Magnitude of Nutrient Over-Enrichment in Florida
(this passage is copied from the original EPA document linked below)
Things must change in Florida soon...
Water quality degradation due to nutrient over-enrichment is a significant
environmental issue in Florida. Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection has
acknowledged and documented the magnitude of over-enrichment. According to
Florida’s 2008 Integrated Report,6 approximately 1,000 miles of rivers and streams,
350,000 acres of lakes, and 900 square miles of estuaries are impaired for nutrients in the
State. To put this into context, these values represent approximately 16% of the assessed
river and stream miles, 36% of the assessed lake acres, and 25% of the assessed square
miles of estuaries that Florida has listed as impaired under the IWR. The actual number
of miles and acres of waters impaired for nutrients is likely higher, as many waters
currently classified as “unassessed” may also be impaired.
This conclusion is based upon a range of available information, including the vast
amounts of monitoring data that exist on nutrient-related parameters in Florida waters.
With almost 800,000 nutrient-related data points in STORET (including nitrogen,
phosphorus, chlorophyll-a, and turbidity), Florida has substantially more data points than
any other State or Territory to clearly characterize the magnitude of its nutrient