PONDS OF SOUTHWEST FLORIDA: TICKING TIME BOMBS
Southwest Florida naturally accounts for few natural permanent water bodies, yet, this region is punctuated with 10,000 shallow, mostly coastal, manmade urban ponds. Since the eighties, following Chapter 62-40 of the Florida Administrative Code, most of these ponds were mandated to be associated with urban developments to i) prevent land erosion, ii) provide pollution runoff control via filtration and decantation and iii) reestablish the natural hydropatterns in the region thus allowing aquifer recharge and adequate freshwater deliveries to the coastal system. Our research shows that these ponds are 1-40 ha in size and some are highly convoluted to allow more shoreline development. Subsequent to inadequate management tied to questionable aesthetic values, these ponds become eutrophic. Algae/herbicides are used to mask the symptoms of eutrophication thus rendering the ponds inefficient in treating polluted runoffs which, along with nutrients, reach the coasts thus obviating restoration efforts made locally and more inland. Additionally, data suggest that these ponds are seepage ponds and do not recharge the aquifer but instead some receive significant nutrient loads via groundwater.
Thomas, S., Florida Gulf Coast University, USA, email@example.com
Location: Sweeney Ballroom B
Presentation is given by student: No