State adopts 10-year, $750 million plan to clean up Lake Okeechobee

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NAPLES, Florida — The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has adopted a 10-year, $750 million plan to help rid Lake Okeechobee of excess nutrients.

The News-Press reports (http://newspr.es/1HLMOlm) that Okeechobee has been plagued with nutrient pollution for decades, since developers connected the lake to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers as a way to lower the water table and drain South Florida.

Sources of excess nutrients include farming operations, urban developments, fertilizer from residential neighborhoods and human and animal waste, the former of which is dried and used as fertilizer.

Environmental groups like Audubon Florida and the Everglades Foundation lauded the plan.

The main goal is to reduce total phosphorus entering the lake by 33 percent by 2025.

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