algae bloom to occur.

Nothing can be done to treat algae blooms without causing massive fish kills. Due to this, the City will continue to closely monitor and test the lake weekly until the levels are deemed safe by state standards.

Please encourage your neighbors to register for the Lake Alert at orlando.gov/lakealert so they too will get important information about Lake Rowena directly.

In the meantime, as we stated above, the City would advise refraining from swimming, recreating and irrigating in/from the lake until further notice.

Orlando issues Alert for Lake Estelle

UPDATED Information

Lake Estelle is being closely monitored for presence of microcystins (toxins) by City of Orlando and Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) staff. On Thursday, January 21, 2021, the City of Orlando staff will be sampling Lake Estelle again for algal toxins. The city's tests will provide an update on the presence of microcystins, but the official toxin determination is obtained from FDEP’s laboratory data. We will not know results from FDEP for another 2-3 weeks. At this time, the Lake Alert remains in effect until FDEP’s results indicate that Lake Estelle is deemed safe by current state standards.

Please continue to call the Lake Alert number, 407.246.2220, for the most up-to-date information regarding your lake. During weekdays, the City's Lake Alert website, orlando.gov/lakealert will also have the latest information.


On January 7, 2021 the City took water samples in Lake Estelle to determine the presence of microcystins (toxins) resulting from an algae bloom in the lake. It was determined that potentially unsafe concentrations of toxins are present in Lake Estelle. As a precaution, we are advising everyone to refrain from swimming, recreating and irrigating in/from Lake Estelle until further notice.

For reference, cyanobacteria/blue-green algae are always present in the water, however, not all bacteria have the ability to produce toxins. Toxicity is hard to predict because a single species of algae can have toxic and non-toxic strains. This instance is believed to have occurred due to the water in the lake "flipping." During the colder months, the warm surface water begins to cool. As water cools, it will become more dense, causing it to sink. This dense water forces the water of the bottom layer to rise, turning the layers over. The bottom layer tends to be very nutrient rich, then is exposed to sunlight at the surface level and causes an algae bloom to occur.

Nothing can be done to treat algae blooms without causing massive fish kills. Due to this, the City will continue to closely monitor and test the lake weekly until the levels are deemed safe by state standards.

Please encourage your neighbors to register for the Lake Alert at orlando.gov/lakealert so they too will get important information about Lake Estelle directly.

In the meantime, as we stated above, the City would advise refraining from swimming, recreating and irrigating in/from the lake until further notice.

SJRWMD opens new entrance to Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

Remember to share the road with cars, cyclists and hikers

MAITLAND — The St. Johns River Water Management District has created interim parking and a new small gate at the entrance of the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive to allow pedestrian and bicycle access to the recreational Loop Trail as Orange County upgrades its Magnolia Park amenities.

The temporary parking area is located on city of Apopka property to the immediate right of the Wildlife Drive entrance at 2850 Lust Road, Apopka. The District reminds drivers, pedestrians and cyclists to always share the road.

Construction of the new Magnolia Park Eco-tourism Center has resulted in the temporary closure of one of several access points to the Loop Trail. Information about the construction can be found here.

Other entrances to the Lake Apopka North Shore are:

  • Green Mountain Scenic Overlook and Trailhead, 20700 County Road 455, Minneola
  • North Shore Trailhead at 24600 County Road 448A, Mount Dora
  • Clay Island Trailhead, 22526 Carolyn Lane, Astatula

The Lake Apopka North Shore levee system not only serves as a separator between Lake Apopka and the North Shore but is also part of the recreational Loop Trail. Following the lake’s edge through the property, the Loop Trail covers more than 20 miles and provides hiking and biking opportunities.

The District recently began construction on its Lake Apopka Duda Property Water Storage Improvement Project, which involves raising internal levee heights and constructing hydraulic improvements, such as sumps, culverts and slide gates. The project will allow additional water to be stored on the property, which will reduce pumped discharges and nutrient loads to Lake Apopka.

During project construction, portions of the Loop Trail on Marsh Rabbit and North-South roads will be closed to public access intermittently as needed Monday–Saturday through July. Detours will be posted.

To learn more about water quality improvement projects at Lake Apopka, visit www.sjrwmd.com/projects/#lake-apopka.

Lakes Apopka and Minneola get new help in battles against algae plagues

The suffering Lake Apopka and the swimmable Lake Minneola bear little resemblance to each other, but they have been provided a fresh course of help recently to fight off their common scourge, harmful algae thriving on water pollution.

Less than 5 miles apart, Lake Minneola next to Clermont and Lake Apopka on the border of Lake and Orange counties are at different stages in their algae battles. The treatments they received in mid-December are promising but unproven.

“We’ve put ourselves on a bit of a new learning curve,” said Dean Dobberfuhl, a state water manager, referring particularly to a project at Lake Apopka.

“With these new infrastructure projects, we do a lot of modeling up front about where to put them, how to operate them and what we think will happen,” Dobberfuhl said. “But the real world often doesn’t work like models.”

Fried asks new EPA head to reconsider wetlands move

State Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried has asked incoming Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan to reconsider a recent EPA decision that shifted federal permitting authority to Florida for projects that affect wetlands.

Fried released a letter Wednesday that she sent to Regan, who has been tapped by President-elect Joe Biden to lead the EPA. Supporters this month praised the Trump administration’s decision to shift the permitting authority to Florida, saying it would help reduce duplicative state and federal permitting and give Florida more control over such decisions.

Florida is only the third state, joining Michigan and New Jersey, that have received the authority, according to the EPA. But some environmentalists have long opposed the move, arguing it would reduce protections for wetlands.

Orlando issues Alert for Lake Highland

UPDATED Information

UPDATED Information – Lake Highland is being closely monitored for presence of microcystins (toxins) by City of Orlando and Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) staff. On Thursday, January 21, 2021, the City of Orlando staff will be sampling Lake Highland again for algal toxins. The city's tests will provide an update on the presence of microcystins, but the official toxin determination is obtained from FDEP’s laboratory data. We will not know results from FDEP for another 2-3 weeks. At this time, the Lake Alert remains in effect until FDEP’s results indicate that Lake Highland is deemed safe by current state standards.

Please continue to call the Lake Alert number, 407.246.2220, for the most up-to-date information regarding your lake. During weekdays, the City's Lake Alert website, orlando.gov/lakealert will also have the latest information.


On December 30, 2020, City of Orlando staff took samples from Lake Highland that detected the presence of microcystins (toxins) at levels deemed unsafe by state standards. As a precaution, we are advising everyone to refrain from swimming, recreating and irrigating in/from Lake Highland until further notice.

These conditions are caused by algae blooms that could be a result of several factors, including warmer water and excessive nutrients that can come from a combination of fertilizers, septic tanks, yard waste and pet waste.

Because of the potential for harm to humans and pets, city staff will continue routine testing until the algae bloom declines and toxin levels are reduced to acceptable state standards. The city will keep the Lake Alert in place until conditions are deemed to be safe. Please encourage your neighbors to register for the Lake Alert at cityoforlando.net/lakealert so they too will get important information about Lake Highland directly.

For more information about Harmful Algae Blooms, please visit this page on the Florida Department of Health website.

If you should have additional questions, please contact Kari Lara-Murabito at kari.lara-murabito@cityoforlando.net.

Orlando issues Alert for Lake Formosa

UPDATED Information

Lake Formosa is being closely monitored for presence of microcystins (toxins) by City of Orlando and Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) staff. On Thursday, January 21, 2021, the City of Orlando staff will be sampling Lake Formosa again for algal toxins. The city's tests will provide an update on the presence of microcystins, but the official toxin determination is obtained from FDEP’s laboratory data. We will not know results from FDEP for another 2-3 weeks. At this time, the Lake Alert remains in effect until FDEP’s results indicate that Lake Formosa is deemed safe by current state standards.

Please continue to call the Lake Alert number, 407.246.2220, for the most up-to-date information regarding your lake. During weekdays, the City's Lake Alert website, orlando.gov/lakealert will also have the latest information.


On December 29, 2020, the City of Orlando was notified that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) had collected samples at Lake Formosa that tested positive for microcystins (toxins). Upon this information, City of Orlando staff also sampled Lake Formosa, confirming the positive results for the microcystins, resulting from an algal bloom in the lake at levels deemed unsafe by state standards. Due to these conditions, we advise all activities involving swimming, recreating, and irrigating in/from Lake Formosa suspend until further notice

These conditions are caused by algae blooms that could be a result of several factors, including warmer water and excessive nutrients that can come from a combination of fertilizers, septic tanks, yard waste and pet waste.

Because of the potential for harm to humans and pets, the City staff is working closely with the DEP to continue routine testing until the algae bloom declines and toxin levels are reduced to acceptable state standards. The city will keep the Lake Alert in place until conditions are deemed to be safe. Please encourage your neighbors to register for the Lake Alert at cityoforlando.net/lakealert so they too will get important information about Lake Formosa directly.

For more information about Harmful Algal Blooms, please visit this page on the Florida Department of Health website.

If you should have additional questions, please contact Kari Lara-Murabito at kari.lara-murabito@cityoforlando.net.