Is Lake Trafford the Okeechobee of southwest Florida?
|Lake Trafford’s perimeter airboat trail|
Consider its stage:
Trafford is perched up at 20 feet above sea level. That’s the same elevation that Okeechobee used to be when it overflowed its banks and filtered south into the Everglades. That doesn’t happen anymore because of land subsidence and the levee that surrounds it and water management rules that keep the water down. Lake Okeechobee is currently at around 12 feet above sea levels. That’s ten feet below where it used to rise when served as the headwater source for the River of Grass.
Does Trafford overflow its banks too?
To the south it is connected to Camp Keais Strand and Corkscrew to the east which, in the neighborhood of 21 or 22 feet above sea level, it forms a single water surface with; but it would be incorrect to say it “flows” into them in the same way that Lake Okeechobee’s waters slid south into the Glades.
Now consider the water quality:
Lake Trafford was recently restored in the form of eliminating a layer of decades-old benthic muck that had been fouling its waters in the form of high nutrients and chronic algal blooms. Lake Okeechobee, on the other hand, remains twenty times over desired water quality goals.
|Containment area where the benthic muck was siphoned|
Thus, the question isn’t if Trafford resembles Okeechobee, but how to remake Okeechobee like Lake Trafford has been restored anew.
Sounds like a big but good New Year’s Resolution to me.