On Aug. 13, the South Florida Water Management District issued a proclamation and news release announcing 20 years of achieving phophorus reduction goals.
For Water Year 2015 (May 1, 2014 – April 30, 2015), 147 metric tons of phosphorus were prevented from leaving the 470,000-acre Everglades Agricultural Area and entering the regional canal system, which sends water into the Everglades, according to the SFWMD release.
The achievement is due to implementation of improved farming techniques known as Best Management Practices – such as on-farm erosion controls, refined stormwater management practices and more precise fertilizer application methods.
Over the past 20 years, the BMP water quality improvement program has prevented 3,001 metric tons of phosphorus from entering the canal system, the release states, more than twice the amount required by law.
More Everglades water quality in the news
The 2nd District Court of Appeal of Florida recently upheld the SFWMD’s grant of water discharge permits to several sugar farms according to the Everglades Forever Act – rejecting a challenge by the Florida Audubon Society.
The permits require continued BMP implementation to reduce the discharge of phosphorus levels.
Florida appeals court upholds sugar farm water release permits (Law360.com, 8/7/15 – note: subscription required)