River Warrior Times 6-1-21
Since I last wrote #2, the St Lucie River has NOT been bombed and is in pretty good shape as the ACOE is not discharging from Lake Okeechobee thought the St Lucie Locks and Dam, S-80 structure. Algae is coming in through S-308 at Port Mayaca as this water is being used for agricultural water supply, but for now, it is relegated to the edges of the C-44 canal. Cities in Palm Beach County near the Lake Worth Lagoon have not been so fortunate as a cyanobacteria was found in their water supply right at the start of the Memorial Day weekend; and the Caloosahatchee on the west coast, which has been taking Lake Okeechobee discharges while the St Lucie has not, has pockets of blue green algae reported.
Things may start heating up even more for all waterbodies as June is the month one “normally” finds cyanobacteria in Lake Okeechobee. May, this 2021, was very early to have such a large bloom. Please see my brother, Todd’s, website EYEONLAKEO for updates on both the St Lucie and now also the Calooshatchee daily discharge numbers ~and much much more!
In case you did not view in the paper, a very remarkable letter to coastal residents was written by Colonel Jason E. Kelly, Commander, South Atlantic Division, ACOE. Never before have I seen a two page letter written by the ACOE regarding the estuaries and operation of Lake Okeechobee! This letter is really worth the read. Obviously, the Corp is listening.
Photos of St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon-
St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon. Boaters enjoy at sandbar Memorial Day weekend, 5-30-21. The water from the lake and C-44 is not getting to the river as S-80 is closed. All photos Ed Lippisch
West Palm Beach, Palm Beach and South Palm Beach. The best article to explain this situation was written by reporter Kimberly Miller in Sunday’s Palm Beach Post. The situation is complicated in that these cities receive their drinking water via surface waters. Sometime used is water brought in through Lake Okeechobee. In late April blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) was found in the canals leading into this area from Lake Okeechobee and immediately this input was shut down. The cyanobacteria found in Clear Lake is not microcystin we are so used to talking about, but another, cylindrospermopsin. Nonetheless, this cyanobacteria was documented in Lake Okeechobee in 2001 by the state algae task force. I think this situation will be a serious game changer for the state of Florida and it’s failure to address significant and meaningful water quality regulations.
Algae in Calooshahatchee River
For me, the best way to follow the day to day water situations on the Calooshahatchee is to follow John Cassini, Calusa Waterkeeper. He has the support of pilots and drones to share visuals of the area. One of the main areas where cyanobacteria has collected is at S-79 structure and the SFWMD is using “innovative technology” to try to clean up the area.
S-79 algae bloom, Caloosahaatchee River, credit SFWMD
The River Warrior times is meant to be a summary of top issues.
Previous Summaries 2021: