More study needed to deal with the algal blooms What we don’t know CAN hurt us

Nearly two years after the ‘guacamole’ algae bloom that blanketed the Treasure Coast in the summer of 2016, there are plenty of theories, but we don’t “know” the cause. The prevailing theory was that algae in the freshwater released from Lake Okeechobee through the C-44 canal seeded the bloom, which grew to thick mats when […]

Most of big lake’s water loss is to evaporation

Weather patterns are on track to drop Lake Okeechobee to 12.5 feet by the start of the rainy season, according to a forecast shared at the last meeting of the 16 County Coalition for Responsible Management of Lake Okeechobee, the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Estuaries, and Lake Worth Lagoon. Not all forecasters agree with the […]

EAA reservoir plan sent to Corps of Engineers

Plans for the proposed Everglades Agricultural Area reservoir continue to move forward. The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) has submitted its plan to build the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Storage Reservoir for federal approval. If approved, the EAA reservoir will be built as part of the congressionally approved Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP). This […]

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 […]

FDEP approves plan for EAA reservoir project

The long-awaited Everglades Agricultural Area reservoir project moved closer to realization on March 5, when a secretarial order was signed by Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein. This project was the subject of Senate Bill 10, Audubon Florida’s top 2017 legislative priority. During the development of the project, which occurred on a speedy […]

Herbert Hoover Dike protects much of South Florida

The safety of the Herbert Hoover Dike is vital to the people of the Glades. Those who live around the Big O’s southern shores in South Bay, Belle Glade, Moore Haven and Clewiston know the danger they could be in if the dike failed. The dike also protects the farms of the Everglades Agricultural Area […]

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 […]

Scott budgets $50 million for dike

CLEWISTON – Florida Gov. Rick Scott visited the Herbert Hoover Dike near Clewiston on Feb. 1 to announce that his proposed budget includes $50 million to help speed repairs to the dike. Gov. Scott was greeted by the Clewiston High School Marching Band, which played its signature song “Eye of the Tiger” as he arrived. […]

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 […]