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 […]

JTK Bike Shop plans ride to Palm Beach State College

BELLE GLADE — JTK Bike Shop will celebrate its one-year anniversary in June. A bike ride is planned on Saturday, May 26, to celebrate. “Our dedicated volunteer and supporter, Anton Pastuszak, is the welding instructor at Palm Beach State College (Belle Glade campus). Anton has created several beautiful metal sculpture art pieces that are being […]

More study needed to deal with the algal blooms What we don’t know CAN hurt us

Nearly two years after the ‘guacamole’ algae bloom that blanketed the Treasure Coast in the summer of 2016, there are plenty of theories, but we don’t “know” the cause. The prevailing theory was that algae in the freshwater released from Lake Okeechobee through the C-44 canal seeded the bloom, which grew to thick mats when […]

Most of big lake’s water loss is to evaporation

Weather patterns are on track to drop Lake Okeechobee to 12.5 feet by the start of the rainy season, according to a forecast shared at the last meeting of the 16 County Coalition for Responsible Management of Lake Okeechobee, the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Estuaries, and Lake Worth Lagoon. Not all forecasters agree with the […]

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. […]

JTK Bike Shop kids enjoy ride to Torry Island

BELLE GLADE — Saturday’s clear weather was perfect for a bike ride, according to Dawn Donaldson of JTK (Jesus The King) Bike Shop in Belle Glade. JTK Bike Shop is a nonprofit youth development program. With some training from the adult volunteers, youngsters use parts from old bicycles to build their own bikes. They also […]

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 […]

FDEP approves plan for EAA reservoir project

The long-awaited Everglades Agricultural Area reservoir project moved closer to realization on March 5, when a secretarial order was signed by Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein. This project was the subject of Senate Bill 10, Audubon Florida’s top 2017 legislative priority. During the development of the project, which occurred on a speedy […]

Herbert Hoover Dike protects much of South Florida

The safety of the Herbert Hoover Dike is vital to the people of the Glades. Those who live around the Big O’s southern shores in South Bay, Belle Glade, Moore Haven and Clewiston know the danger they could be in if the dike failed. The dike also protects the farms of the Everglades Agricultural Area […]

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 […]