Lake Okeechobee or the Lake O is the largest freshwater lake in the state of Florida. Lake Okeechobee has been suffering from increasing pollution and other problems like algal blooms and high amount of Phosphorus. Read on for more facts on Lake Okeechobee.
Okeechobee means “Big Water”.
The name, Okeechobee is a seminole Indian name, which means, “Big water”. The lake was also once called Mayacco Lake or Lake Mayaca in the early 19th century, named after the Mayaca people.
Size of lake Okeechobee
The lake is about 37 miles long by 30 miles wide, totaling over 730 square miles with an average depth of only 10 feet. The lake also produces more bass than any lake in Florida and the United States.
Hurricanes disrupted life around the lake twice
Hurricane waters destroyed the lakes southern edge in 1926 and 1928. The hurricanes also destroyed the Herbert Hoover Dike built by the lake in 1910.
Located to the north of Everglades
Lake Okeechobee located to the north of the Everglades and south of Orlando. It connects
Lake Okeechobee located in central southern Florida, north of the Everglades and south of the Atlantic and Gulf sides of Florida via the Port Mayaca. There are drainage canals from the lake Okeechobee used for agricultural activities near the lake. Some common crops grown around it include sugarcane, citrus fruits and rice.
An important constituent of the ecosystem
Lake Okeechobee is the key to the ecosystem of Florida and Everglades. The lake is a vast expanse of water that is vital for the life around it.
Lake Okeechobee has high amount of Phosphorus which poses danger to the fragile ecosystem. Phosphorus prevents sunlight from reaching the plants in the depths of the lake, causing them to die. This, in turn, affects the food chain and also lead to algal blooms.
Flora and fauna around the lake
The lake is home to some exquisite species of birds like the blue heron, woodstork, green backed heron, limpkin, bald eagle, anhinga, great egret and red shouldered hawk.