Lake at 15
And how it got there

The Lake recently dropped …

To 15 feet above sea level.

Animated cross section of the how the tree got boxed out

That raises the question: how did we get there? Answer: It depends on how far back you want to go. Prior to drainage (pre-1882), The Lake rose to as high as 22 feet above sea level level and naturally drained south into the Everglades downstream. That was also the era when the Lone Cypress Tree grew at the flooded shoreline of the Lake (see below). The tree is still growing, only it’s on the outside of the levee looking in (or at least that’s how I imagine it to be) and over 10 feet above the water line. Today, we often focus on Lake Stage and the optimal level it should be (and how to control the gates to get it that way). But we can’t lose sight of the fact that the levee was never built to precisely (or rapidly) control water level inside the levee, it was built do eliminate water outside and around the levee so that farmland could be reclaimed.

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