Yesterday, around noon, hours into an outgoing tide, once again, my husband Ed and I flew over the rivers to document the polluted discharges from Lake Okeechobee and the area canals pouring into the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon.
Today I am going to incorporate the “latest” information I have received:
1. The photos from 3-15-15 throughout this blog.
2. The ACOE press release is from 3-12-15:
ACOE Press Release, 3-12-15.
Corps has decided next pulse release will be the same as last week–2,500
cfs west and 950 cfs east averaged over seven days. More information is
Please contact me if you have questions. Thanks for your help.
John H Campbell
Public Affairs Specialist
Jacksonville District, US Army Corps of Engineers
Join our online communities: http://about.me/usacejax/
3. Florida Oceanographic’s water quality chart, 3-12-15.
4. The SFWMD’s “water input” chart, 3-3/3-9-15.)
As you can see above, last week with Lake Okeechobee around 14.7 feet, the Army Crop of Engineers, (ACOE) with the input of the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) and stakeholder from 16 counties: “decided next pulse release will be the same as last week–2,500 cfs west to the Calooshatchee and 950 cfs east to the St Lucie/SIRL averaged over seven days…(If this is confusing, a useful way to convert is to know that every 1,000 cfs is equivalent to 650 million gallons per day!)
Lake O level ACOE: (http://w3.saj.usace.army.mil/h2o/currentLL.shtml)
Today the Lake Okeechobee is reading 14.56 feet. It is going down thankfully and the goal would be 13 feet if the ACOE and SFWMD were allowed to say it….
These releases could not come at a worse time, as we are already inundated by area canals and it is the beginning of spawning season, oyster spating season, and the warm weather drawing the public to area waters, like the Sandbar in the photos below. This year, the ACOE has been dumping since January 16th, very early in the year, foreshadowing another possible toxic summer.
In response to these releases, last Thursday, many of the “River Movement” including the River Warriors, continued their fight for clean water at the SFWMD as hundreds pleaded for US Sugar option lands to be purchase south of Lake Okeechobee in order to, over time, create a reservoir to store, clean and convey water “south” to the water starved Everglades.
The people realize the amounts of water coming into Lake Okeechobee from the Kissimmee River are so tremendous there is no other way to offset the destruction of the estuaries except with a third outlet south of the lake. Activists have been pushing for the this for decades but since the toxic summer of 2013, known as the “Lost Summer” a tipping point has been reached.
The goal is to save the St Lucie/S. Indian River Lagoon, the Caloosahatchee, and the Florida Everglades! Call to action video here: (https://vimeo.com/119495955)