River at Risk: Take a multimedia look at the issues facing the Caloosahatchee.
The Caloosahatchee's water is often compared to caffeinated drinks – tea, coffee or Coke.
Yet before the river was connected to Lake Okeechobee, it was gin-clear and sandy-bottomed.
Now, in addition to the tannic tint, puddingy muck blankets the river's bed, just as it does the 730-square-mile lake's.
The muck is from more than a century of nutrients washing into the lake from development and farm fields. Pollutants taint the spoiled egg-scented ooze, including arsenic and an estimated 51,000 tons of phosphorus.