Riding the UF Water Study -Buy the Land! Send it South! Fix it All! SLR/IRL

Me sitting atop a gator statue while visiting Miccosoukee Tribe of Indians, Florida. (Photo Ed Lippisch, 2014.)
Me “for a ride” atop a gator statue while visiting the Miccosoukee Tribe of Indians, Florida. (Photo Ed Lippisch, 2014.)
Cover of UF LakeO Study, 2015.
Cover of UF LakeO Study, 2015.

Kudos to the University of Florida! “Go Gators!”

UF/Senate Water Study 2015
UF/Senate Water Study 2015

Under tremendous political pressure, and intense time limitations, the Water Institute of the University of Florida (http://waterinstitute.ufl.eduhas created a professional, “arm’s-length” document, reporting on “Options to Reduce High Volume Freshwater Flows to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Estuaries and Move More Water from Lake Okeechobee to the Southern Everglades.”

(http://www.flsenate.gov/UserContent/Topics/WLC/UF-WaterInstituteFinalReportMarch2015.pdf)

Kudos to Senator Joe Negron and the Senate Committee who put forth the $250,000 for this study after the “Lost Summer” of 2013!  Write him, thank him and ask him to support the EAA option land purchase! (http://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/s32)

Kudos to the people who demanded something be done to save the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon that suffers from terrible “local runoff” and then is periodically murdered by the tremendous releases from Lake Okeechobee that are a tipping point, causing the river to go into a toxic state as we saw in 1998, 2004-5, and most recently in 2013!

The UF Water Institute’s report came out yesterday. The study clearly states, as pointed out to me by Dr Gary Goforth, (http://garygoforth.netwho is reviewing the document:

” Achieving substantial reduction in lake-triggered discharges to the
estuaries and substantial improvement toward the dry season Everglades
demand target will require additional land between the lake and the EAA,
e.g., the current U.S. Sugar land purchase option, lands from other willing
sellers, and/or use of existing state-owned land (e.g., Holey Land and
Rotenberger Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs)).”

Friend, environmental icon, and 20 year county commissioner, Maggy Hurchalla, pointed out this section as we tried to review the 143 page document in quick time:

p102: “Currently, the state of Florida has an option to purchase approximately 46,000 acres in the EAA(Figure V-8). The option is set to expire in October 2015. Thus, the state has a limited window of opportunity to purchase this land at market prices. Given the limited opportunity and the uncertainty of any future similar opportunities to purchase large acreages of lands in the EAA,the state should consider this time-limited option. The particular 46,000 acres at issue may be useful for additional storage and treatment or may serve as lands that the state could trade with other agricultural interests in the area if land in different locations are needed.”

Alligator resting but always alert....(Public photo.)
Alligator sunning himself and resting, but always alert….(Public photo.)
Waters from Lake Okeechobee are the tipping point of destruction  for our SLR/IRL. (St Lucie Lock and Dam, Photo JTL 2013)
Waters from Lake Okeechobee are the tipping point of destruction for our SLR/IRL. (St Lucie Lock and Dam, Photo JTL 2013)

Eco Voice, an electronic newsletter that allows everyone’s views to be heard chose this section to share this morning: (http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?ca=694ba105-f777-4392-a051-d84242c1dfb3&c=443d07a0-510a-11e3-aa9c-d4ae52724810&ch=45081fd0-510a-11e3-aaf1-d4ae52724810)

…. the Technical Review Team concludes that relief to the estuaries and the ability to move more water south of Lake Okeechobee can be accomplished using existing technology. The solution is enormous increases in storage and treatment of water both north and south of the lake. Existing and currently authorized storage and treatment projects are insufficient to achieve these goals. The path forward requires significant long-term investment in the infrastructure of the South Florida hydrologic system. Options to Reduce High Volume Freshwater Flows to the Estuaries and Move More Water South from Lake Okeechobee to the Southern Everglades To reduce damage to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries freshwater inflow and nutrient loads from both Lake Okeechobee and the local basins must be reduced. On average, 70-80% of the freshwater discharge and 65-80% of the nutrient load to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries originates in the local basins, with the remaining balance contributed from Lake Okeechobee. Previous CERP, NEEPP and ROG planning exercises have all identified that providing large volumes of regional storage is essential to reduce freshwater discharges to the estuaries. The most recent estimates of required storage include:  400,000 acre-feet of water storage within the Caloosahatchee River watershed,  200,000 acre-feet of water storage within the St. Lucie River watershed, and  approximately 1,000,000 acre-ft of water storage distributed north and south of Lake Okeechobee. …..

Drainage changes to the SLR.
Drainage changes to the SLR. Green is historic natural basin and yellow and pink shows what has been added since the building of area canals and connection to Lake Okeechobee. (Citizen’s Report to Congress 1995.)

Many opinions will evolve out of this UF document. Fingers will be pointed….

Nonetheless, if  we are adaptable, determined, and consistent, like a gator in the swamp, we will be able to “ride” this UF study to achieve the purchase of option lands in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA).

We must also “ride” the UF report for funding projects to clean up and divert area runoff from area canals C-23, C-24, C-25, and C-44 that are also an ongoing man-made pollution disaster to the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon. Together, Lake O and our area canals are killing our rivers and  Lake O is always the “tipping point…”

Option Lands Map SFWMD River of Grass, Option 1 is 46,800 acres and shown in brown. (SFWMD map, 2010)
Option Lands Map SFWMD River of Grass, Option 1 is 46,800 acres and shown in brown. (SFWMD map, 2010.)

Keep your eye on the prize, don’t take “no” for an answer…

Buy the Land! Send it South! Fix it All! 

Alligator eye, public photo.
Alligator eye, public photo.

 

____________________________________________________

The UF Water Institute report on options for moving water south is now available:
(http://www.flsenate.gov/UserContent/Topics/WLC/UF-WaterInstituteFinalReportMarch2015.pdf)

Options to Reduce High Volume Freshwater Flows to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Estuaries and Move More Water from Lake Okeechobee to the Southern Everglades

An Independent Technical Review by the University of Florida Water Institute

Go Gators! Thank you to Dr Wendy Graham and the scientists of the UF Water Study, 2015.
Go Gators! Thank you to Dr Wendy Graham and the scientists of the UF Water Study, 2015.

____________________

*This Everglades Trust website allows you to find and contact your elected officials and write them about purchasing option lands in the EAA and saving the everglades; see here for information: (http://www.evergladestrust.org)

12 thoughts on “Riding the UF Water Study -Buy the Land! Send it South! Fix it All! SLR/IRL

  1. We need storage North and South to solve all of our water issues in this State. BUY THE LAND wherever we can. Save our Everglades and our drinking water. I had company just this week from California. Over 6 inches of rain fell on us. They were wishing they could take home just one inch of that rain. Sadly.. We are in danger of running out of drinking water too. Let’s stop wasting our fresh water out to sea.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yesterday I put buckets of beach sand in the current and like allways the next day thousand of birds after all the menhaden feeding on the algie that grows on the sand. Last weekend I checked and sea grass is coming back where I put shells last year. I managed to stop the fish kill from the high temp–low oxygen water last summer so there should be a good shrimp run this year. The reason they are fighting in Ukraine is they don’t waunt to be slaves of an oppressive government. Ukraine is broke. America is worse than broke.We are 18 trillion in dept. STOP throwing money at the problem and fix the lagoon.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you Facebook friends!Like · · Stop Notifications · Share · Edit · 11 hrs · Edited
    Chris Teegardin, Jodi Bunt, Mary Lou Bovie and 66 others like this.
    2 shares

    Christin Erazo Great picture of you!
    11 hours ago · Unlike · 3

    Linda McLendon Love the photo, Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch
    11 hours ago · Unlike · 2

    Fred Mars Aho Mitakuye Oyasin!
    10 hours ago · Unlike · 1

    Diane Babula Yikes! But a beautiful pic
    9 hours ago · Unlike · 1

    Janice Norman Great pic
    7 hours ago · Unlike · 1

    Kenny Hinkle Jr Awesome dress Jacqui
    7 hours ago · Unlike · 3

    Polly Schneider Beautiful!
    6 hours ago · Unlike · 1

    Larry Hasek Pretty
    6 hours ago · Unlike · 1

    Tcpalm Ekiller this photo….
    5 hours ago · Unlike · 1

    Barbara Osborn Now THAT’S a cover for “Stuart” Magazine.
    4 hours ago · Unlike · 1

    Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch thank u all! Tcpalm Ekiller I will not ask for you to finish that sentence!!!! It is funny. Like an old pose from the 40s or something! the gator is so life like… That is my favorite part.
    4 hours ago · Like · 4

    Harvey Eubank Great picture we love your dress!
    3 hours ago · Unlike · 1

    Michelle Roberts Beautiful. Let’s get this land bought Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch, let’s make history and show the state, country and the world the power of Solidarity! < We all must do our part now to make it happen.
    3 hours ago · Unlike · 2

    Christopher Lynch I just used the snow blower to get the 1.5' of snow off of my elevated deck for the third time this year. Ice and snow everywhere and it's snowing again. I'm done.
    3 hours ago · Unlike · 1
    Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch

    Write a comment…

    Like

  4. The Marine Resource Council is having a big event at the Ted Moorehead Lagoon House this week end. I will take my photo album and quietly tell individuals what has happened to our lagoon.I talked to Lisa Desotto (boss) for just a second about looking for lost crab traps and she said they used to do that a long time ago then they had to document where they found them. It sounded like the state made them their tool to find and give back crab traps so they said to hell with that. The front page of our Florida Today paper reads Brevard doubles lagoon spending. They can spend all the money in the world but unless they know the history of what happened they will not fix anything.

    Like

  5. Menhadden minnows like fresh water runoffs. Most of our major runoff here are teaming with these minnows. When I put sand in it immediately dissolves and rolls across the bottom turning the muck into fish food.

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