why is the water black?

In 1937, the Army Corps of Engineering finished the construction of the Okeechobee Waterway. The 154-mile-long waterway still runs from the Gulf of Mexico in Ft. Myers, Fla., through Lake Okeechobee, to the Atlantic Ocean in canal C-44 in Palm City, Fla. The project was intended for water transportation through the state, recreation, flood control of the lake, and the clearing of land for agriculture, but it brought unplanned consequences to the costal regions. Canal C-44 became infamous for bringing uncontrollable fluctuations of silt, polluted water run-off, and excess fresh water into the delicate estuary ecosystem located approximately 15 miles away. The silt creates a layer of ooze that covers sea grass beds and darkens the water, starving the grasses from the sunlight needed to survive. The darker lake water also mixes with the clear water of the estuary, making the water brackish.

dark water under the Palm City Bridge in the South Fork A coconut washed up onto sandbags in the South Fork under the Palm City Bridge. The South Fork meets with the C-44 canal just 10 miles northwest of this point.

graph of water quality changes from 1998 to 2004 Graph of water quality changes from 1998 to 2004