I have been questioning the sick irony of the government sanctioned “toxic algae” releases into the St Lucie River since 2014. This was questionable, until now…
Let’s back up a bit…
My blog post on July 8th, 2014 was entitled: “Do the ACOE and SFWMD Release Lake Okeechobee Into to SLR When There is Toxic Algae?”
At that time there was a question for me; now there is not.
The 2014 post told the story of seeing cyanobacteria’s fluorescent blooms in the lake when my husband Ed and traveled through the St Lucie River to Lake Okeechobee by boat passing the St Lucie Locks and Dam (S-80) and Port Mayaca, (S-308) in 2009. This was just when I was beginning to focus my interests on the health of the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon as I had been elected to office in the Town of Sewall’s Point in 2008. During this trip it hit me that the algae started in the lake. Ed and I had traveled throughout the St Lucie River and C-44 canal, and when we got to Port Mayaca, at the lake, there it was….the fluorescent green algae.
Not being a scientist or biologist –it finally hit me “this is a fresh water bloom.” It blooms in the lake….not in the river that is more saline. But once the river is fresh from releases from the lake and canals, it can spread there too.
The story of the blog continues into 2013, when I saw the SFWMD testing the water at S-80, St Lucie Locks and Dam, and to my surprise I could see the unmistakable flourescent green cyanobacteria that often becomes “toxic”going right though the gates! I found this unsettling. Obviously the SFWMD, the ACOE, DEP, the Florida Health Dept and other official entities were in full knowledge that these dangerous blooms were being sent down the river to the residents of Stuart, Florida. Here I was an elected official representing a peninsular community and I had no clue. I had never even heard of this. Something is weird here, I thought. There is no warning to local governments. There is no press for the public. This is just everyday business….the everyday business of quietly poisoning Martin County’s citizens.
How could this be? I wondered…Maybe I am missing something? Maybe I am exaggerating?
Over time, I wrote other posts about this too.
I decided that this concept could be widely shared and understood, but we needed a good visual.
Well the ultimate visual is here…
Thank you to my husband, Dr Ed Lippisch for these photos and two short videos taken on Memorial Day, May 30, 2016 of tremendous blooms knowingly being sent through the open gates at S-80 towards the St Lucie River. We don’t have to wonder anymore.
In broad daylight, for all to see. State and Federal agencies….you’re busted.
*Thank you to the Stuart News, the River Warriors, Bullsugar.org and other river advocates for all of their work identifying and reporting the blooms especially in the lake and around Lake O this 2016.
Toxic Algae blooms (Microcystis/Cyanobacteria) :https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microcystis_aeruginosa