Today I am sharing Dr Gary Goforth’s most recent update from July 26, 2016,entitled:
“Updated Lake Flows and Loads to the Estuaries”
This information is disturbing. Please take this information and fight for change in whatever way you can. Thank you. Jacqui
Some observations for the period January 1 – July 25, 2016:
· Inflows to Lake Okeechobee are more than twice what they were this time last year
· Approximately 20 times more Lake water has been sent to the estuaries in 2016 than has been sent to the Everglades; unbelievable…
· Only 20% of Lake releases have been sent south this year, including irrigation for the EAA and other users; only 5% of Lake releases have made it to the Everglades through the STAs this year
· Lake releases to the Caloosahatchee (1.1 million acre feet or about 360 billion gallons) have been about twice the Lake flows to the St. Lucie (0.5 million acre feet, or about 167 billion gallons)
· The duration of the 2016 Lake event for the St. Lucie (178 days) has now exceeded the durations of both the 2013 and 1997-1998 events. Fortunately the Lake discharges in 2016 has been about half the flow that occurred during the 1997-1998 event.
· Lake releases to the St. Lucie have carried more than 8 times the phosphorus TMDL for the entire C-44 Canal, and more than 9 times the nitrogen TMDL … yet FDEP refuses to include the Lake loadings when they assess the C-44 Basin for compliance with the TMDL – unbelievable …
· An estimated 37 million pounds of suspended sediment has been dumped from the Lake to the St. Lucie River and Estuary; much of this accumulates on the bottom as muck.
o Because of the filtration effect of the marsh along the western shore of the Lake, the sediment load to the Caloosahatchee Estuary has fortunately been less – about 20 million pounds.
· More than 220,000 pounds of phosphorus and 2.2 million pounds of nitrogen from the Lake has been dumped to the St Lucie Estuary
o Phosphorus loads from agricultural lands in the watershed have amounted to about 390,000 pounds – 75% MORE THAN FROM THE LAKE
o Nitrogen loads from agricultural lands in the watershed have amounted to about 1.5 million pounds
o Septic tank loading of nitrogen from Martin and St. Lucie counties is roughly 5% of the total nitrogen loading to the St Lucie
· More than 340,000 pounds of phosphorus and 4.8 million pounds of nitrogen from the Lake has been dumped to the Caloosahatchee Estuary.
All brought to you by our leaders in Tallahassee and Washington …
Dr Gary Goforth
More sobering details available on my website:http://www.garygoforth.net/Other%20projects.htm
Year to date flows and loads:
2016 Lake event SLR:
2016 Lake event CE: