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MATTHEW BECK/Chronicle
The Rainbow River’s headwaters in Marion County attract thousands of visitors monthly. Swimming, paddling, fishing and birdwatching are all activities visitors enjoy. The Southwest Florida Water Management District board on Tuesday approved setting the minimum flow level for the river at a 5 percent reduction over the present rate of flow, which allows for damage or destruction of up to 15 percent of river’s habitat.
Rainbow’s flow cut

BROOKSVILLE — About 75 people packed the Southwest Florida Water Management District board chambers Tuesday to protest a proposal to adopt a minimum flow level for the Rainbow River that’s a 5 percent decrease over the present flow rate.

After three hours of public comment, water district board members discussed the matter for almost another hour before voting unanimously to adopt the minimum flow and level (MFL) rate. It is the first time a minimum flow rate has been set for the southwest Marion County river.

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