SFWMD plan to spend millions to repair the Masten and Lainhart dams on the Loxahatchee River

LOXAHATCHEE, Fla. - More than a million dollars will be invested to repair the dams on the Loxahatchee River starting next year.

Bill Denison is one who loves canoeing the sites on the fresh water preserve, but that could change in the future if the water levels continue to drop.

With the Masten and Lainhart dams being more than 30 years old, they’re not holding water the way they used too.

Denison said, "It needs to be repaired. It's been washed out for a while.”

South Florida Water Management District authorities said if the water gets any lower and it could be hazardous for the ecosystem.

"The water levels would drop in the dry season and that allows salt water intrusion to come upstream, all the way from the Jupiter inlet and that would change the character of this beautiful river from a cypress system to a more mangrove tidal system,” said Terrie Bates, Division Director of Water Resources with SFWMD.

Design plans are underway to repair both dams next year. The district plans to spend nearly a million dollars on each dam.

"Just with the pressures of time and water flow they've fallen into disrepair and we've got some erosion around the dam which is letting the water depths fall and not protecting the wild and scenic part of the river."

Something Denison doesn’t want to see.

"It's been here as long as I've been coming down here, so hopefully, it'll last another thirty or forty years,” said Denison.


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