Yesterday, Friday, March 5, 2021, around 3:30pm, my husband Ed and I, took a flight over St Luice River/Indian River Lagoon. We knew we needed to document because word on the street had been that there was a good chance, with Lake Okeechobee over 15.00 feet, and rainy season approaching, the SFWMD and ACOE would soon be recommending a special HAB DEVIATION-discharging to the estuaries. Since 1948, the two agencies have worked together to manage the Central and South Florida System.
In any case, when Ed and I heard the announcement 4:48pm, less than an hour after arriving home from our flight, -that the ACOE would open S-80 at St Lucie Locks and Dam from Lake Okeechobee- “tomorrow, March 6th,” we were speechless.
“Wow. Thank God we got up in the plane,” I said to Ed.
Today, I offer our St Luice/Indian River aerials as a visual day-before-discharges baseline. Of course I am terribly disappointed. Ed keeps telling me I need to cheer up. I doubt that I will, but I can say that I am grateful that now water will also start going south, and that natural resources are being taken into consideration by the agencies. Unfortunately, there are not so many natural resources left.
~As we have since 2013, Ed and I will continue to document the discharges.
Please read the ACOE March 5, 2021 announcement to begin Lake O discharges to the estuaries.
For the technical, please read the SFWMD Operation Position Statement March 4, 2021: Ops_Position_Statement__Mar_02_08_2021
25 thoughts on “Day Before the Discharges, March 5, 2021”
Oh no! We were out at Bird Island and Boy Scout Island a few days ago and the water was SO BEAUTIFUL. We could see right down deep into the clean, clear water. We saw a tarpon, a pair of spotted eagle rays, lots of mullet, a couple of dolphins, and even a small barracuda. We felt so lucky to live here.
Amy it is so wonderful to hear you saw all this wildlife and I will add this information to my documentation list for the agencies. I know it is so hard to hear and think of what may be coming. Please keep telling me what you see. The spotted eagle rays are especially sentimental as two jumped out of the water the day Ed proposed to me. All the best. Keep fighting for clean water and thank you.
Wonderful about the eagle rays and Ed’s proposal! I have seen them a few times between the bridge and Bird Island, east of Sewall’s Point, cruising over the sandy shallows. Beautiful creatures. Photos from that day, mostly birds but you can see the leaping mullet and the shadows of eagle rays in the water: https://amybirds.com/2021/03/04/wood-stork-nesting-season-begins-at-bird-island/
So sad. I’m so glad you and Ed were able to document this, These placeholders are important. Thank you for your contribution!
You are wonderful Janet. Thank you for the encouragement. Miss you!!
Thanks so much, Jacqui (and Ed!) I’m so grateful you are keeping an eye on what’s happening. My heart sank when I heard they were going to start the discharges.
Thank you for these words Tara. My heart sank as well. This is something one never can accept.
Thank you. Have you observed any increase in sea grass anywhere this season, prior to the release of water?
No increases. This is a real concern. Nevertheless the cool weather may be part of that so hopefully we will see increases soon. The issue is that now the ACOE is discharging from Lake O. We will see.
Thanks Jacqui and Ed. Your efforts and passion is appreciated and helpful. So begins another strike of destruction to our rivers. Where is the political will to stop these discharges?
It is edging it’s head! Never give up! Thank you Mike.
Thank you for the beautiful pictures! Last week I was on a dock in North River Shores and could clearly see the river bottom. Thank you for
your efforts and flying with Ed to document the river. 😘
Jacqui, This was from Deb Duvall, not sure why it said Anonymous. And it won’t let me edit it, so I thought I’d try to reply. Deb
Thank you Debbie. I felt like that last batch of photos were some of the pretties ever. Martin County, this area between/around the rivers is so incredibly photogenic. A Picture Perfect place to live.
How did the lake get so high? We have had a very dry winter! Yesterday , The 6 th of March was the first day in a very long time that we had light rain all day.where I live in Cedar Pointe we have plants literally dying for lack of rain this winter .
Hi Pam. I know my yard is dry right now too. The issue was the 40 percent reported higher rains this water year. Last March, and then in September twice, a deluge. Especially Broward, Maimi/Dade and Martin. I’ll keep trying to share. It is such a large system. Good to hear from you. I am so disappointed we are getting discharges again.
Such disheartening news Completion of the Everglades reservoir can’t come soon enough – not ‘til 2023? And will it be enough to keep the Saint Lucie River from being Lake O’s drainpipe?
Big thanks to you, Jackie, and to Ed, for documenting water conditions. I’m learning so much from following your posts!
Thank you. 2028 for the reservoir and 2023 for the storm water treatment area. never soon enough…
Thank you; I too feel great sadness, especially after reading that Néstle will be allowed to pump even more gallons of FL’s Spring water to put into plastic bottles covered in plastic shrinkwrap. Kimberly Miller told in the Palm Beach Post last week about a proposed wall?
that would redirect water south to FL Bay instead of into the Las Palmas subdivision. I don’t know if that is under your water district’s purview or not.
The wall is under both SFWMD & ACOE. The Corp is accepting comments on the wall now. I will look for that link.
What would we do without you and ED. Your desire and ability to pictorially document the IRL and St Lucie river allows us all to see the “forest despite the trees “. I, for one, will be forever grateful.
Thank you so much.