We’re “Up the Creek” if We Believe the Myth of Local Basin Runoff, SLR/IRL

S-153 drains this area
S-153 drains this area.
S-53 drains into the C-44 canal and then the St Lucie River
S-153 drains into the C-44 canal and then the St Lucie River
SFWMD canal and basin map. C-44 canal is the canal most southerly in the image.
SFWMD canal and basin map. C-44 canal is the canal most southerly in the image. See S-153 northeast of the C-44 “basin” area.

Water, water everywhere….

The ACOE and South Florida Water Management District are scrambling….they will have to start dumping from the lake and the local basin runoff is exceeding targets ….But is all the runoff into the C-44 really from a local basin? No it’s not.

Let’s drill down a bit.

The ACOE’s recent press release reads:


Corps to increase flows from Lake Okeechobee

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District intends to release
more water from Lake Okeechobee starting this weekend as it continues to
manage the lake level in the midst of El Nino conditions.

Starting Friday (Jan. 29), the new target flow for the Caloosahatchee
Estuary will average 2,800 cubic feet per second (cfs) over seven days as
measured at W.P. Franklin Lock (S-79) near Fort Myers. The new target flow
for the St. Lucie Estuary is a seven-day average of 1,170 cfs as measured at
St. Lucie Lock (S-80) near Stuart. However, runoff from rain in the
Caloosahatchee or the St. Lucie basins could occasionally result in flows
that exceed targets as the water passes through the spillway gates at the
Franklin or St. Lucie structures…”

What we have to remember is that the “basin,” the lands that water runs off of into the St Lucie River has been altered by agriculture and development ….so to call “all the water” going into the St Lucie its own basin water is really misleading and not respectful of history….

Let’s look at S-153 for instance, a spillway that is presently dumping approximately 1.2 billion gallons into the C-44 which then goes into the St Lucie River. If man had not altered this area, much of this water would naturally be flowing back into the lake…so again we really should not refer to it as “basin runoff” that belongs to the St Lucie River. Today large portions of this area are agriculture fields and an FPL energy plant so the run off water of this area has been redirected from the lake to us.

S-153 drains this area
S-308 drain LO; S-153 drain area around FPL plant.


Let’s reflect for a moment on this information from my brother Todd:


According to my C-44 page the gates at the locks are up 2ft and dumping 4451cfs which equals 2.8 billion gallons per day.


http://w3.saj.usace.army.mil/h2o/cam/s80.htm (live picture)

Nothing is coming from the lake so they will say that this is all local runoff because S-308 at Port Mayaca is at 0? That S-153 spillway is dumping 1.2 billion into C-44. It seems to pull water west of Indiantown that would have otherwise gone into the lake not to the St. Lucie?

See also http://w3.saj.usace.army.mil/h2o/reports/StatusDaily_files/slide0178.htm These are all linked on my firm page.”

Todd of course is right. And 1.2 billion gallons of extra fertilized, dirty water is worth noting. Don’t you think? The least they could do is filter it!

Todd and I will look into this further with historic maps of the old creek and ridge system prior to development and how the water historically flowed prior to S-153 flows, etc—– but for now, let’s not entirely be sold “up the creek,” by believing the all this water is “local” basin runoff.

Because it’s not. 🙂

Drainage changes to the SLR. Green is the original watershed. Yellow and pink have been added since ca.1920. (St Lucie River Initiative's Report to Congress 1994.)
Other basin changes are also bringing excess water into the river right now. This map shows general drainage changes to the SLR. Green is the original watershed. Yellow and pink have been added since ca.1920. (St Lucie River Initiative’s Report to Congress 1994.)

Former blog The Myth of Local Runoff: http://jacquithurlowlippisch.com/2015/09/25/the-myth-of-local-runoff-st-lucie-riverirl-rain-event-9-16-15/

12 thoughts on “We’re “Up the Creek” if We Believe the Myth of Local Basin Runoff, SLR/IRL

  1. Unfortunately, the dike protectors won’t let us say that 90% of the problem is the mud, muck, fresh water, and agricultural runoff which makes the lake a point source of pollution and the St. Lucie Canal a direct conduit on the concentrated pollution into our estuary. Not the septic tanks and not the local developments. The whole country is tired of the government lying to us and producing studies to support the lies. I don’t know why we can’t do something about that government. The coast and agriculture can co-exist, but we have to tell the truth and do something about it. Mac Stuckey

  2. I heard on the news radio that the person talking said he had heard all the details of the Flint Michigan lead poisoning case and is convinced that if it were not for people outside the system the children of Flint would still be drinking water contaminated with lead, 2 weeks ago they had a meeting of leading scientist and government workers, I was hopeing to sit in on it so I might find out where mercury levels are highest in the lagoon—-bags of aluminum foil should easily remove it, I was told this is NOT a PUBLIC meeting and if I stayed I would be removed, There was more than 100 exspensive cars outside and everyone(I am sure) in there is being paid with PUBLIC tax dollars,—love your blogs Jaqui

  3. Jaqui— I am worried about pelicans here— bottom is churned up big time from wind and they are sifting water for tiny menhaden minnows, With springtime not far away I am afraid they might be sifting out parisites that could kill them in spring, Right now there are thousands and thousands of these birds here,

    1. Dear Brent, Thank you for this email. I am worried too. The brown tide is back in the northern lagoon like in 2012-2013 when the huge sea grass die off came and the mortality events of pelicans, dolphins and manatees. I wish the pelicans would fly to another place. I wonder if they are site specific like dolphins who will remain “home” no matter the condition of their surroundings. DO you have a contact at Florida Audubon up there or could you just call them? Thank you for sharing this information. We are bound by this river and how much we care for it and its creatures.

  4. A few months ago I rode my boat 5 miles and it was solid finger mullet all the way. After I put calcium sand in mullet are eating muck, You can see it come out of them if you give them a squeeze, Mullet are not going anywhere with all this food, For miles you can see pelicans diveing on them, All this does not worry me—because when they dive on mullet their head comes quickly out of water, but now menhaden minnows are hatching out and given the right combonation of bottom stired up and pelicans head coming slowly out of water while sifting for very small minnows could be a deadly combonation., I think manitees will be OK because there is already shoal grass where it has never been before—if mullet don’t eat it,Construction on bridge also put tons of calcium in water, IF THERE IS A PROBLEM it would be easy to fix it now by feeding pelicans mullet with a clorine tablet—BUT IF YOU WAIT TOO LONG and pelicans get sick they will go off and die,

  5. Every time I get in the lagoon water every single cut or little scratch will later burn from infection. No algie does that, I think what people are calling brown algie is raw sewage .

  6. Last week at our Turkey Creek spillway state workers put a yellow boom across to stop vegetation from going over the spillway. A special track hoe with the ability to reach way out scooped out dumptruck loads of vegitation out of the water.This morning there was a dead manitee at castaway park (the mouth of turkey creek) he was upside down and was very skinny . This vegetation that goes over the spillways is vital to the survival of manitees in the spring, They have fasted all winter and it is months before sea grass will grow, It does not take a rocket scientist to understand that this time of year they should be pushing vegetation over the spillways instead of blocking it off and removeing it,

  7. If there were ever a creature that could keep some of the agressive envasive plant species under control I would have to say the manitee could do it, I hope one day he will be the important tool to keep floridas waterways unclogged with vegetation, This can never happen if ignorant people are allowed to kill them off—-even unintenally

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