Photo by John Moran
The slow-moving, nutrient-laden, warmer waters in the damned portion of the Ocklawaha River create regular invasive weed blockages and promote algal blooms that reduce tourist and resident use. The destruction of more than 7,500 acres of forested wetlands replaced by the Rodman Reservoir removed the natural filtering of contaminants, and, therefore, the water in the lake and below the dam are especially high in contaminants and nutrients from fertilizers.
The continuing buildup of sediments on the bottom of the reservoir traps mercury and other pollutants resulting in fish consumption advisories and lower productivity of the fishery. Despite this buildup and the effects nutrients could have downstream related to restoration, SJRWMD scientists state that the positive aspects related to the restoration of floodplain functions, increased unique habitat and migratory fish passage appeared to provide an overall net environmental gain.
See executive summary at: www.freetheocklawaha.com/project-at-a-glance/