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Water-Related News

Area scientists study why Lakewood Ranch ponds have been turning brown

The Lakewood Ranch Inter-District Authority enlists scientists from the University of Florida to help with the "browning" ponds.

With a handful of ponds suffering different levels of "brownification" in the County Club and Lake Club villages, the Inter-District Authority has been seeking answers, including those from University of Florida scientists.

Tom Merrell, the IDA's director of operations, had previously noted the emergence of browning ponds. “We’re not really sure what’s causing it,” he said. “It’s a phenomenon that we’re seeing pop up more throughout the community.”

As a result, the IDA asked the scientists to offer some solutions.

Alongside the scientists was Michelle Atkinson, an environmental horticulture agent with the University of Florida IFAS Extension in Manatee County.

Atkinson is currently working with University of Florida researchers with the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences to study how efficient plants can be absorbing nitrogen and phosphorus found in stormwater that is running unabated into ponds.