Documenting the Discharges, SLR/IRL 2-24-19

*Please note comments become public record.

S-80 looking towards Lake Okeechobee one sees discharges coming through gates, photo Ed Lippisch 2-24-19

These aerial photos were taken yesterday, 2-24-19, by my husband, Ed Lippisch. The first two are of S-80, the structure at St Lucie Locks and Dam that drains water from the surrounding C-44 basin and also allows water to enter the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon from Lake Okeechobee.

On Friday, the ACOE announced it would be working up to 500 cubic feet per second to be discharged from Lake Okeechobee to the St Lucie River for possibly the next three weeks. These photos are meant as a starting point, and Ed and I will continue, weather allowing, to document the discharges. The discharge numbers can be viewed on the ACOE website but they are alway a day behind: http://w3.saj.usace.army.mil/h2o/reports.htm Website: https://www.saj.usace.army.mil

According to Corps’ PR, their theory in doing this is to lower lake stage through structures they control S-80 (SL) east; & S-77; (Cal.) west, by dumping non-algae water now, rather than cyanobacteria laden water during summer later. 
News Release: https://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Media/News-Releases/Article/1764322/corps-takes-action-to-lower-lake-okeechobee-in-advance-of-wet-season/fbclid/IwAR3XE7bPGMw8nscQwlVO7Rf6VowbwG2In1XznVY42rSbfgjgMTsO2F2N5yE/

Structures and canals south of LO 2013 SFWMD map showing canals. The ACOE controls the structures discharging to the estuaries on east and west and the SFWMD controls those going south.

The four gates south of the lake are exclusively controlled by the South Florida Water Management District. The following is provided to check data:https://www.sfwmd.gov/science-data/current-water-conditions?fbclid=IwAR3CSQnkhhAJvXs1qxP-kGg728CLDewcgoDBo81GJf8URtwWURFnq7XjtAA. Here is the full structure and facilities list, it’s a whopper: https://www.sfwmd.gov/sites/default/files/documents/facility_map_overview.pdf

Ed and I plan on taking another flight next week to see how these discharges have visually affected the St Lucie and will do so until they are ended.

S-80 of the C-44 Canal is connected to the South Fork of the St Lucie River, here looking towards Stuart and Atlantic Ocean, note discharges coming through gates. Ed Lippisch 2-24-19
Beaches south of St Lucie Inlet by Peck’s Lake, (being-renourished). This area is also known as the Jupiter Narrows. Photo Ed Lippisch 2-14-19.
View of Sailfish Flats over Hutchinson Island, 2-24-19 Ed Lippisch
St Lucie Inlet where SLR and IRL meet at Atlantic Ocean, 2-24-19 Ed Lippisch
SL Inlet showing Jupiter Island south and Hutchinson Island north, 2-14-19 Ed Lippisch

4 thoughts on “Documenting the Discharges, SLR/IRL 2-24-19

  1. Decades of pesticide—herbicides—copper sulfate and other chemicals are being preserved in the zero oxygen(acidic) muck in the bottom of these canals.Cold water slows down chemical reactions but it allso holds more desolved oxygen. Maby now is the time to active all these chemicals so they are no longer preserved in acid and can break down on there way out to sea?? Putting fine calcium sand(this time of year) would do this without a massive algae bloom

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  2. Congratulations Jacqui! Great choice. If you noted the last Water Report by John Mitnik, the Lake was at 12.7 and rising over the past month. The weather predictions to the end of the wet season. (About May 1) was the Lake would be at about 13.1 ft. That is too high. LORS says 12.5 feet. That is why the USACE is required to release water out the C 43 and C 44. Very little chance for a algae bloom in the Lake until warmer weather sets in. What should be disturbing is….If the May 1 target was 1O.5 feet, the USACE would be required to dump an additional 1 million acre feet out the C 43 and C 44 before May 1, on top of the current 21 days of discharges. Ruining the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee. That is what the USACE Col was warning about at the River Coalition Meeting when he said lowering the LORS 12.5 feet to 10.5 feet would result in more and longer damaging discharges. I suggest we listen carefully to the USACE. They are not prejudiced and stick to their Mission.

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  3. Once again Jacqui you only talk about water leaving Lake O to the east and west. WHY oh WHY don’t you talk about WHERE the water flowed FROM into Lake O???? If you talked about the HUGE amount of water entering Lake O ONLY from the North you would have to admit that the FLOW FROM THE NORTH is the WHOLE PROBLEM!!!!. Please tell the whole story in your blog, I know I want the whole story not half truths.

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