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 […]

FWC conducts aquatic plant control on Lake Okeechobee

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is conducting aquatic plant control on Lake Okeechobee from Nov. 5-9, weather permitting. There will be an aerial treatment of up to 5,000 acres of invasive water lettuce in the southeastern portion of the lake, including Coot Bay, East Wall, South Bay and Ritta, Torrey and Kreamer […]

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 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. […]

Aquatic vegetation key to improving water quality, says Scott Martin

The key to improving water quality in Lake Okeechobee is restoring the aquatic vegetation, according to professional angler Scott Martin. Mr. Martin spoke to the Water Resources Analysis Coalition at its Oct. 4 meeting in West Palm Beach. “I have lived around Lake Okeechobee my whole life,” he said. “I fished it since I was […]

Federal officials tour Everglades restoration projects

On Aug. 15, South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Governing Board Chairman Federico Fernandez and Executive Director Ernie Marks joined the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James to highlight some of the major Everglades restoration projects targeted at reducing Lake Okeechobee discharges to the northern estuaries. Additional participants included U.S. Army […]

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 […]

Emergency wells could protect estuaries

As high temperatures and heavy rainfall continue to make conditions ideal for algae blooms, those who live near the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries are calling out for relief from freshwater releases from Lake Okeechobee. So-called “emergency estuary protection wells” could offer relief. According to Robert Verrastro, South Florida Water Management District principal hydrogeologist, the […]

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 […]