Tag Archives: discharges lake okeechobee

Earth Day Must Mean Change…

Earth Day 2020 will certainly go down in the history books. The worldwide outbreak of Covid-19 gives all of us a new lens to view the world, our fragile blue planet… Certainly everyone sees “change” differently. For those of us along the Treasure Coast, when we think of Earth Day we may think of water. Since 2013, thousands of us have come together amplifying a longstanding fight  for clearer, cleaner water. We started a modern movement that caught traction, and indeed, changed the political landscape and perceptions of Floridians. We are making progress! But big change comes slowly, thus we must do all we can ourselves right now. It must start with “little things,” like with how we think about pollution; how we live; how we use, develop, and protect ours lands; how we manage our pesticide-fertilizer-water-hungry lawns, or get rid of them all-together; how we think about food, transportation, and most important, our expectations of large scale agricultural production. It’s overwhelming really. But it’s a must. Earth Day cannot just be a celebration, a recognition, it has to bring real change, right now.  

NASA 2015 Blue Marble

NASA the blue marble series- our fragile planet from outer space

2013, 2016, 2018 JTL/EL: St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon and Lake Okeechobee during multiple toxic algae crises, not long ago, a strong reminder of the need for continued change. We cannot ever again allow such polluted waters upon our Earth. 

Photo: Dr Scott Kuhns, 2018

Photo: Mary Ratabaugh, Central Marine 2018

A Chocolate Ocean; A Black River, A Disgrace, SLR/IRL

Flight over SLR/IRL to view canal C-23, C-24, C-25 and especially present high releases from Lake Okeechobee through C-44 Canal. JTL/EL 10-14-17

Yesterday, I asked Ed to take me up in the plane, once again to document the discharges. In the wake of much rain and an active hurricane season, the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon continues to sacrifice its economy, health, and ecosystem for the EAA and South Florida drainage. A standard operating procedure that is outdated and dangerous.

The discharges from Lake O. have been on and off since Hurricane Irma hit on September 20th. Presently they are “on,” and it shows. Right now our river and ocean shores near the inlet should be at available to boaters, fisher-people, and youth, in”full-turquoise-glory.” Instead, the estuary, beaches, and near offshore is a ghost-town along a chocolate ocean and a black river. The edge of the plume can hardly be distinguished as all is dark, sediment filled waters. A disgrace.

ACOE 10-15-17

10-15-17 Lake O is high. This is a threat to those who live south and around the lake.

South Florida’s southern Everglades, 1850 & today. The water that used to flow south now is sent to the ocean and Gulf of Mexico through canals C-44 (SLR) and C-43.(Cal.) (Map courtesy of SFWMD.)

Image showing drainage of S. Florida through St Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers. These rivers, that God did not connect to Lake Okeechobee, have been channelized by humans to dump Lake O. This drainage system put in place  in the 1920s does not serve Florida today. Not economically, health wise, or environmentally. We must continue to push to replumb the system the best we can.  (Public image.)

ACOE, Lake O: http://w3.saj.usace.army.mil/h2o/currentLL.shtml
S-308 and S-80 connected to both LO and C-44: http://w3.saj.usace.army.mil/h2o/reports.htm
C-23,(S97) C-24,(S49) C-25 (S99): http://my.sfwmd.gov/portal/pls/portal/realtime.pkg_rr.proc_rr?p_op=FORT_PIERCE

I told Ed it’s best not to smile for this photo. We look forward to seeing the model and timeline from the SFWMD and ACOE for Senator Negron’s reservoir, and the beginning of turning this century old nightmare.

 

SFWMD basin map for SLR showing canal discharge structures.

 

Ft Pierce, Sebastian, and Stuart’s Inlets, Gallery of Discharge Photos, 3-6-16, SLR/IRL

Today I am sharing a “gallery” of discharge photographs from my husband Ed’s flight over Ft Pierce, Sebastian, and Stuart’s St Lucie Inlets. The photos were taken yesterday, March 6th, 2016, around 2pm.

A picture speaks a thousands words…(In this case through about 106 frames.) Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day, yet area waters estuarine and ocean were not necessarily so. —-Certainly not those surrounding the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon near the St Lucie Inlet.

The discharge levels and reports for Lake Okeechobee can be reviewed at the Army Corp of Engineer’s Jacksonville website here: http://w3.saj.usace.army.mil/h2o/reports.htm. Lake Okeechobee is reported at 15.68.

The ACOE will be releasing less according to a recent press release.