Lake Worth Lagoon

The Lake Worth Lagoon is a lagoon located in Palm Beach County, Florida. It runs parallel to the coast, and is separated from the Atlantic Ocean by barrier beaches, including Palm Beach Island. The lagoon is connected to the Atlantic Ocean by two permanent, man-made inlets.

Location of Lake Worth Lagoon in Palm Beach County, Florida

Geography

Lake Worth Lagoon is located at coordinates 26°40′53″N 80°02′45″W / 26.68139°N 80.04583°W. It is approximately 21 miles (34 km) long and up to a mile wide. The Lake Worth Inlet connects the northern part of the lagoon to the ocean. It is the entrance channel to the Port of Palm Beach. The South Lake Worth Inlet (also known as the Boynton Inlet) connects the southern part of the lagoon to the ocean. It is used primarily by recreational boaters. The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway runs the entire length of the lagoon. Eight causeways and bridges connect the mainland to the barrier beaches, including Palm Beach Island.

Etymology

The lagoon is named "Lake Worth" in honor of William J. Worth, last commander of United States troops in the Second Seminole War.[1] The Seminole language[Note 1] name for the lagoon, as given by a Seminole informant in 1870, was Hypoluxo, translated as "water all around no get out", referring to the landlocked status of the lagoon.[2]

History

In the mid-19th century the Lake Worth Lagoon was a fresh water lake. There were no rivers or streams flowing into the lake; all of the flow into the lake was by ground seepage from the Everglades to the west. Extreme high tides and waves, high lake water levels and storms occasionally caused the formation of temporary inlets that quickly closed up again.[3] When there was no inlet available, the settlers in the area had to haul their boats over the barrier beaches to move them between the ocean and the lake.

In 1866 travelers reported that fresh water was pouring out of the lake into the ocean at a point about ten miles (16 km) south of the Jupiter Inlet.[4] One report is that a settler named August Lang had dug the channel to open an inlet, and it was known as "Lang's Inlet" for a while. This cut drained the lake down to sea level.[5] The limited inflow of ocean water through the inlet and continued seepage of fresh water from the Everglades kept the lake from becoming more than mildly brackish. Lang's Inlet was unstable, and had to be dug out again every few months. Construction of a stable inlet at the "Black Rocks" one mile (1.6 km) north of Lang's Inlet was finally achieved in 1877. The lake immediately began to change to a saltwater lagoon. The completion of a navigation canal from the north end of Lake Worth Lagoon to Jupiter Inlet in the 1880s resulted in increased freshwater discharges to the lagoon.

In the early 1900s, the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway was completed from the south end of the Lagoon to Biscayne Bay. By 1915, the Port of Palm Beach had created a permanent inlet four feet deep at the old location of Lang's Inlet, which was deepened to 16 feet (4.9 m) in 1925. In 1917 the South Lake Worth Inlet was created in a failed effort to improve tidal circulation and provide flushing to the south end of the Lagoon. The completion of the West Palm Beach Canal (which connected to Lake Okeechobee, draining land west of West Palm Beach as well as the Everglades) in 1925 resulted in significant freshwater inflow to the lagoon.

Development

Lake Worth Lagoon is completely surrounded by the urbanized area of Palm Beach County. Much of the shoreline has been dredged and filled-in. Bulkheads now line 81 percent of the shoreline of the lagoon. Mangroves, which once lined most of the shoreline of the lagoon, have been reduced to just 283 acres. Several bridges cross the lagoon. Man-made inlets from the ocean allow salt water to mix with fresh water in the lagoon. Man-made canals dump varying amounts of fresh water into the lagoon. Untreated stormwater from the surrounding urban areas flows into the lagoon. The Port of Palm Beach, several marinas and a power plant on the shores of the lagoon also add pollution to the lagoon. Since 1994, there has been heightened awareness of the need for water quality improvements and habitat restoration and enhancement within the Lagoon. A Lake Worth Lagoon Management Plan was approved in 1998, updated in 2013, to guide the Lagoon’s restoration and enhancement.[6]

"Muck monster"

An unexplained wake in the lagoon on August 24, 2009 was caught on tape by a local group known as the LagoonKeepers, who named it "muck monster".[7][8] The identity and existence of the creature remains unconfirmed, as it did not break the surface during the time observed. It displayed a wide wake, but then appeared to descend deeper when observers approached within 10 feet.

Notes

  1. ^ The historical record does not specify whether this was the Creek language or Mikasuki language, which were spoken by different bands of Seminoles.

References

  1. ^ Kleinberg, Eliott. "Lake, Town Named After U.S. Army Col. W.J. Worth". Historic Palm Beach County. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  2. ^ Pierce:54
  3. ^ "Lake Worth Lagoon & Intracoastal Waterway". Historical Society of Palm Beach County. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  4. ^ Pierce:49
  5. ^ "History of Palm Beach County Inlets - Lake Worth Inlet" (PDF). Palm Beach County Government. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 September 2013. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  6. ^ "The Lake Worth Lagoon". Palm Beach County Government. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
  7. ^ Wieland, James (August 24, 2009). "Strange sea creature dubbed 'Muck Monster'". West Palm Beach News. Archived from the original on August 26, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-24.
  8. ^ Cerabino, Frank (August 27, 2009). "Cerabino: Palm Beach County's sea monster problem goes a bit berserk". Palm Beach Post. Archived from the original on August 31, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-31.

Further reading

1894 Atlantic hurricane season

The 1894 Atlantic hurricane season ran through the summer and the first half of fall in 1894. The 1894 season was a fairly inactive one, with seven storms forming, five of which became hurricanes.

Bethesda-by-the-Sea

Bethesda-by-the-Sea is an Episcopal Church by the Lake Worth Lagoon in Palm Beach, Florida. It is the oldest house of worship in Palm Beach. The church consists of the main building featuring an example of the gothic revival style surrounding a courtyard.

Doto varaderoensis

Doto varaderoensis is a species of sea slug, a Dendronotid nudibranch, a marine gastropod mollusc in the family Dotidae.

Florida State Road 80

State Road 80 (SR 80) (also known as Palm Beach Boulevard in Lee County and Southern Boulevard in Palm Beach County) is a 123.5 miles (198.8 km) route linking US 41 Business in Fort Myers and State Road A1A in Palm Beach. The road is the northernmost of three linking Southwest Florida to South Florida via the Everglades (Alligator Alley and Tamiami Trail being the other two). Due to increasing traffic, State Road 80 has experienced upgrades and widening in various sections since 2000.

Florida State Road 802

State Road 802 (SR 802) is a major east–west highway serving central Palm Beach County, Florida spanning 10.313 miles (16.597 km). The western terminus of SR 802 is an intersection with US 441-SR 7 near Wellington; the eastern terminus is an intersection with Ocean Boulevard (SR A1A) in Lake Worth. State Road 802 is a major commuter highway that is also a primary access road for the beaches of Palm Beach County. The majority of SR 802 is known locally as Lake Worth Road.

Grandview Heights Historic District

The Grandview Heights Historic District (also known as Grandview Heights Neighborhood) is a U.S. historic district (designated as such on July 8, 1999) located in West Palm Beach, Florida. The district is bounded by Park Place, Alabama Avenue, M Street, and Lake Avenue.One of the city's oldest neighborhoods still intact, Grandview Heights was built as an extension of Palm Beach Heights from around 1910 to 1925. The neighborhood has one of the city's best collection of early craftsman-style bungalows, as well as some modest, Mediterranean revival-style homes. Grandview Heights first residents were ministers, downtown shopkeepers, and the craftsmen who built the luxury hotels of Palm Beach. Despite having modest elevation, it contained the highest elevation to the south to Cuba, and at the time provided views of Lake Worth Lagoon over Woodlawn Cemetery and Pioneer Memorial Park.

After a period of urban decline in the 1980s, almost all of Palm Beach Heights and portions of Grandview Heights were demolished in 1989 to make way for the proposed Downtown/Uptown urban revitalization project. This land, immediately north of the neighborhood, later became CityPlace, a New Urbanist mixed-use shopping and dining district.

Grandview Heights neighborhood has been restored to a mixed-use, walkable neighborhood with a mix of mostly single family homes, modern townhomes, and apartments. Also located in the neighborhood are two historic churches, several bed and breakfasts, and small local businesses.

The west end of the neighborhood is Howard Park, the largest urban park in West Palm Beach. Howard Park contains the historic Stub Canal Turning Basin, originally used for unloading crops grown to the west, including the central portions of the state near Lake Okeechobee, for shipment to the North. At the time, the land just across the canal from the park remained undeveloped marshlands, and was used for hunting. During the land-boom era, Howard Park was used as camp for settlers, including tent-sites, running water, and out-houses provided by the city. This camp was later converted to a Boy Scout camp, and is the location of the present-day dog park. Some tourists and settlers would alternatively rent apartments located over garages in the neighborhood, providing additional income to residents. The historic Art Deco style Armory building was built in 1939 with WPA funds for use by the National Guard. It currently houses the Armory Arts Center, which includes an art school and galleries.

Immediately east of the neighborhood is the historic Woodlawn Cemetery, the South Dixie shopping district, and the Norton Museum of Art.

Haden (mango)

The 'Haden' mango (or 'Hayden') is a named mango cultivar that became one of the most widely cultivated in the world after it was introduced in the early 20th century through south Florida. It would ultimately become the parent of many other mango cultivars later developed in Florida.

Hypoluxo, Florida

Hypoluxo is a town in Palm Beach County, Florida, United States. The population was 2,015 at the 2000 census. As of 2004, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau was 2,599.The origin of the name "Hypoluxo" is disputed. The word is composed of the Greek root "hypo-" (under, below average) and the Latin "lux" (light). It is possible the name comes from a loose translation of the Seminole for Lake Worth, roughly translated "water all 'round -- no get out." The lake was later renamed in honor of Seminole Indian War colonel William Jenkins Worth. However, the name "Hypoluxo" still was associated with the area on the south shores of the lake, as evidenced by its appearance on an 1841 War Department map. Hypoluxo Scrub Natural Area is a protected landscape.

Lake Osborne

Lake Osborne, Florida, USA is a 378-acre (152.9 hectares) lake that is part of a system of once natural freshwater lakes lying along the western slope of the coastal ridge in Palm Beach County just west of the Florida Intracoastal Waterway and Atlantic Ocean. It is located within the C-16 drainage basin which occupies approximately 40,031 acres of land (16,200 hectares). Five drainage canals discharge directly to Lake Osborne, and Lake Osborne discharges via the E-4 canal to the C16 and C51 canals to the Lake Worth Lagoon. The lake is bordered on the west by John Prince Memorial Park, and on the east be the City of Lake Worth.

This lake system has been greatly impacted from human activities. It has been extensively modified and reduced in size by dredge and fill activities from urban and residential development; several lakes were completely filled and built upon. The lakes were probably dredged contemporaneous with canal construction in the 1920s or earlier. It is likely that filling of the adjacent wetlands for residential construction occurred at the same time or later. Square Lake and its oxbow lake were dredged for fill in the 1960s and additional dredging occurred in the north lobe of Lake Osborne in the 1970s.

Degradation of the lake's water quality has been ongoing; however, with the elimination of domestic waste discharges 20+ years ago, the water quality has shown improvement. Eutrophication continues as a result of continued discharges of stormwater and agricultural and yard/street runoff. More than two dozen stormwater outfalls are situated within 1000 ft of Lake Osborne. In addition to the lake’s loss of habitat value due to urban and residential growth, there has been significant establishment of exotic vegetation, fish, and molluscan species that have disrupted the lake’s ecosystem function.

Lake Osborne is important to Palm Beach County for transporting, processing, and storing stormwater and serving as a water supply reservoir. It is also of considerable value to the County for its scenic value and the recreational opportunities it provides. It is heavily used for boating and fishing as well as a variety of shore-based activities. In addition, John Prince Park, located along the western shoreline of Lake Osborne’s north and central lobe, offers an ecotourism destination for visitors seeking a natural experience where they can enjoy and learn about this ecosystem.

Due to development, vegetated littoral areas in and adjacent to Lake Osborne have been reduced to a fragment of their original size. The lake shorelines predominantly consist of bare sand or mowed grass and exotic and/or invasive vegetation. John Prince Park maintains a lawn like appearance for the majority of the shorelines of Lake Osborne. Within the water column exotic vegetation, such as water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes), water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata), and now Hygrophila (Hygrophila spp.), pose an ongoing nuisance and are treated with aquatic herbicides. With the loss of aquatic habitat, fish populations within the lake are becoming more represented by rough species, such as Tilapia (Tilapia sp. and Oreochromis sp.).

Lake Worth

Lake Worth is the name of several places in the United States:

Lake Worth, Florida, a city

Lake Worth Lagoon, a lagoon in Florida

Lake Worth, Texas, a town in Texas

Lake Worth (Texas), a lake in TexasIt may also refer to:

Lake Worth Open, a former golf tournament

Wörthsee, a glacial lake in the Starnberg district of Bavaria, Germany

Wörthersee, an alpine lake in the southern Austrian state of Carinthia

Lake Worth Beach, Florida

Lake Worth Beach is a city in Palm Beach County, Florida, United States, which takes its name from the body of water along its eastern border known as the Lake Worth Lagoon. The lake itself was named for General William J. Worth, who led U.S. forces during the last part of the Second Seminole War. As of 2010, the population estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau was 34,910. It is a principal city of the Miami metropolitan area, which was home to an estimated 6,012,331 people in 2015.

Lake Worth Inlet

The Palm Beach Inlet, also known as the Lake Worth Inlet is an artificial cut through a barrier island connecting the northern part of the Lake Worth Lagoon in Palm Beach County, Florida with the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by the town of Palm Beach on the south, and by the town of Palm Beach Shores to the north. The inlet is also the entrance channel for the Port of Palm Beach. Its coordinates are 26°46′20″N 80°02′14″W.

In the mid-19th century the body of water that is now the Lake Worth Lagoon was a freshwater lake. This had been named Lake Worth in honor of William J. Worth, commander of the Eighth Infantry Regiment in the Second Seminole War. There were no rivers or streams flowing into the lake; all of the flow into the lake was by ground seepage from the Everglades to the west. The only outflow from the lake was through a swamp that became the Lake Worth Creek as it approached the Loxahatchee River and Jupiter Inlet.

In 1866 travelers reported that fresh water was pouring out of the lake into the ocean at a point about ten miles south of the Jupiter Inlet. One report is that a settler named Lang had dug the channel to open an inlet, and it was known as Lang's Inlet for a while. This cut drained the lake down to sea level. The limited inflow of ocean water through the inlet and continued seepage of fresh water from the Everglades kept the lake from becoming more than mildly brackish.

The inlet tended to silt up, and had to be dug out again every few months. In 1877 the settlers around the lake decided to dig a new inlet at a point about a mile north of Lang's Inlet where a rock formation called the Black Rocks would provide some protection for the inlet. The point chosen on the barrier island was only about 300 feet wide, but the beach dune ridge was 20 feet high and covered by heavy growth. All of the work was done with axes, shovels, hoes and wheelbarrows. It took 20 men several weeks to dig the new inlet.

The new inlet served its intended purpose well. The inlet tended to migrate south, however, with the current wearing away at the southern bank and depositing sand on the northern bank. By 1886 the inlet had migrated about a mile south of the Black Rocks, and closed up during a storm. An inlet was again dug through just south of the Black Rocks.

In 1893 Henry Flagler, who would complete construction of his Florida East Coast Railway to West Palm Beach in 1894, had the inlet enlarged. The federal government turned down a request to improve the inlet in 1912. In 1915 the Florida Legislature chartered the Lake Worth Inlet District (which later became the Port of Palm Beach District). The site of the original Lang's Inlet was chosen for the new inlet, which was completed in 1917.

The old inlet at the Black Rocks was still open. A community of fishermen from the Bahamas had settled on the barrier island just north of the Black Rocks, and they periodically cleared the channel when it silted up. A storm closed the inlet at the Black Rocks in 1919, and the fishermen, who were squatting on the island, were forced off by its owners and moved to Riviera (now Riviera Beach).

The new Lake Worth Inlet was improved several times over the next decade. The federal government assumed responsibility for the inlet in 1935, and continued to widen and deepen it and build up the jetties. In 1967 the inlet was dredged to a depth of 35 feet, which has been maintained since then. A sand transfer plant pumps sand from the north side of the inlet to the south side in order to maintain the natural flow of sand southward along the coast.

Munyon Island

Munyon Island is located in the Lake Worth Lagoon Estuary in North Palm Beach, Florida. It is part of John D. MacArthur Beach State Park.

Okenia evelinae

Okenia evelinae is a species of sea slug, specifically a dorid nudibranch, a marine gastropod mollusc in the family Goniodorididae.

Palm Beach, Florida

The Town of Palm Beach is an incorporated town in Palm Beach County, Florida, United States. The Intracoastal Waterway separates it from several neighboring cities including West Palm Beach and Lake Worth. As of 2010, Palm Beach had a year-round population of 8,348. In 2018, Bloomberg ranked Palm Beach as the 27th-wealthiest place in the United States.

Palm Beach Shores, Florida

Palm Beach Shores is a town in Palm Beach County, Florida, United States. The population was 1,269 at the 2000 census. As of 2004, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau was 1,511.

South Lake Worth Inlet

The South Lake Worth Inlet, also known as the Boynton Inlet, is an artificial cut through a barrier beach connecting the south end of the Lake Worth Lagoon in Palm Beach County, Florida with the Atlantic Ocean. The inlet is 130 feet (40 m) wide and 6 to 12 feet (1.8 to 3.7 m) deep.

The Breakers (hotel)

The Breakers Palm Beach is a historic, 538 room, Italian Renaissance-style hotel in Palm Beach, Florida, United States. First known as The Palm Beach Inn, it was opened on January 16, 1896 by oil, real estate, and railroad tycoon Henry Flagler to accommodate travelers on his Florida East Coast Railway. It occupies the beachfront portion of the grounds of the Royal Poinciana Hotel, which Flagler had opened beside Lake Worth Lagoon facing the inland waterway in 1894. Guests began requesting rooms "over by the breakers," so Flagler renamed it The Breakers Hotel in 1901. The wooden hotel burned on June 9, 1903 and was rebuilt, opening on February 1, 1904. Rooms started at $4 a night, including three meals a day. Because Flagler forbade motorized vehicles on the property, patrons were delivered between the two hotels in wheeled chairs powered by employees. The grounds featured a nine-hole golf course. The hotel is located at 1 South County Road.

West Palm Beach, Florida

West Palm Beach is a city in and the county seat of Palm Beach County, Florida, United States. It is located immediately to the west of the adjacent Palm Beach, which is situated on a barrier island across the Lake Worth Lagoon. The population was 99,919 at the 2010 census. West Palm Beach is a principal city of the Miami metropolitan area, which was home to an estimated 6,158,824 people in 2017.It is the oldest incorporated municipality in the Miami area, having been incorporated as a city two years before Miami in November 1894. West Palm Beach is located approximately 68 miles (109 km) north of Downtown Miami.

Coastal waters of Florida
Bays
Inlets
Lagoons
See also

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