Port Mayaca lock releases water from Lake Okeechobee into the C-44 (St. Lucie Canal) which discharges into the St. Lucie River. Surges of fresh water from the canal have caused fluctuations in salinity, stressing the ecosystem. The sediment carried by the canal has blanketed the bottoms of the estuary and the river. Urban and agricultural canals that discharge to the estuary contribute nutrients, sediments, pesticides, septic tank seepage, and other contaminants. A component of the Indian River Lagoon-South restoration project, this Acceler8 project will capture and treat stormwater runoff from the 116,516-acre C-44 basin in Martin County, improving water quality in the St. Lucie Estuary.
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