Local youth leadership group takes Lake O learning adventure

CLEWISTON — Hendry Glades Youth Leadership members were treated Thursday, Nov. 8, to an educational field trip aboard pontoon boats out on Lake Okeechobee, courtesy of Roland & Mary Ann Martin’s Marina and Resort and its general manager, Ramon Iglesias. He said he’d been approached by adult leaders of the troupe who asked if they […]

Lake level critical to improving aquatic vegetation

Maintaining the lake level below 15.5 ft. is key to restoring native aquatic plants in Lake Okeechobee according to a Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) report. Mariah McInnis, of FWC, explained the use of chemical herbicides for aquatic plant management on the lake. She said the aquatic spraying is sometimes blamed for the loss […]

DeSantis claims EAA reservoir ‘will solve our algae crisis’

Trump signs WRDA Bill Former Congressman Ron DeSantis is the latest in a string of politicians to claim credit for the planned Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir. “I was instrumental in getting the federal component for the southern reservoir, which is going to solve our toxic algae crisis, in this year’s water bill,” said Mr. DeSantis […]

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 […]

LOBA ramping up its social media activity

Amid all the noise being made over algae blooms and nutrient-stifled waterways supposedly originating from Lake Okeechobee, the Lake O Business Alliance has steadily been raising its profile online to counter what LOBA Founder/President Julia du Plooy of Clewiston calls misinformation wrongly aiming blame at the Big Lake’s farming communities. But, rather than redirect the […]

Algae bloom in Lake Okeechobee is shrinking

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Friday that the algal bloom on Lake Okeechobee has decreased to about 30 percent of the lake. In addition, about half of the bloom has decreased significantly in concentration. At its peak on July 2, the bloom had been in about 90 percent of the lake, according to […]

Water quality rally puts focus on lake

CLEWISTON — Floridians from the East and West coasts set out to rally at Clewiston’s Herbert Hoover Dike Boat Ramp on Saturday morning of July 14. Around a hundred participants organized as the “Save Our Fisheries Convoy,” lead by Josh Greer, a charter fishing guide from Punta Gorda. “I’m not here to protest, I’m not […]

NOAA imagery shows algal bloom decreasing

The latest images from space show the blue-green algal bloom on Lake Okeechobee is decreasing. Imagery from July 2 showed signs of cyanobacteria in 90 percent of Lake Okeechobee. Since the satellite images are only available at set intervals, NOAA was unable to get usable photos July 6-13 due to cloud cover. The July 14 […]

Cyanobacteria in water column, not on lake’s surface

The good news: The surface of Lake Okeechobee is NOT covered in blue-green algae, toxic or otherwise. The bad news: According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there is a large concentration of cyanobacteria (sometimes called “blue-green algae”) in the lake. According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, some of the samples […]

Lake O releases are put on hold

Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency Monday in Martin, St. Lucie, Palm Beach, Okeechobee, Lee, Glades and Hendry counties on both coasts of Florida because of algae blooms in the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers. The governor’s order gives state agencies more flexibility in managing fallout from the harmful algae blooms now […]