Water-Related News

Next step in Lake Apopka restoration: Dredging

Winter Garden is partnering with Friends of Lake Apopka and the St. Johns River Water Management District to develop a plan to dredge Lake Apopka near the Newton Park boat ramp.

The demise of Lake Apopka dates all the way back to 1893, when the destruction was foreshadowed by the construction of the Apopka-Beauclair Canal. The new canal lowered the 50,000-acre lake by 3 feet, exposing the shallow northern portion of the lake.

In 1941, farmers constructed a levee across Lake Apopka to drain the top 20,000 acres, creating muck farms to grow vegetables during World War II.

Fifty years of nutrients from the farms, wastewater from nearby towns and byproducts from citrus processors created repeated algal blooms and turned the lake pea green, killing all native aquatic vegetation.

Long considered the largemouth bass capital of the eastern United States, Lake Apopka went from an angler’s paradise to Florida’s most polluted lake.