True Beauty, SLR/IRL

-L to R: The peninsula of Sewall’s Point lies between the SLR/IRL. The Sailfish Flats and Sandbar seagrass meadows lie between Sewall’s Point and Hutchinson Island. Witham Field, Stuart, can be seen west. The Atlantic Ocean is east. St Lucie Inlet State Park is located south on Jupiter Island. The St Lucie Inlet is cut between Hutchinson and Jupiter Islands. Today’s photos highlight the area’s returning seagrass meadows after their disappearance primarily because of years of damaging cyanobacteria laden Lake Okeechobee discharges, especially in 2013, 2016, & 2018. Photo Ed Lippisch, 8/26/22.When Ed came home from flying the RV on Friday, August 26, 2022, he said, “I think the aerials look good, you can really see the seagrasses.” I looked at him kind of funny. He never says anything like that. Looking on my phone, I could tell the photos were revealing, but it wasn’t until I viewed them full screen on my computer that I saw their true beauty. Ed’s photos reveal clear water, clear air, defined nearshore reefs, and lush seagrass/micro-algae meadows.

It is exciting to see and am I so glad Ed captured it! In the coming days and weeks tropical weather may be pushing our way. “Thank you Ed, for capturing the river before the height of hurricane season, before possibly more rains and more runoff.”

These just might be the most beautiful recent photos ever taken of the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon. Over the past couple of years, we’ve had some good ones of blue water alone, but blue waters cradling seagrass beds, the life of the sea itself, this is “true beauty.”

These improvements have only been possible due to recent  ACOE policy decisions – no major Lake O discharges for over three and one half years, and Mother Nature, who so far, has not brought any of her discontent our way.

At this time, it is in order to thank former City of Stuart Mayor, Merritt Matheson, who went to great lengths over the past four years to hold accountable and build relationships with the Army Corps of Engineers. Mayor Matheson led numerous boat tours and meetings inviting, colonels, commanders, and staff. His St Lucie River tours led by an elected,  passionate, educated, local helped the ACOE understand the fragility of our region and the intense ecological and health impacts caused by discharges from Lake Okeechobee. Mayor Matheson your efforts made a tremendous difference for the health of the St Lucie River. Thank you.

Canal system SLR/IRL, SFWMD


23 thoughts on “True Beauty, SLR/IRL

  1. Thank you Ed and Jacqui. This documentation is remarkable and of such value. Especially being able to look back and compare visuals. And yes, thanks Merritt Matheson for the passion and efforts with our water. Proud to know all of you!!!!

  2. Confirms the culpability of Lake O discharges in the health of South Florida’s water. We are luck this year – drier weather has meant leaving most water in the Lake O System. However lake O is like a cauldron simmering, concentrating its toxins and I assume the next rainy season will bring heightened nutrient outflow.

  3. WOW! Please thank Ed for the great pictures of the seagrass restoration on your East Coast! Yes, the USACEs have learned from the summers of 2013, 2016 & 2018. That is why I remain perplexed why LOSOM actually increased the lower lake level from 12.5′ to 13′ rather than decreasing it to 12′.

  4. Thank you Ed for posting such amazing photos!!! Next time you go up in the plane over Stuart, I’d love to come along!

  5. Thank you for the revealing pictures. Seagrass is the “barometer” for the health of our rivers. I would like to enjoy my water front property vs the horror’s of 2016. I look at another barometer. Since 2005 I have fished offshore our waters once a month, this year we finally had a “mahi mahi” run that allowed “recreational fishermen” to catch a few of decent size several months ago. Unfortunately my boat was not ready and I missed it. I consider the changes to the water introduced into the Indian River as the change to the “normalcy” of Mahi fishing as its been 5 years since “Martin county fishing produced a Mahi opportunity unlike the prior 5 years.

  6. Amazing images of this wonderful piece of heaven on earth. So grateful to have the privilege to call this stunningly beautiful paradise “home”. Thank you all for your hard work and for sharing.

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