Florida river restoration project marks 22-year milestone

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SEBRING, Fla. (AP) — State and federal officials in Florida are marking a major milestone in a 22-year project to restore a river. The Kissimmee River was turned into a straight manmade channel in the 1970s. That caused major environmental damage, dumping more polluted water into Lake Okeechobee, reducing waterfowl and bald eagle populations, and harming fish. Now the river has its curves back, along 44 miles of the waterway. That should enable the river to clean the water of agricultural runoff including nitrogen and phosphorous before it reaches the lake. Now comes a second phase of the project, raising water levels to restore the natural flow.  

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