Loss of aquatic vegetation means ‘the lake is hurting’

High water levels are hurting Lake Okeechobee’s ecological balance. Water Resources Director Terrie Bates explained the issue at the July 12 meeting of the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board. She said it is due to the lasting effects of Hurricane Irma, which churned the waters of the Big O and dumped enough rain […]

Mast argues for lower Lake Okeechobee level

STUART — Congressman Brian Mast’s proposal to lower Lake Okeechobee to 8 feet by the end of the dry season to prevent wet season releases to the coastal estuaries was the topic of discussion at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District briefing on Aug. 17 in Stuart City Hall. Ernie Marks, South Florida […]

Lakeside Ranch STA contract approved

The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Governing Board last week awarded a contract to build the final piece of the Lakeside Ranch Stormwater Treatment Area (STA) project, the S-191A Pump Station. In cooperation with the other coordinating agencies, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, SFWMD’s project […]

Big healthy bass and big checks continue strong on Lake Okeechobee

CLEWISTON — How is Lake Okeechobee doing? With lots of big bass hitting the stage and checks with big numbers being handed out, the anglers in the third qualifier of the 2018 Roland Martin Marine Center Series will tell you it’s doing just fine. With 137 boats launching out of Roland Martin Marina at safe […]

Sugar farmers push back on attacks from media

Farmers around Lake Okeechobee are attempting to push back against attacks from politicians and media outlets around South Florida. After toxic algae blooms began to take over waterways in South Florida, some politicians running for election began to single out one scapegoat, ‘Big Sugar.’ During a campaign event in Fort Myers in early July, Republican […]

Nitrogen from the air helps fuel blue-green algae

Tests by the University of Florida show the cyanobacteria bloom in the lake has changed. At the start of the summer, the dominant type was a species of Microcystis, according to Florida Department of Environmental Regulation (FDEP) tests. In late July, the Microcystis bloom appeared to die off. A new bloom that has grown in […]

Blue-green algae in about 30 percent of lake

Satellite images show cyanobacteria in about 30 percent of Lake Okeechobee. Images acquired on Aug. 6 are partly obscure by clouds on the eastern side of the lake, according to Dr. Sachi Mishra of the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “Blooms are clearly visible in the lake […]

Florida DEP offering grants for algae cleanup

With $3 million in grant money just made available for any necessary algae cleanups by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, officials in Glades and Hendry counties are looking into the possibility that they might be able to use some of that help. The FDEP announced the new grant program on Monday, July 23. Eligible […]

Satellite images show algal bloom is changing

Satellite imagery continues to show changes in the cyanobacteria in Lake Okeechobee. Due to the lack of a broad-based regular sampling program, researchers can only speculate about what the images mean based on their knowledge of the lake and experience with algal blooms in similar bodies of water. The NOAA imagery from July 2 showed […]

Wetlands restoration planned north of lake

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Jacksonville District is accepting comments on the Draft Integrated Project Implementation Report (PIR) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project (LOWRP). A public meeting about the project will be held Aug. 2 at Indian River State College, 2229 N.W. Ninth Avenue in Okeechobee, […]