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Too much polluted agricultural water threatens Everglades' engineered wetlands, study says

Photo courtesy Everglades National Park.

A new report is raising concern about too much polluted water from Florida’s agricultural lands in the Everglades.

The report says the water is stressing engineered wetlands aimed at improving water quality in the fragile river of grass.

The report from the Florida Oceanographic Society says the high water is stressing vegetation that filters pollution from the Everglades.

The wetlands were constructed after a federal lawsuit over water quality. Mark Perry of the Florida Oceanographic Society says most of the high water flows from agricultural lands.

“They’re giving 90% of the preference to the agricultural run-off that should be in our mind treated on their sites and on their own land.”

The report comes as an effort to revise the rules for managing Lake Okeechobee is nearly done. Perry says the new rules mean that even more water will be challenging the wetlands’ capacity.

Amy Green covered the environment for WMFE until 2023. Her work included the 2020 podcast DRAINED.
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