Apopka Draining Studies Delayed

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Apopka Draining Studies Delayed

Alternative Title

Apopka Draining Studies Delayed


Lake Apopka (Fla.)
Environmental protection--Florida


A newspaper article published in The Orlando Sentinel Star that discusses further delays in restoration plans for Lake Apopka. The plans, which involve a drawdown of the lake's water level, had been delayed since 1975. The article states that feasibility studies, which were scheduled to begin in July of 1976, were delayed and expected instead to begin in December of 1976. The article also discusses similar projects involving a drawdown of Lake Carlton, which is being considered as a test run for the larger project of draining Lake Apopka. The article states the entire cost of the project is now estimated at $2.8 million. The article further discusses other restoration studies being considered by the University of Florida (UF) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), as well as studies for a restoration plan for Lake Apopka that would entail separating the area's north shore with a long dike.

Lake drawdown is a method of environmental restoration that is used to control erosion and aquatic vegetation. Lake drawdown has also been sought as a potential method to lessen the effects of pollution by exposing the lake bed and allowing bottom sediments to dry, trapping pollutants. Opponents of lake drawdowns cite the impact of polluted water on areas downstream of the area being drained, in cases where the targeted lake is connected to a river system. Citrus growers have also opposed drawdowns on the grounds that draining large lakes makes nearby citrus groves more vulnerable to freezes, as lakes help keep temperatures stable throughout the year.

Drawdowns of Lake Apopka have been sought by restoration efforts dating back to the 1960s, beginning with the Lake Apopka Restoration Project, organized by Governor Claude R. Kirk Jr. (1926-2011) and headed by C. W. Sheffield. These efforts were delayed and no drawdown was performed by the project. Plans for a drawdown continued to be developed, and federal and state efforts to gather funds and perform feasibility studies began in 1970. An experimental drawdown of Lake Apopka was performed in 1971, lowering the lake level by four feet, but was halted after public fears that wildlife deaths in the area were the result of the drawdown. Drawdown plans continued through the 1970s, but were continually delayed and projected costs for the project rose sharply. The project was cancelled by Governor Bob Graham (b. 1936) in 1979.


Twitty, Tom


Photocopy of original newspaper article: Twitty, Tom. "Apopka Draining Studies Delayed." The Orlando Sentinel Star, December 5, 1976: binder 1976, Friends of Lake Apopka Archives, Ginn Museum, Oakland Nature Preserve, Oakland, Florida.

Date Created

ca. 1976-12-05

Date Copyrighted


Date Issued


Is Format Of

Digital reproduction of photocopied original newspaper article: Twitty, Tom. "Apopka Draining Studies Delayed." The Orlando Sentinel Star, December 5, 1976.

Is Part Of

Binder 1976, Friends of Lake Apopka Archives, Ginn Museum, Oakland Nature Preserve, Oakland, Florida.
Friends of Lake Apopka Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.




280 KB


1 newspaper article






Lake Apopka, Florida
Lake Carlton, Florida

Accrual Method



History Teacher


Originally created by Tom Twitty and published by The Orlando Sentinel Star.

Rights Holder

Copyright to this resource is held by The Orlando Sentinel and is provided here by RICHES of Central Florida for educational purposes only.

Contributing Project


King, Joshua

Digital Collection

Source Repository

External Reference

"History of Lake Apopka." St John's River Water Management District. January 28, 2013. Accessed June 5, 2016. http://www.sjrwmd.com/lakeapopka/history.html.
Thomson, Bailey. "The Politics of Saving a Dying Lake." The Orlando Sentinel, November 23, 1986. Accessed July 13, 2016. http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1986-11-23/news/0270330262_1_lake-apopka-lakes-of-central-fish.
"Aquatic Plant Management - Water Level Drawdown." Washington Department of Ecology. Accessed July 13, 2016. http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/plants/management/drawdown.html.