TAVARES – The Lake County Adopt-a-Lake Program recently unveiled a new pilot project aimed at improving the water quality in Lake Joanna.
This project uses floating wetland mats, known as Beemats, to remove nutrients from the water. The Beemats were created by Steve and Forest Beeman of Beeman’s Nursery, located in New Smyrna Beach, Fla.
Adopt-a-Lake Program volunteers, including Environmental Engineering students Laura Yadon and Michael Grovac, as well as Lake Joanna residents Nancy Bebee, Fred Kurras and Bob Chorvat, installed two Beemats on Lake Joanna. One was installed just off the shoreline at Lake Joanna Park and is approximately 100 square feet. The other mat was placed just inside the inlet canal on the east side of the lake and is approximately 200 square feet.
In this system, closed cell foam mats are used to keep native aquatic plants including pickerel weed, arrowhead, canna and soft rush afloat while they remove nutrients from the water. The nutrients are then stored in the plant’s tissues. Once they have reached maximum nutrient removal, the plants are harvested from the mats, where they are composted and recycled into organic fertilizer.
The Adopt-a-Lake Program received funding for this project through a grant from the Florida Lake Management Society.
For more information about the Lake County Adopt-a-Lake Program or the Beemats project, call Cathie Catasus at 352-253-1659 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.