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Living Waters: Aquatic Preserves of Florida Quick Topics

Loxahatchee River - Lake Worth Creek Aquatic Preserve Segment - Transcript

Our first expedition on the East Coast is at the Loxahatchee River - Lake Worth Creek Aquatic Preserve - an inland freshwater river that feeds directly into the Atlantic Ocean. The aquatic preserve is a small but dynamic estuary located in northern Palm Beach and southern Martin counties, known for its fishing, boating and prime residential development. The Loxahatchee River consists of three forks: north, northwest, and southwest. These three freshwater tributaries drain into the Loxahatchee River Estuary, then east to the Indian River Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean. The Loxahatchee River's northwest fork was named a National Wild and Scenic River in 1985. The river's timeless beauty is enchanting as it winds its way through the Jonathan Dickinson State Park, passing under a canopy of old cypress trees.

Richard E. Roberts, park biologist, tells us about the importance of public education and the beauty of the Loxahatchee River.

Richard E. Roberts:
I think it's always been a good way to get the public involved in the river, get out on the river, provide them tours, provide them access to go down the river, to chit-chat with them and talk with them about some of the things that are going on. And that's the whole effort. We can put people in a boat and get a lot accomplished. As we go up the river, we can talk about the different changes that are going on and just see them. It's a very effective way to educate the public, politicians, just everybody about what�s going on.

Loxahatchee River photo by Clyde Butcher

Loxahatchee River #33
Photo: Clyde Butcher

Water quality means life to the estuary, effecting its health and its plant and animal species. Agricultural and residential development have modified most of the Loxahatchee River drainage basin area and caused freshwater intrusion.

Richard E Roberts:
We are situated in such a neat area because of the climate here. You have both temperate species that come down from the north and then you have also this tropical vegetation coming up from the south. You have off the inlet side you have your salt water plants and animals coming in here and vice versa you have fresh water coming out. It makes this great blend of diversity in the basin which is kinda really neat as far as the river system is concerned. In the northwest fork was this canopy effect of the cypress and the hardwoods. Most phenomenal thing about this river and its uniqueness is the fact that it's still here.

Visitors to the Jonathan Dickinson State Park visit several archaeological and cultural sites, including the early 1900s outpost of Trapper Nelson, known as the "Wild Man of the Loxahatchee". Other activities include commercial boating, canoeing, kayaking, fishing and nature watching.

Richard E Roberts:
It's a concern of the Park Service how many people go down the river, what kind of experience that they have. If you particularly what to go down the river early in the morning to experience the wildlife, the close quiet conversation, I think there should be that time and place for that river experience. There also is the time and experience for you to go out and enjoy a group of people, and chit-chat and have fun as well. And just the quietness of being out there in the wilderness being able to kinda collect your thoughts, a spiritual awakening can happen and really enjoying that experience.










Last updated: April 06, 2015

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