Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


Environmental Science

Degree Granting Department

Environmental Science and Policy

Major Professor

Philip van Beynen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kamal Alsharif, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Mark R. Hafen, Ph.D.


land use, nitrogen, phosphorus, urbanization


Urbanization has taken a major toll on the water quality of Lake Tarpon. In response, there have been management strategies and legislation put in place to help improve water quality. Our objective was to identify what management strategies and other environmental factors were driving changes in Lake Tarpons water quality from 1970 - 2010. Trends in water quality were analyzed against precipitation, land use and water quality management strategies to achieve this. Results found that two water quality management strategies, the creation of the Lake Tarpon Outfall Canal and the closing of the Lake Tarpon Sink, improved water quality the most. Other management strategies that undoubtedly helped improve water quality but were not able to be quantified were regulations that have made growth more sustainable (FAC 62 - 25, FAC 10D-6) and management strategies such as converting septic to sewer and lake level fluctuation.