Beautiful Christmas Season Above the St Lucie

-Ed in his favorite Bullsugar shirt and FOS Chair, Mr Bob Mathias smile for a selfie pre-flightWell the weather has been fabulous! Ed and I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

To document the end of the 2021, Ed and the Chair of Florida Oceanographic Society’s Board of Directors, Mr Bob Mathias, flew over the region on December 23 at 2:00 pm with Ed giving his best history lesson of the Central and South Florida Project that so negatively affects the health of our St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon.

Most recently, since 2019, there have been some, but no major discharges from Lake Okeechobee as in 2013, 2016 and 2018. However, intermitent heavy rains have overwhelmed the estuary through C-23, C-24, C-44 and area stormwater runoff. We must remember that originally, prior to drainage the St Lucie received filtered water and less than half the amount being dumped into it today.

Above: drainage changes to the SLR. Green is the original watershed. Yellow and pink have been added since ca.1920. (St Lucie River Initiative’s Report to Congress 1994.)

As you know, because of recent record state and federal funding and Governor DeSantis, massive efforts are finally underway by the ACOE and SFMWD to improve the situation for the entire Everglades region, and the C-44 Reservoir came on-line in Martin County as the first major completed CERP Project  this year. More good news is that the C-23, C-24 Reservoirs are in design by the ACOE, and the C-25 land purchase became complete by the South Florida Water Management District just two weeks ago!

With lots of work to do, we are heading in the right direction and must continue to do more, more, more to get water quality right and seagrass lushly growing again for Florida’s iconic manatees that are not having a happy holiday season.

Good new year’s resolutions we can achieve right in our own backyards to help are to give up fertilizer and plant native and Florida Friendly, and to keep pushing politicians on all levels to “work for water.”

The recent “Riverlution,” 2013, due to the LOST SUMMER,  started  right here in Matin County and it has spread to the entire state! WE MUST KEEP THE WAVE GOING!

~Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays as we all continue to work for clean waters!

~Jacqui & Ed

St Lucie Inlet: St Lucie Inlet State Park, Sailfish Point, Hutchinson Island, Sewall’s Point, Stuart, Rio, Jensen and Port St Lucie in the distance. This area is the St Lucie/Indian River Lagoon confluence. The inlet was dug by pioneers in 1892.

SFWMD basin map for SLR showing S-308 and S-80 along with other structures.

-Various views -Stuart and Rocky Point looking towards St Lucie Inlet and Atlantic Ocean  -Looking up the Indian River Lagoon that is 156 miles long -the St Lucie is east of the peninsula of Sewall’s Point.

-Lake Okeechobee’s Port Mayaca S-308 and C-44 Canal 

4 thoughts on “Beautiful Christmas Season Above the St Lucie

  1. Jacqui, and great holiday cheer to you too, and thanks for your thoughts and optimism. …But relative to your post, you place a lot of faith in “engineering as usual as the solution,” at the District. …Engineer and more engineering, channelize, dam it up, pump the flow, and pump some more, game that flow, store some more, send more flow east and west, throw in some sugar = dead estuaries and Everglades, etc. Hasn’t worked yet it seems, so why should it now when year after year the water only transforms to a brighter shade of unnatural fluorescent green. Consider a more natural approach, of this century versus the last. We should not be reclaiming land for developers anymore. Just speaking to the apparently not so obvious. Well, in sports for instance, when one has run as far as one can run with an outdated idea (Disston-type channelizing and damming of our Everglades), one passes it off to the next runner with an evolved approach (Nature and sustainability…) and steam (Next generation’s energy), to build upon the previous runner’s successes. We should meet and talk sustainable approaches and clear water, or at least, someone should at some point.
    Peace in the Everglades, Big Cypress and the essential Estuaries,

    1. Dear Forrest, I would like to talk to you about your ideas. I am with you; I just don’t know if we can turn back. There should be more natural restoration or return. The Natural Lands program assist with this like Allapattah Flats in Martin County. Let’s talk and I will share. Thank you for writing.

  2. Merry Christmas Jacqui & Ed. We have not formally met but I know Ed as a pilot & boating captain documenting our South Florida waters. I know you through your excellent work on the SFWMD Governing Board and your blog. I even know your historian mom through your blog.

    I am grateful to you & Ed for helping to shine a bright light on water quality in South Florida. Thank you!

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