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SW Florida kid makes science fair project about Lake Okeechobee releases

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Thirteen-year-old Ashton Brewster lives along the Caloosahatchee River with his family in Fort Myers and has seen the devastation to our ecosystem first hand. Three years ago when he couldn’t catch any fish near his home he decided to do his school project on Lake Okeechobee, where they had started releasing water.


“He spent a month collecting water samples and gathering data. As a result, his hypothesis was correct: the bacteria from Lake O water caused algae blooms affecting the seagrass.”1 Something he now says has gotten worse, “From my data, I said I think the seagrass is dying faster than before, because it didn’t have as much time to grow back and it doesn’t have the protection it needs.2


Ashton plans to do a follow-up project this year on the same topic for his TV production class.


The family doesn’t recall it ever being this bad and hope that the national recognition Erin Brockovich has brought to the issue will help bring more awareness to South Florida’s water quality crisis. In fact, Brockovich will hold a public town hall meeting on Wednesday to discuss the clean water challenges in Florida.


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