District will begin Sawgrass Lake Park Restoration Project

News Release

*Public meeting scheduled on Dec. 3*

The Southwest Florida Water Management District has scheduled a public meeting for Dec. 3 to discuss an upcoming restoration project at Sawgrass Lake Park.

Sawgrass Lake Park is a 330-acre natural oasis in urban Pinellas County. Located just west of I-275 and south of Gandy Boulevard, the park is owned by the District and managed by Pinellas County. A lake and wetland system on the property provides natural water treatment to enhance the quality of water draining into Tampa Bay.

The District is about to begin a restoration project that will improve the water quality of this system. A study conducted in the late 1990s showed that the land on the north side of the lake contained elevated levels of lead and arsenic. This is a result of shooting from a nearby gun range that, by law, was allowed to have spent lead shot fall on a portion of the District's land.

As part of the cleanup activities, the District will remove spent lead shot and contaminants from the system on its land. Contaminated vegetation will be cleared and managed according to state regulations. In addition to the cleanup activities, a portion of Sawgrass Lake will be dredged and sediments will be removed. This process will create cleaner water for the fish and animals of the lake, as well as improve the overall health of Tampa Bay and its sea life.

The District has scheduled a public meeting to discuss the restoration project details and timelines and the overall environmental benefits. The meeting will be held on Thursday, Dec. 3 starting at 6 p.m. at the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, 4000 Gateway Centre Boulevard, Suite 100, Pinellas Park.

For more information, please call the Surface Water Improvement and Management Section at the District's Tampa Service Office at (813) 985-7481, ext. 2200.