We Must Create an Image For a Better Water Future! St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon


"Earth From Space" Lake Okeechobee, agriculture, cities and the Florida Everglades. (2014)
Florida from Lake Okeechobee to part of Everglades National Park–Courtesy of ESA, Copernicus data 2014. (Photo brought to my attention by Mr Ted Guy.)
ACOE press release 4-29-15 as shown from an image taken on my iPhone.
ACOE press release 4-29-15 as shown from an image taken on my iPhone.

Images help us to “see.”

Images help us understand where we are going, were we are, and where we have been. Here along the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon, the present “image” is not an easy one, as everything is “toxic green.”

The Army Corp of Engineers’ recent press release informs that the agency will begin releasing  water from Lake Okeechobee into the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon on Monday, May 4th, 2015. This water is known to contain toxic algae. Some of this toxic algae has tested at high levels as shown by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s report as shared with Martin County government on 4-29-15:


(Excerpt) Bloom Update Notification DEP

Auto Generated Bloom Contact ID: 292

Descriptive Bloom ID: SFWMD_24April2015_L.Okeechobee

Name of Water Body: Lake Okeechobee

Date Received: 04/24/2015



Toxin potential *
The dominant taxon was:
Microcystis aeruginosa
Class Cyanophyceae

*Toxin analysis showed 8.4 µg of microcystin-LR per liter in the sample.


According to the press release fom the ACOE, they have consulted with scientists from the South Florida Water Management District,  Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection, as well  as the United States Geological Survey. The thinking is that the lake is too high and it may be a better idea to release the toxic algae into the brackish waters of the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon where it may “break up,” rather than allowing it to fester and possibly grow even larger in the fresh, warm, stagnant waters of Lake Okeechobee.

Maybe the bloom will disperse. This is not the point. The point for me, as a small town elected official, is that the “higher” governments, now apparently both state and federal, have knowingly and publicly agreed to pour toxic algae into our community.

Yes, the ACOE and SFWMD and others may have done this in the past, but “nobody knew.”


The remainder of this blog is a plea to the agencies:

Toxic algae—

Now we know. We saw it. A video was created by citizens and shared with hundreds, maybe thousands. Senator Negron was even alarmed so he called, and  you agreed not to open the gates.  Toxic algae is a health hazard. You tested it just to verify it was toxic. It tested positive. Now, one week later, you are going to “knowingly” and publicly release it?

I know what you are thinking—

I sympathize….possible flooding south of the lake;  it can’t happen. Flood control; it’s your first priority— I get it.

You are in a bad position having to choose between  “possible flooding” or “releasing toxic algae into a community.  What can you do?



Share your concerns with Governor Rick Scott, President Barack Obama, members of Congress and the Florida legislature. Get on the phone and call them. Reach out.

I will search for remedies too. The public will as well. What is ironic is that this forced cup of poison we all must drink is binding us together as never before. We are bound in time and place.  We must fulfill  our destiny and create an image for a better water future.

The present models, the present images, are not working.

!956 War Map of Florida's Everglades, Courtesy of Sandra Henderson Thurlow.
1856 War Map of Florida’s Everglades, Courtesy of Sandra Henderson Thurlow.
Satellite map of Florida, public image ca 2005.
Satellite map of Florida, public image ca 1993.

Link attached to lead image in this blog was shared with me by attorney and River Coalition Defense Fund member, Ted Guy: (http://www.scientificcomputing.com/news/2015/04/florida-lake-okeechobee-part-everglades-national-park)


9 thoughts on “We Must Create an Image For a Better Water Future! St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

  1. Jacqui… You are absolutely correct…. Force this up the chain of command. There is a reason the ACOE is waiting…. They are giving us time to act. Legislature closes today. Get on the news and make your point known.

  2. It’s good to project an “image” of progress and responsibility against the river pollution, but only if that image is true, which it’s obviously not.

  3. If they were to buy all the land at 7K an acre some people would make out like a bandit on one of the biggest real estate deals in Florida history but after a few dry summers when everone is pumping water like crazy to water their lawn and they suck salt water into the resivor on a massive scale they will then discover maby buying the land was not a good idea.

  4. Brent. The good lord or mother nature or the big bang created the earth and all of us. The Everglades was created as a wondrous system. Man went against all this and screwed up the plumbing. It’s up to us to fix it. To put things back the way it was.

  5. The lagoon has much more salt water comeing in from the man made inlets .In order to keep a healthy balance I believe there needs to more fresh water coming in. The problem is what they did to the pond apple is exactly what they did to the lagoon. They took ALL the calcium to make cement and roads and left NOTHING. When the acid water comes in contact with the ocean you no langer have clean blue water but have a cloudy mess .A canal going south would give some control of dirty water coming your way but would do nothing to clean the water. I have been looking at a map of lake O and it looks like if they removed all the invaseive plants from the shore around the mouth of the water coming into the Saint Lucie canal .Then lined the shore on either side with calcium shells for about a mile then planted native florida plants that this would raise the ph and the nutriants released would give the native florida plants an edge.

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