Marina owners fight dam closure in Florida

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Marina and restaurant owners along Lake Griffin in Lake County, Fla., said a move by state water managers could sink them.

In the past, the St. John's River Water Management District closed dams on the Harris Chain of Lakes and it has decided to do so again, television station WFTV reported.

For more than 60 years, Twin Palms Resort and Marina in Fruitland Park has been a popular place for boaters and fishermen. But owner Dennis Mulholland said a St. John's River Water Management decision to close a couple of key dams on the Harris Chain of Lakes has drastically lowered the water level on Lake Griffin and dried out his marina.

Mulholland said he stays afloat by selling marine fuel, renting boats and leasing boat slips. However, all of that would be impossible if the lake is too low.

State water managers said closing the dams and limiting water flow helps protect water quality in Lake Apopka and the rest of the Harris Chain of Lakes during the winter dry season. But Mulholland said he believes the move does more harm than good, especially along Lake Griffin.

“This lake may not recover. This is a serious issue right now,” he told the TV station.

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