Eutrophic Lake Okeechobee

My husband, Ed Lippisch, flew today from Clewiston to Port Mayaca, 6-10-20, 9:30 am, and this was the view of all southern Lake Okeechobee: giant steaks of cyanobacteria also known as blue-green algae. Unfortunately, pictures such as these have become commonplace and definitely existed years before we realized the frequency or the accompanying scary health issues.

Algae was throughout lake from Clewiston to Port Mayaca. EL

Eutrophication and non-point pollution,” words found in Florida’s scientific literature since the 1970s, have documented and warned of the deteriorating state of Florida’s water quality -due especially to agricultural fertilizer and residential fertilizer runoff. Recently elected Governor Ron DeSantis and the SFWMD have very much addressed this issue and I encourage all governmental agencies to become even more strict regarding such. We must do more. The greatest help of all could continue to come from increasing restrictions and documentation on non-point pollution supported by our state legislature. Programs such as “Be Floridian” and Florida’s Department of Agriculture’s Best Management Practices are noteworthy, but obviously, they are not enough. 

The most important thing for coastal residents along the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon and the Caloosahatchee to know is that the cyanobacteria is there, and fight accordingly. Presently, Lake Okeechobee is at 12.10 NGVD and in spite of recent torrential rains there is no pressure for the ACOE to discharge. If a hurricane such as last year’s Dorian comes to visit, it will be a different story. 

I am sad to see these eutrophic waters, but forever grateful to my husband, Ed, who since 2013, has been our eye in the sky. 


7 thoughts on “Eutrophic Lake Okeechobee

  1. If not for you and Ed, many of us would be unaware of the continuing threat from Lake O.

    I can only hope that the Governor and representatives also see these photos.

    Many thanks to you both.

  2. THANK YOU Jacqui & Ed! Your pictures reinforce the need to lower Lake O. during the winter dry season to minimize the risk of Lake O. discharges to the East & West during the summer wet season.

  3. Devil’s advocate question? I’ve told others in our 200 unit condo about your informative website. One angry fella wants to know if your house has a septic system. He says you live on Sewell’s Point. We had one for 33 years up north on an acre of land with gravel pits all over our area. This fella said he had never seen the river so brown, and I said you said, it was run off from all the rain. I’m assuming the reservoirs are to store run-off? But will that water eventually make it down into the 6? aquifers under FL, and/or the Everglades? You don’t have to answer. We’re just all worried. Thanks for all you do, and please don’t take offense>

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