At Our Front Door

My husband Ed took up the Baron today. His aerials are a potent reminder that even though the water has been looking “great” near the Sandbar in the St Lucie River/IndianRiver Lagoon, there is algae literally at “our front door.”

-Structure 308 at Port Mayaca, Lake Okeechobee 6-15-21, 1:18 pm -all photos Ed Lippisch-Just west of S-308 at Port Mayaca, Lake Okeechobee-North of S-308 at Port Mayaca, Lake Okeechobee along Rim Canal-Lake Okeechobee north of Port MayacaSt Luice River/Indian River Lagoon residents have been fortunate that the ACOE, due to the presence of algae, made decisions this 2021 not to discharge as much to the St Lucie. This began on April 19, 2021 when the ACOE S-308 “Sediment Study” was postponed due to high levels of cyanobacteria in the toxic blue-green algae at the S-308 gate. The HAB DEVIATION the ACOE had put in place made this possible.

Looking broadly, my brother Todd’s website EyeOnLakeO shows that although cloudiness has made satellite images difficult, the majority of the algae in Lake Okeechobee is presently on the west side, and the Caloosahatchee, unlike the St Lucie, has to take water to to maintain salinity levels. Thus they have algae in their river system right now.

As I sit here, rain is pouring down. We know dry season is over and rainy season has begun. What is critical is that the ACOE does not open S-308 and S-80 this year as our seagrass beds are just starting to recover after years of Lake O discharges. S-80 is the gatekeeper for the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon. For now, S-80 is closed. In order to keep it closed for 2021 please write the ACOE at:

SFWMD canal and basin map. C-44 canal is the canal most southerly in the image, note S-308 and S-80.

-S-80, St Lucie Locks and Dam now closedI am very pleased that Lake Okeechobee’s level is down to 12.50 feet; however, we know that could change quickly due to hurricane season. We must remain vigilant.

In closing, I want to share one cool thing that happened during Ed’s flight the thad nothing to do with algae. He saw the Goodyear Blimp!

Thank you Ed for continuing to be our “eye in the sky” since 2013! To view the SFWMD’s most recent comprehensive Ecological Report click here. There is a lot more to the system than us! 🙂

-Ed and Jacqui walking the bridge over the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon, 2021. Working for the betterment of the SLR/IRL ’til the end of time! 


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