One thing is for sure, the South Florida Water Management District puts out a lot of information. One publication I am slowly acquiring the patience to read in the weekly “Environmental Conditions Report.” The District has been great about sharing this important information on Twitter and Facebook, but it is still difficult to find on the website.
Today I am going to share how I read this report hoping that you will start to read it too. You’ll notice that right off the bat there is a disclaimer: “Information contained in the report addresses environmental conditions only and is not the official South Florida Water Management District operations recommendation or decision.”
Disclaimer or not, this document is very important because it is given from the perspective of the entire environment of the Everglades System and of the wildlife if they could talk. The report is 30 pages long and scientific; how can we make it easier for the layperson to read?
For me, as I begin, I ask myself, “What is this week’s problem?” “What should I know first?” To get myself engaged, I have started reading at the bottom of the document first. I go directly the last page where it says “…Recommendations.” Then I read it all.
The first sentence under the February 13, 2020 Water Management Recommendations reads: “Current stages in WCA-3A are low for this time of year and salinities are high in Florida Bay.” Hmmm. I know high salinities are not good for Florida Bay because it can cause a massive sea grass die off, and what is this about WCA-3A? What is a WCA?
WCA means “Water Conservation Area.”
Below is the SFWMD recommendation and a map from the National Academies showing the three Water Conservation Areas. WCAs are protected just like the Everglades and they are part of the Central and South Florida Project of 1948. They have many important functions for people and for wildlife: https://www.sfwmd.gov/sites/default/files/documents/fyi_wca_management.pdf
So now with these “problems” in mind and of course thinking about the importance of my own St Lucie River. (I am so thankful we have not had toxic algae discharges from Lake Okeechobee this year!) I read it all because I want to know about the environment for the entire Everglades as I’m sure you do as well!
Please click here to read. 2-13-10 SFWMD Weekly Environmental Report: wkly_env_conditions_ops_report_2020_02_13
On SFWMD website:The February 13, 2020 Ecological Conditions Report is posted to the portal:https://www.sfwmd.gov/science-data/operational-planning under Operational Reports, lower left-hand side.