A Florida community in the Greater Tampa area is home to a bird rookery, giving it an up close look at the unique species that call the property home. Wood storks, great egrets, snowy egrets, great blue herons and white ibis are enjoyed by residents and local bird watchers alike. However, this exciting window into nature is accompanied by a severe nutrient loading problem. Over the years, watershed inputs, recurring bird feedings, and bird droppings from the trees above the 2-acre community pond have created imbalanced water quality conditions that support the growth of unrelenting algae and cyanobacteria blooms. In addition to causing an eyesore, these harmful blooms are known to create toxins that can threaten the rare wildlife and endanger the health of community members.
The bird species that live on the property are protected, making long-term management of the undesirable blooms a challenge. The community chooses to avoid many traditional solutions to ensure the natural characteristics of the ecosystem are maintained year-round. Often, this commitment means sacrificing the aesthetic beauty of the property. However, in 2019, SOLitude Lake Management introduced an alternative option to the community - one that aligns with the environmental principles of the residents while also nurturing the health and appearance of the aquatic environment.