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 […]

New NOAA image shows algae in 45 percent of lake

As the long, hot summer continues, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration continues to track cyanobacteria concentrations in Lake Okeechobee. The computer-generated image is derived from data using satellite imagery capturing spectrums of light not visible to the human eye. Cloud cover and wind can affect the satellite data. The image from Aug. 9 “is […]

Blue-green algae in about 30 percent of lake

Satellite images show cyanobacteria in about 30 percent of Lake Okeechobee. Images acquired on Aug. 6 are partly obscure by clouds on the eastern side of the lake, according to Dr. Sachi Mishra of the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “Blooms are clearly visible in the lake […]

‘Water farming’ helps reduce flow to St. Lucie

They call it “water farming.” Caulkins Citrus Co., once home to orange groves, is the site of a public-private partnership to reduce harmful freshwater flows to the St. Lucie Estuary. The 3,200-acre site is adjacent to the C-44 Canal just east of Indiantown. Water from the canal is pumped into bermed reservoirs on the property, […]

Satellite images show algal bloom is changing

Satellite imagery continues to show changes in the cyanobacteria in Lake Okeechobee. Due to the lack of a broad-based regular sampling program, researchers can only speculate about what the images mean based on their knowledge of the lake and experience with algal blooms in similar bodies of water. The NOAA imagery from July 2 showed […]

Algae bloom in Lake Okeechobee is shrinking

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Friday that the algal bloom on Lake Okeechobee has decreased to about 30 percent of the lake. In addition, about half of the bloom has decreased significantly in concentration. At its peak on July 2, the bloom had been in about 90 percent of the lake, according to […]

Cyanobacteria in water column, not on lake’s surface

The good news: The surface of Lake Okeechobee is NOT covered in blue-green algae, toxic or otherwise. The bad news: According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there is a large concentration of cyanobacteria (sometimes called “blue-green algae”) in the lake. According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, some of the samples […]

Federal funding approved for expedited dike repairs

EAA reservoir added to Water Resources Development Act BELLE GLADE — Sen. Bill Nelson and U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings stopped by the Belle Glade Marina on July 5 to announce that federal funding has been approved to speed repairs to Herbert Hoover Dike, and that the federal share of funding for the Everglades Agricultural Area […]

Corps cuts lake flows to the coastal estuaries

Florida Gov. Rick Scott wants to send excess freshwater from Lake Okeechobee south, but existing water conveyance structures, direct rainfall south of the lake, the Tamiami Trail and the Department of the Interior make that difficult, if not impossible. Heavy rain in May — some areas received more than 400 percent of average rainfall — […]

Algal blooms reported throughout the area

Heavy rainfall in May and June followed by hot summer weather has led to increased reports of algal blooms and cyanobacteria blooms in South Florida. A combination of hot weather, low salinity, nitrogen and phosphorus can cause algae and cyanobacteria to grow rapidly; this is called a “bloom.” Laboratory tests are required to determine what […]