Algae testing takes time, says Department of Environmental Regulation

Algae is part of the natural ecosystem in lakes, rivers and streams worldwide. Algae is ever-present in Lake Okeechobee, even when it is not visible in a bloom; boaters and fishermen are used to seeing algae in the water column or blown about by the winds. Since the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began releasing […]

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 […]

Will feds pay share of cost for planned EAA reservoir?

Will the federal government fund 50 percent of the cost of the planned Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) reservoir? At their June 14 meeting, members of the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board expressed concern that the federal government might not provide the expected 50-50 match to build the EAA reservoir. The reservoir is part […]

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 […]

Rep. Mast calls for halt to lake discharges

On June 7, U.S. Rep. Brian Mast (R-18th District) called on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to cease discharges from Lake Okeechobee “until the water quality is deemed safe or an imminent threat to life exists.” Rep. Mast also invited the assistant secretary of the Army for civil works (who overseas the Army Corps) […]

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 […]

Heavy rainfall south of lake fills WCAs

The good news: Freshwater is flowing to Everglades National Park. According to South Florida Water Management District Chief District Engineer John Mitnik, since the rains started in May, water has been flowing steadily south from the water conservation areas (WCAs) north of the Tamiami Trail through the water control structures. All of the gates, however […]

Limits called for on aquatic spraying

At the March 16 meeting of the County Coalition for Responsible Management of Lake Okeechobee, Clewiston City Commissioner Phillip Roland asked the board to step back in time with him as he shared memories of Lake Okeechobee’s past. “I am 24 years old and I get out of the service, and that’s 1964,” he began. […]

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 […]