Lake Seminole is already experiencing new life now that a decade-long project is complete.
What You Need To Know
- $19 million project nears completion
- Officials eye baseball fields, other recreation in new-look area
- Water quality of lake has been improved
- More Pinellas County headlines
It was 10 years ago that Pinellas County partnered with Southwest Florida Management District on a mission to improve water quality at the lake.
It had become so run down with muck sucking the nutrients out of the water, that the only thing that could survive was algae.
“When the algae blooms occur, it sucks out all of the oxygen in the water. And with no oxygen, anything living in the lake would die. So we could have a fish kill from that. Without the fish there, without the fish there, there weren’t any birds,” said Nancy Norton, senior professional engineer with Southwest Florida Water Management District.
Two years of dredging, $19 million spent, and more than 900,000 cubic yards of muck removed, and the project is nearing completion.
“Our parks department is either going to turn this into baseball fields or paths of recreation or something like that,” said Rob Barnes, environmental manager for Pinellas County, when asked what will happen to the area where the muck was dumped.
He calls it a win-win, and the lake is already seeing improved clarity and measurements.
“It makes you want to come to your job every day when you can say, ‘I helped do that. That improved water quality helped make the lake a better place,’” said Norton.
The lake is also commonly used for recreational purposes, and project leaders say this will also improve the quality of water for human use as well.