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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

EAA reservoir plan draws heated debate

The public comment period at the Dec. 21 South Florida Water Management District meeting about the Everglades Agricultural Area reservoir brought out emotions and some accusations. While the SFWMD meeting presented EAA reservoir alternatives that can be built on state-owned land, many in the audience were more concerned about State Sen. Joe Negron’s recent statements […]

SFWMD plans EAA reservoir on state land

Sen. Negron wants modeling to use more EAA land Can the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) reservoir be built on land the state already owns? South Florida Water Management District officials are moving ahead with a plan to do just that. Florida State Senator Joe Negron has expressed doubts and asked for computer modeling to use […]