EAA reservoir site leased for farming

The South Florida Water Management District’s (SFWMD) Governing Board voted Nov. 8 to approve an eight-year lease with Florida Crystals on 16,150 acres of state land in the footprint of the future site of the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) reservoir. After 20 months, SFWMD can terminate the lease with four months’ notice, if SFWMD is […]

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 […]

Septic system maintenance important

Septic tank maintenance is like changing the oil in your car — you don’t want to wait until there is a problem, said Ashley Austin-Neehan of Austin Sewer and Septic in Okeechobee. Onsite septic systems do work, she said. “There is science behind them. But they have to be maintained.” Septic tanks should be pumped […]

Septic tanks may pollute waterways

A potential source of water pollution could be in your back yard. Nationwide, about 20 percent of American homes use on-site sewage treatment and disposal systems (OSTDS), more commonly known as septic tanks. In most states, septic tanks are used in rural areas where it is not cost-effective to run sewer lines to remote homes. […]

Cyanobacteria bloom continues

The cyanobacteria bloom in Lake Okeechobee was in about 36 percent of the lake on Sept. 13, as documented by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) satellite imagery, slightly decreased from the 38 percent observed by NOAA on Sept. 9. Cyanobacteria, also called “blue-green algae” although it is not technically algae, has been visible […]

Want to stop algal blooms? Stop feeding the algae

The cyanobacterial blooms that have plagued South Florida this summer have led to protests from the public, promises from politicians and blame (mostly targeted at farmers and Lake Okeechobee) from the coastal media. But amid all of the slogans, sound bites and allegations, maybe we’re asking the wrong question. Instead of asking where the algae […]

Lake Okeechobee News: We’re stronger together

Newspaper merger planned for publications around Lake Okeechobee In the pioneer days when new cities were founded all around Lake Okeechobee, newspapers were established to bring community members together. In order to organize a new city, town or county, they needed a way to communicate with the people. The newspapers in Okeechobee, Clewiston, Moore Haven […]

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 […]