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Lake Worth Lagoon

Impacts



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Environmental Impacts
Impacts that affect Lake Worth Lagoon can be broken down into two categories; environmental and human. Some environmental impacts include the tides, storm water drainage, and salinity. Human impacts include dreding, filling, shoreline alteration, shoreline hardening, and pollution. These factors impact the lagoon on a daily basis.

Salinity
Salinity plays an important environmental factor in Lake Worth Lagoon, too much or too little can cause some species to die off. The salinity range for Lake Worth Lagoon is 20 to 36 parts per thousand (ppt). The salinity difference between fresh water and the ocean varies greatly where freshwater is zero parts per thousand and the ocean, with an average value of 35 parts per thousand. When freshwater flows in from the surrounding watershed, it can cause drastic changes in the lagoon's salinity levels. These changes harm plant and animal life in the lagoon.

Storm water
When it rains, water that runs off the land called storm water, mixes with pollutants such as pesticides and fertilizers. Storm water carries sediment, organic matter, and pollutants from neighborhoods and agricultural lands into the lagoon causing harm to fish and other wildlife. The storm water drainage also forms muck sediments that cover the sandy bottom of the lagoon stifling seagrass and bottom-dwelling organisms.

Tides
Tides also play an important role in the lagoon. Since the lagoon is connected to the ocean it obtains fresh ocean water from the in-coming tides through the inlets. As the out-going tide rushes out to sea the pollutants are carried along and get flushed out. Without this kind of flushing effect it is hard for wildlife to flourish.

© Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida