Seeing Our Nearshore Reefs Clearly- For the Very First Time

After almost two years of no discharges from Lake Okeechobee and minimal rain in the past couple of months, Martin County’s waters are clearer than any time I have documented from 2013. Yesterday’s tail-end flight, 3-25-20, took Ed and I north along the coast from Bridge Road in Hobe Sound, to the St Lucie Inlet in Stuart.

For the first time I can ever remember, Ed and I could CLEARLY see the reefs below a sapphire-turquoise sea. We were amazed. “Can you believe this?” Ed and I repeated again and again during the windy flight. It was crystalline.

These reefs  are the northern extent of the Southeast Florida Reef Tract and have been heavily impacted by repeated Lake Okeechobee discharges and runoff from area canals C-23, C-24, C-44 as the water exits at the St Lucie Inlet and then flows south.

Yesterday’s fly-over was a sight for sore eyes; I am thankful for this time of healing for our ecosystem.


Below: SEWALL’S POINT as we approach Witham Field in Stuart. Sewall’s Point is a peninsula lying between the St Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon. The nearby St Lucie Inlet is the confluence of these two waterbodies that take on the discharges from Lake Okeechobee. Great to have a break!

15 thoughts on “Seeing Our Nearshore Reefs Clearly- For the Very First Time

  1. Words can not express the gratitude I have for your diligent efforts to help return this area to what we all remember. My hope is that the powers that be will take note and continue to legislate and improve for the betterment of our world. A heartfelt thank you.

  2. It is VERY encouraging to see the significant improvement in water quality on the East Coast from stopping the Lake O. discharges to the East. It will take far longer to see a comparable improvement in water quality on the West Coast since the vast majority of Lake O. discharges went West. Hopefully the USACE and our FL Legislature can learn from your & Ed’s observations as well as other observations that we need to stop all the Lake O. discharges to the East and only discharge 700 cfm to the West only during the dry season.

  3. Wow. How beautiful is that water! The photo documentation you and Ed provide is excellent. An irreplaceable form of communication. Thank you! Thank you both. Thanks also for your work on SFWMD Board. What a difference with no Lake O releases. And thanks to Ma Nature for a dry season happening. Hope you and family doing well.

  4. Just for the record—-lagoon is plenty salty and am NOT putting any sand or shell in the water to make it more salty—soon rains will begin and then I will put sand and shell on west shore where it historicly used to be.

  5. Mother Nature is resilient. This planet Will Survive human life. Human life will not survive the planet.

    1. Thank you, yes, I was here then too. Wasn’t it beautiful though beginning its demise. I just meant from 2013 when I started this blog. I so appreciate you and would love to hear more about the 70s.

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