FDEP, SFWMD, NASA watch for algae blooms to check for toxin levels

Report algal blooms by calling 855-305-3903 Images on the news of green water and coastlines choked with a thick green sludge are misleading, according to a South Florida Water Management District briefing on June 8. The images are from 2016 when a massive harmful algae bloom plagued the Treasure Coast. Scientists theorize the 2016 bloom […]

Algae coming from many discharge sources

Record rainfall in May and continuing heavy rains this month are causing ecological damage, according to a report given by South Florida Water Management District Water Resources Director Terrie Bates at the June 14 meeting of the SFWMD Governing Board. Algae found in the St. Lucie watershed is coming from many sources, not just from […]

Federal funding for EAA reservoir could be delayed

Plans for a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee could face funding delays. While Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Army (Civil Works) R.D. James found the Everglades Agricultural Area reservoir plan feasible, the review assessment submitted to the Office of Management and Budget also imposed conditions for implementation. “I have determined that the project identified in […]

Lake level expected to continue to drop

Water managers predict that the level of Lake Okeechobee, at 14.37 feet on Friday, will continue to drop and could reach 12.5 feet by June. If it happens, that dry-season drop would be beneficial to the lake’s ecology, according to biologists. “It’s dry. In the near term, it is going to stay dry,” said Cal […]

High lake levels prevent recovery

In other areas of the country, people pray for rain. Okeechobee fishermen are praying for a drought. In September, Hurricane Irma churned the waters of the Big Lake, ripped up aquatic vegetation and left the shoreline littered with uprooted plants. After the storm, drainage from the north caused the lake to rise rapidly, drowning the […]

Lake bottom muck inspires many theories

The muck at the bottom of Lake Okeechobee is believed to contain more than 50,000 metric tons of phosphorus. That “legacy” phosphorus contributes to the high levels of phosphorus in the lake, especially during periods of high water levels and turbidity. Where did the phosphorus in the lake bottom muck come from? There are a […]

EAA reservoir plan presented to Florida senators

TALLAHASSEE – “We cannot forget the urgency that we felt last session in addressing the toxic algae blooms. Warm temperatures and heavy rains will put us right back in that situation,” said Senator Rob Bradley. The Senate Appropriations Committee heard Jan. 18 from South Florida Water Management Executive Director Ernie Marks, who assured the committee […]

Lake bottom muck adds to lake phosphorus

Any search for the truth about Lake Okeechobee must include the problem with the muck on the lake bottom. It’s a problem that scientists and environmentalists have known about for a long time. The Lake Okeechobee Sediment Management Feasibility Study prepared by Blasland, Bouck & Lee, Tetra-Tech Inc., Environmental Quality Inc. and Haymar Inc. was […]

FWC hosts Lake Okeechobee habitat and fisheries management meeting

OKEECHOBEE — The public is invited to a meeting with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to discuss various management programs for aquatic plants, fish and wildlife on Lake Okeechobee on Feb. 8. The meeting will take place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the South Florida Water Management District Service Center, 3800 […]

EAA reservoir options sent to state legislature

A Jan. 9 report to the Florida Legislature from the South Florida Water Management District lists two “best buy” options for the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) reservoir required as part of Senate Bill 10. SB 10 was signed into law on May 9, 2017 by Governor Rick Scott. “Since its passage, SFWMD’s staff of professional […]