Tag Archives: Ed Lippisch

Ed’s St. Lucie River Update, January 15, 2023

-Eye in the sky since 2013, Ed Lippisch¬†I am going to keep this blog post short as I already wrote another today. Yesterday, 1-15-23, at around 1:45 pm, Ed took aerials over the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon. As it has been cold and windy the past few days there has been a “Beach Hazards Statement” from the National Weather Service. In Ed’s photos, the rough, turquoise, incoming ocean waters make for a stark contrast against the darker waters of the river. I believe the ocean waters are full of sand and that is what gives the aerials the milky, almost iridescent coloring. Hopefully, the sand is not burying the dormant seagrasses in the Sandbar and Sailfish Flats. Thankfully, there is no dumping from Lake Okeechobee at this time although the river is receiving the other C-Canal water and runoff. I’ll get Ed up in the plane again soon as I have not yet flown in the Van’s RV -and I am not planning on it! ūüôā JTL

SFWMD canal and basin map.

Added 1-18-23. ACOE’s Periodic Scientists Call -Power Point 1-17-23. Periodic_Scientists_Call_2023-01-17

Wrapping up 2022-St Lucie River Update

Tomorrow will be December 31, 2022. Today I share the most recent aerial photographs of the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon and even one around Lake Okeechobee.

It was a very cold Christmas season. According to the Stuart News, Stuart logged in at 39 degrees on Christmas Day! The cold system hovered for a few days causing intermittent rain and cloud coverage. These photos taken a few days later after it warmed up -on an incoming tide- reveal that since our last photo session, it appears the river is clearing up thankfully with no discharges from Lake Okeechobee in 2022.

AERIALS

-December 28, 2022 at 8:45am, west of Stuart, east side of Lake Okeechobee, near Barley Barber Swamp and FPL cooling reservoir, -sugarcane burning or a controlled burn??? Photographs taken by Scott Kuhns from SuperCub.

-December 29, 2022 around 2:30 pm, St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon around St Lucie Inlet, Sewall’s Point, Sailfish Flats, wide view taken over Palm City. Aerials by Ed Lippisch from Vans RV. I am including all photos although some are very similar as each one shows something a little different. Remember you can click on photo to enlarge ūüôā

Wishing everyone a very happy and safe New YearEve and let’s continue to work together for a great 2023 for the St Lucie River! 

Visual Update SLR/IRL June 23, 2022

I am very fortunate to have a team of people, “River Warriors” who help me document from sky to water the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon. Today, I share photos taken by friend ¬†Mary Radabaugh who overnighted in the area over Father’s Day weekend, June 18-19, 2022. She took amazing photos of nature: live sand dollars, growing seagrasses, wading birds, manatees, and sea turtles. Life is returning to the area.

Next, Dr Scott Kuhns shares five aerials he took the same weekend, on June 18,  around 11:30am. These photographs reveal clear waters with rain runoff plume over St Lucie Inlet and nearshore reefs. There is also a photo of the C-44 Reservoir filled to just over ten feet. This reservoir sits on the C-44 Canal and was just completed this past year as the first major CERP project. It is scheduled to be operational by 2023, although the ACOE is trying for earlier.

My husband, Dr Ed Lippisch, took his plane up yesterday. He shares four photos from June 22, 2022 around 12:30 pm that encompass the estuary from a higher altitude. The darker rain runoff is more visible. The estuary still looks good in the region near the St Lucie Inlet. Higher up the north and south forks the water is darker. There have not been major discharges from Lake Okeechobee in over three years. This is a very good thing and we must continue to make this our goal.

Thank you for all who fight for a clean and healthy St Lucie River!Periodic_Scientists_Call_2022-06-21

ST LUCIE RIVER/INDIAN RIVER LAGOON

I.-Mary Radabaugh, living sand dollar and more life, Sandbar near St Lucie Inlet between Sewall’s Point & Hutchinson Island, 6-18/19-22

 

I am adding two more wildlife videos 4:35pm, 6-23-22

A. Spotted Eagle Rays at the Sandbar, June 19, 2022,  by my sister Jenny and her husband Mike Flaugh.

B. Trigger Fish, Powers family dock, S. Sewall’s Point, IRL side June 23, 2022.

 

II.-Scott Kuhns, SuperCub, June 18, 2022 near St Lucie Inlet and C-44 Reservoir, 6-18-22.

 

III.-Ed Lippisch, Van RV, St Lucie Inlet SLR/IRL  June 22, 2022. 6-22-22.

SFWMD canal and basin map.

 

 

Documenting the Discharges, December 2020

Documenting the Discharges, December 2020

Eyeonlakeo

I posted most of these photos on Facebook, but today I will give explanations and document on my blog. From above, our St Lucie/Indian River Lagoon remains beautiful, but we must be sensitive to the losses beneath the waters. These aerials were taken during ¬†a “slack tide” between 12 and 2pm on December 9, 2020 by my husband, Ed Lippisch. December 9th was the last of five days the ACOE stopped discharging from Lake Okeechobee; however S-80 was discharging “local runoff.” (Click on chart above.) Unfortunately, due to high lake level and lack of storage reservoirs, since these aerials were taken, the ACOE has begun ramping up Lake discharges once again.¬†

Below Lawrence Glenn of the South Florid Water Management gives a comprehensive ecological report covering low-salinities and loss of oyster spat in the St Lucie and other aspects, positive and negative, for the entire Everglades system.

Below is an explanation of aerials documenting discharges December 9, 2020. All photos by Ed Lippisch.

-S-80 at St Lucie Locks and Dam discharging local basin S-80 runoff on December 9, 2020

S-308 at Port Mayaca, Lake Okeechobee closed on December 9, 2020. No algae visible. 

-Plume of along Jupiter Island south of St Lucie Inlet

-Dispersing plume in Atlantic Ocean just past Peck’s Lake in Jupiter Narrows

-St Lucie Inlet -St Lucie Inlet State Park, Sailfish Point, Sewall’s Point, Stuart, Jensen¬†

-Looking north to Sailfish Flats between Sewall’s Point and Hutchinson Island. This area has greatly degraded since 2013 as far as loss of seagrasses and fishing opportunities¬†

-The area below, especially around Sailfish Point, was once considered “the most biodiverse estuary in North America” as documented, first, by Grant Gilmore

-This photo reveals seagrass loss across many areas of the Sailfish Flats 

-Another view between Sewall’s and Sailfish Point, a seeming desert…

-Close up, Sailfish Point 

-Sewall’s Point, east Indian River Lagoon¬†

-Sewall’s Point is a peninsula surrounded by the St Lucie River on west side, and Indian River Lagoon on east side¬†

Ed Lippisch, selfie. Thank you Ed! 

As you can tell, I have lots of people helping me. Whether it is Ed flying or my brother Todd who provides an incredible easy to read website called EyeonLakeO. You can click below to check it out. The more we know, the more we document, the more we can overturn the destruction of our beloved estuary…

Eyeonlakeo website by my brother, Todd Thurlow. 

The Discharge/No Discharge Difference, St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

Looking back through my photo library, I was stuck by the color differences between these photos, so I decided to share….

The first two photos were taken recently, Saturday, December 5, 2020, the afternoon of the same morning the ACOE closed S-80 at the C-44 canal, and S-308 at Port Mayaca, Lake Okeechobee. This seems a bit quick for improvement, but so it was.

The second two photos were taken almost two months earlier, October 17, 2020 a few days after Lake Okeechobee discharges began and C-44 had already been discharging. 

The first three photos, taken by my husband, Ed Lippisch, feature the confluence of the St Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon between Sewall’s Point and Sailfish Point. The final ¬†October 17 photos shows the plume from Lake O and basin runoff passing Peck’s Lake in the Jupiter Narrows.¬†

We all await the closing of both structures S-308 and S-80 for good. The issue at hand is always the height of the Lake Okeechobee and the story that accompanies such. 

Saturday, December 5, 2020, photo Ed Lippisch

October 17, 2020, photo Ed Lippisch

ACOE- Lake O discharges began Oct 14, 2020 and have stopped temporarily for 5 days, December 5, 2020. This is the most recent inflow chart, SFWMD.

Basin chart 

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

 

Tales of the Southern Loop, Miami to Tavernier, Part 3

Tales of the Southern Loop, Stuart to Boyton, Part 1

Tales of the Southern Loop, Boyton to Miami, Part 2

Tales of the Southern Loop, Miami to Tavernier, Part 3A cloud covered sun and a silver moon coated Biscay Bay with a metallic morning light. Today was September 6th, and last night something had changed.

At 3am Ed had shot out of bed. “It’s too quiet in here.”

“It is. That’s why we’re sleeping.” I rolled over putting the pillow over my head.

Ed returned a few minutes later. “The generator stopped working.”

“Oh,”I mumbled and quickly went back to sleep. When I awoke, I found Ed inside the engine room.¬†

“Good morning,” I said. He looked up. ¬†“So maybe it’s not such a good morning; the generator doesn’t work.” I tried to smile. “But let’s not let this ruin our trip.”¬†

“Jacqui the oven/stove wont work, the refrigerator and the air-conditioning won’t work, and forget easily charging the phone or computer. We wont be able to anchor out. I was really looking forward to more of that.”

“Yeah, it’s a bummer. But it will still be fun. So we’ll have to depend on marinas to plug in that shore power thing.”

Ed smirked. “I’m surprised you remember- shore power.- In any case, let’s get ADRIFT underway.” Ed closed up the engine room, headed to the helm, and hit the button to raise the anchor. The clickity-clack sound of metal hitting metal echoed throughout the bow and upper helm.

“At least the anchor still works!” I yelled to my Captain.¬†

ADRIFT crept south in the direction of Tavernier. Once again, it was turning out to be a beautiful day.¬†-Leaving Miami, Biscayne Bay-Card Sound, Biscayne Bay, heading south to the Florida KeysBiscayne Bay was stunning and huge. As we exited the bridge at Card Sound, the waterway started to narrow. Some boats were going very fast. I decided to continue reading my new favorite book, Landscapes and Hydrology of the Predrainage Everglades, ¬†rather than complain. I knew Ed was thinking about the generator…

“Hey Ed!” I yelled towards the upper helm. “Did you realize we have been passing the marl transverse glades?”

“Hadn’t really been thinking about them,” ¬†he replied.¬†

I walked up the ladder and sat beside him. “I’m going to read to you, OK?”

“In contrast to the unobstructed, rimless, and continuously flowing Peat Transverse Glades, the Marl Transverse Glades were raised spillways, receiving water from the Everglades only during the wet season…The significance of of the Marl Transverse Glades for understanding predrainage Everglades hydrology lies not in their volumes of outflow but instead in their indication that Everglades waters from Rockland Marl Marsh typically rose high enough each year to flow out….”¬†

“Do you know what this means Ed?”¬†

“No idea…”¬†

“It means that when the Everglades were high, like now, during hurricane season, water oozed through to Biscayne Bay not just from areas around Ft Lauderdale, but also from south of Miami ¬†to about Homestead. Today that stretch includes cities like Kendall, Palmetto Bay, Cutler Bay, Naranja, and Homestead Air Force Base.”

“That is pretty surprising.” Ed replied, seeming to be in better spirits. “So – another reason Biscayne Bay doesn’t get enough fresh water.”

“Look at you!” I lovingly mocked. “I’m surprised you remember!”

-Compare predrainage “marl transverse glades” (southern most arrows) pg. 48 & to post drainage¬†developed areas today, pg. 49 -between Miami and Homestead. In predrainage times, this area McVoy calls the “marl transverse glades,” filled up/flowed over with high¬†Lake O and rain waters oozing through to Biscayne Bay. Today due to¬†development, pumps, and drainage this does not occur.¬†Landscapes and Hydrology of the Predrainage Everglades, McVoy, 2011.I looked up from my book. We were in a narrow waterway of mangroves and approaching Key Largo. “Why are those boats going so fast?!”¬†I complained. I couldn’t hold back anymore.

“Because they are allowed to.” Ed replied. “They are in the channel.”¬†Wakes hit up hard against the shoreline.

“They shouldn’t be allowed to go so fast in here. I¬†don’t see how a manatee could survive. And it’s dangerous.” I agonized.¬†

“Just smile Jacqui!”¬†

Ed remained silent looking straight ahead. ADRIFT plodded along in repetative wakes while swirling through boat traffic. And I decided – I better just smile…When we arrived in Tavernier, at Mangrove Marina, Ed was once again focusing on the broken generator. Docking was not so easy this time. The winds had kicked up and I was in charge of the lines. I wondered how I’d jump off to the dock if necessary. The engine ground as Ed moved forwards and backwards trying to back into the slip. ¬†We almost smacked into the dock and I yelled loudly realizing the fender was caught on a neighboring house boat. Thankfully, at the last minute, two young dockhands saved us. We thanked them profusely and Ed handed them a tip.¬†

“Thank God they were here,” I grumbled.

“One day they wont be.” Ed replied.¬†

“How would I have jumped on that high dock?”¬†

Ed did not answer. 

“I’m going to open the lazarette to look at this generator again.” I knew Ed would be obsessed until this was resolved.

“OK. I’m going to take a walk,” ¬†I said. I’ll see you in a little bit.”

It was good to get on land and good for Ed and I to take a break from each other. 

Walking the marina, the first thing I noticed, were these weird and beautiful sea anemone like things on the floor of the shallow docking areas. I got down on my stomach to look closer. -It looks like the DREAM OF THE SLEEPING JELLYFISH.¬†Over the course of our stay, I became totally preoccupied with them, checking on them throughout the day and evening. My blog post is above.I continued my walk. Quaint houses lined the streets. “I love it here.” I thought. “There is absolutely nothing like the Florida Keys.” Once my stroll was over, I knew it was time to make it back to see Ed. He was not a happy camper.

“What’s wrong hunny?” I inquired.¬†

“I’m not sure I will be able to fix the generator, but the marina office gave me a number of a guy to call. It’s Labor Day weekend. I’m not going to bother him.”

“Come on babe, all the days blend together in a place like the Keys. Let’s call him.” Before we called, we decided to take the inflatable canoe out into a small cove. It was so beautiful! The seagrass was lush and Ed thought he saw an otter but it ended up being a mother manatee and and her young calf poking their noses out to breathe. ¬†It was so joyous to just be there next to them as they came up for air. I though about the fast speed boats we’d seen by the mangroves and prayed the mother and calf would be safe. The sun set , we made dinner, ¬†and retired early. I dreamt of sleeping jellyfish and baby manatees.

In the morning I convinced Ed to take a walk, meet my jellyfish, and see the adorable Keys houses. Lo and behold there was a sign! A sign on a red truck that just happened to be the number the marina had given Ed for someone to fix the generator. Ed left a message and Larry Heimer, Blue Earth Marine Services, returned the call! Soon after we met Larry and Wendy. Wonderful people! Ed learned a lot watching and asking questions. Thanks to Larry the generator got fixed! ¬†¬†Ed after the generator was fixed by Larry Heimer and Wendy ūüôāStormy weather forms…¬†I was so happy! Ed was smiling again!

But there was another issue brewing…

We looked up. “Where is this weather coming from?” ¬†

“There’s a system forming,” Larry replied. “You best leave tomorrow if you can.”¬†

Night fell; Ed and I listened to the band playing.

Lights reflected off the water and I thought about the jellyfish sleeping on their heads on the milky limestone bottom and the thousands of years of time, tide, and water that had formed this remarkable place.

Ed and I watched the heat lightning and toasted our good fortune to find Larry and  Wendy to fix the generator. 

We decided that unless it was really storming, we would head out first morning light….

 

Lake O Algae Visible Again

You may have seen my most recent Lake Okeechobee post from July 25, 2020? After algae aerials since May 8th, my dear husband, Ed, said he saw no algae.¬†Ed and I had a back and forth -me saying the algae “was hiding.” Hiding in the water column. Ed saying it was gone. Well, guess what? I was correct…¬†

Today, July 29, only four days later, the cyanobacteria is back. There was one positive to it all. Ed added to his long list of esteemed flight guests, Ft Meyer’s Captains Chris Whitman and Daniel Andrews – the faces of Captains for Clean Water. The east and west coasts of Florida have been advocating together since the days of the Sugarland Rally in 2013. East and west, an important water alliance.¬†

According to Ed, “the algae was bright and visible over the majority of the western, ¬†and southern-central portion of the lake, but became less dense as one approached Port Mayaca.”¬†

“Were you surprised the cyanobacteria had returned?” I asked.¬†

Ed had a very simple answer: “yes.”¬†

Ed also said it was a great to hosts the Captains. What an honor. 

Below are some of Ed and Captain Daniel’s photographs from Wednesday, July 29, 2020. You will see, with the sun shining, the lake is once again, visibly, full of algae. This is important documentation for the Army Corp of Engineers as we possibly face a very wet weekend.¬†

Havens and Hoyer diagram from study of cyanophyte movements.Courtesy, Joe Gilio.
Courtesy of Captain Daniel Andrews-off southwestern shore

Courtesy of pilot Ed Lippisch-southern to southwestern shore of L.O.

Father’s Day LakeO Flight

Documenting Algae Bloom in Lake Okeechobee, 2020, 

Algae bloom in Lake Okeechobee from 10,000 feet for a wide view. King’s Bar Shoal left near Kissimmee River and City of Okeechobee. FPL cooling pond on eastern shore near S-308 and C-44 Canal in Martin County. Aerial, Ed Lippisch 6-21-20

On Sunday, before we celebrated Father’s Day with family, once again, my husband and fellow River Warrior, Ed, flew the Baron for necessary time on the engines. As he was walking out the door I asked:¬†“Could you please fly over Lake Okeechobee again? I’m curious about that bloom.”

“OK, but I’m going north first.”¬†¬†

Ed and I have been documenting this year’s algae bloom since May 3rd.¬†

Upon Ed’s return, he told me that this time, the algae bloom appears to be located further north, as well as south. You can see the algae near ¬†King’s Bar Shoal-the ¬†distinct “island” looking ¬†structure, visible now, near mouth of the Kissimmee River.¬†

These aerials are taken from 10,000 feet, much higher than usual, ¬†so the effect is different. When you seen the “wrinkles” on the water, that is the bloom.

One day, may there be an algae-free Lake Okeechobee, for future fathers and for future father’s kids.¬†