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Lake Okeechobee Day1..A sugar harvester collects sugar cane near Clewiston. The sugar industry.kicked into high gear 60 years ago, after U.S. government projects to.control flooding south of the lake made farming possible. Before the.1994 Everglades Forever Act imposed strict water-quality standards south of Lake Okeechobee, farmers loaded fields with fertilizers.and pesticides. The pollutants made their way back into the lake and the.Everglades. Today, stormwater treatment areas clean farm runoff reaches the Everglades.. Erik Kellar/Staff