ALACHUA COUNTY - The Orange Creek Basin Working Group is seeking public input on plans to restore water quality in local lakes and creeks during a public meeting on November 7 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the auditorium of the Alachua County Health Department, 224 SE 24th St., Gainesville. The Orange Creek Basin Working Group is a coalition of public and private organizations and community groups that is working to restore water quality in local lakes and streams.
The Orange Creek Basin covers eastern Alachua County, most of Gainesville and the northeastern corner of Marion County. It includes:
- Hogtown Creek
- Sweetwater Branch
- Tumblin Creek
- Lake Wauberg
- Newnans Lake
- Lochloosa Lake
- Alachua Sink
- Orange Lake
This meeting will present the proposed Orange Creek Basin Management Action Plan, which addresses high bacteria levels in the creeks and water quality problems caused by too many nutrients in local lakes and Alachua Sink. Sources of nutrients can include fertilizer runoff and animal and human wastes.
The plan was developed to address pollutant loading targets (also called Total Maximum Daily Loads) developed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for Hogtown Creek, Tumblin Creek, Sweetwater Branch, Lake Wauberg, Newnans Lake, Alachua Sink, and Orange Lake. The plan contains actions and proposes options for restoring water quality to sustain healthy populations of fish and other aquatic life, and safely support recreational uses.
The Orange Creek Basin Working Group includes representatives of Alachua and Marion Counties, City of Gainesville, St. Johns River Water Management District, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, University of Florida and several environmental and community organizations.