Help keep our lakes clean. Support the BLPA by joining as a member. Annual dues are $85/yr.
Seniors 62+ pay $50/yr.
The BLPA is a
mission of the Bear Lake Preservation
Association is to provide
environmental and civic stewardship
for the Bear Lakes watershed. This is
achieved through water quality
monitoring, scientific understanding,
public education, governmental
intervention, and watershed
improvements for the enhancement and
preservation of the water quality and
biological integrity of clean lakes.
Keep Our Lakes Clean and Clear
- If you must fertilize, use phosphorous
here to learn more...
Algae Bloom on Little Bear Lake Ever!
November 25, 2008, was when
Buddy reported the worst Algae Bloom ever
in Little Bear and it is still
bad. The scum will travel to different
shorelines based on the wind.
Cub Lake is receiving the algae scum
off of the surface of Bear Lake and
Little Bear Lake through the outfalls
into the ditch to the lake. Click here
for the report from the University of
Florida LAKEWATCH Team.
You a Casual Polluter?
we are addicted to oil, we are also
addicted to every day living habits that
damage our environment, specifically our
water supplies. It has always been that
way. "People equal pollution" has been a
common phrase in the environmental
science world for a long time.
Thirty-three years ago, while on a kayak
trip near the Artic Circle, I was
advised, "You can drink the river water
everywhere, except in the areas where
We all live downstream. That is a fact.
We don't realize it when we are buying
it or hiring a landscape firm, but much
of the fertilizer and pesticide used to
keep landscapes beautiful washes into
our lakes during thunder storms. We are
"the casual polluters" because we don't
know, or we don't care about the damage
that is taking place. We think that as
long as we are just doing what everyone
else is doing, and there is no law
against it, there is no compelling
reason for us to stop doing it.
We are living a contradiction. As we
beautify our private landscape we are
damaging our communal landscape. A
beautiful yard gratifies us personally
while improving the look of the
neighborhood, but when we use
fertilizers, pesticides, etc. to make
our private property beautiful we are,
in fact, polluting the public water
supply and turning our beautiful clear
lakes an ugly green. The cause and
effect relationship is difficult to see
because of the delayed reaction and the
immeasurable affect each bag of
fertilizer has on the whole. While each
person with an over-fertilized yard is
thinking that their bit is
insignificant, to a lake it is like
death from a thousand cuts because it
all adds up. Because our private
landscape can be seen and attributed to
us individually and the corresponding
degradation to our communal water can
not, the "out of sight, out of mind"
phenomena is in full force. It will be
difficult to get people to change their
ways because of our innate desire for
personal beauty. Like Galbraith said in
1908, "private affluence is consistent
with public squalor."
We in the Bear Lake watershed have to
come to grips with this contradiction of
private affluence (green landscaping) at
the expense of degrading our public
water supply (lakes, rivers and ground
water). I am referring specifically to
excess fertilization, excess erosion,
soaps, pesticides, insecticides, etc.
washing into the ground, the streets,
ditches and our lakes. Things that you
know would kill your fish in your home
aquarium are allowed to wash into our
communal environment. To get everyone in
the watershed to change their behavior,
will require a complete change of their
Can we all agree on this statement? An
unpolluted natural environment with
clean clear lakes and clean drinking
water -- but without lush green lawns --
is a more desirable environment than an
environment with un-swimmable lakes and
un-drinkable ground water, even if it
has lush green lawns. If we agree on
that, we can act right away as
intelligent, proactive people who
understand science and the laws of cause
and effect. OR we can do it some years
later, after the water is irrevocably
polluted, when we are forced to do it by
the EPA or some other regulating body,
when they eventually outlaw fertilizers
and other aquatic pollutants.
There are many places in the United
States and Europe that already have very
restrictive laws on the use of
fertilizer for the above reasons. Should
we do the same? Asking people to
conserve energy, water, or anything else
of a personal nature does not work with
most people. You have to force them
(like with rolling blackouts) or make it
a law (like watering only on certain
days). The Florida Department of Health
is now making new laws concerning septic
tanks and the Department of Agriculture
is looking at restricting fertilizers. I
hope that we don't have to wait for the
laws because I'm afraid that at the rate
we are going our Bear Lakes will be
un-swimable by that time. How can we get
everyone in the watershed to see that
the reduction or the elimination of
fertilizer on their property as a good
Here are some things that we should be
doing to protect the jewels of our
communal landscape, those things that we
came to this location for, those things
that make our property values go up and
up...our beautiful Bear Lakes.
* We can have it both ways (lush
beautiful green landscape and clean
water) ONLY if we are super diligent
with the use of fertilizer, pesticide,
etc. That means using only no phosphate
liquid fertilizer, non-toxic
biodegradable pesticides, and preventing
the first flush of rain water from
leaving your property. Car wash water
should go into the ground and not into
the street or storm drain. Do not use a
garbage disposal. Pump your septic tank
every three years. Pick up pet waste.
* Our watershed was originally sugar
sand for the most part, with scrub oak,
pines and palmettos. When it was like
that the lakes were exceptionally clear.
We can never get back to that but we can
undo some of our polluting behaviors.
Some properties do not need a lawn. If
you have lots of pines you can let your
lawn revert back to pine needles. No
watering, no fertilizers, no pesticides,
no cost. This is common in places like
Arizona, Lake Tahoe watershed, and it is
mandated on Captiva Island (a very
wealthy island) and many other
environmentally astute areas.
Do your part...stop polluting!