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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Nitrogen from the air helps fuel blue-green algae

Tests by the University of Florida show the cyanobacteria bloom in the lake has changed. At the start of the summer, the dominant type was a species of Microcystis, according to Florida Department of Environmental Regulation (FDEP) tests. In late July, the Microcystis bloom appeared to die off. A new bloom that has grown in […]