Sprinkle list: $15M flows to FGCU for Lake O, regional water quality study
FGCU's The Water School. Image via FGCU. Rendering by RG Architects/HuntonBrady Architects.

The Fort Myers-based university has studied ways to improve water quality in South Florida.

In one heck of a surprise sprinkle, Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) secured $15 million for a water study.

Funding for the Fort Myers university was included in the Senate Supplemental Funding, affectionately called the “sprinkle list,” But originally, the item was listed for only a “Comprehensive Study on the Health of Lake Okeechobee.”

Senate officials, though, made clear this money will go through FGCU’s The Water School, and will be used for a comprehensive water quality study of regional significance.

Sen. Jason Brodeur, a Lake Mary Republican, had requested $5 million in the budget this year for FGCU to conduct a study chiefly on Florida’s largest lake.

His request said funds would go to “conduct a comprehensive and predictive data assessment of the environmental health of Lake Okeechobee based on natural and anthropogenic influences on the biota to produce a current state of the Lake with gaps identified around the Lake’s condition, gather information to address gaps, and create a suite of potential water level and in lake management strategies that may be implemented and explored for lake improvements.”

FGCU opened The Water School in 2022. That came after years of researchers based at the university studying both the freshwater ecosystem of Lake Okeechobee and surrounding wetlands, as well as the saltwater habitats in the Gulf of Mexico.

“The comprehensive nature of The Water School at FGCU allows us to focus on key areas critical to our water-driven world: climate change, natural resources, ecosystem health and well-being, restoration and remediation,” a website for the program reads.

In addition to mere proximity to two significant aquatic ecologies, the university has been monitoring environmental crises in the region, including blue-green algal blooms in the Caloosahatchee River and red tide events on the Gulf Coast beaches.

The state and federal governments have also made massive investments in restoring historically natural water flows in South Florida through a variety of water quality projects.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • WGD

    March 4, 2024 at 11:03 pm

    Water quality? Climate change? Sounds like some pretty woke shit to me. It probably won’t be long before FL legislators, and the governor, take steps to prevent such left wing subjects from being studied in FL schools. After all, we don’t want our students to be indoctrinated with anything important or true.

  • Dont Say FLA

    March 5, 2024 at 7:23 am

    I seen a ton of crazy (to white folk) lake names around the state, but I never seen Lake Orgasm.

    Where is it? I’m old as dirt, but I might still like to take a dip once in a while, whenever I wake “up” in the morning

Comments are closed.


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