Ed and I just got off a seven day journey on “Finito.” We traveled along the Indian River Lagoon from Stuart to Cape Canaveral and only turned around due to a fuel leak that was heroically brought to our attention our eighty pound Belgium Shepherd, Luna.
The Lagoon has been through hell the past decade, especially in regards to algae blooms that began around 2010 and peaked in 2013. Over 90 percent of seagrasses in the 156 mile lagoon died off in those and the following years and FWC still reports issues including fish kills. I believe that the lagoon is improving in spite of continued difficulties. Just the past few days the water quality the length of the lagoon looked appealing and there were dolphins jumping in our wake the entire trip! Dozens of them, all along the way! These clever animals will always find a fish, in spite of crappy water, but nonetheless, their presence was inspiring.
Even though this was to be the “retirement cruise,” I couldn’t help myself from zooming into a Rivers Coalition meeting on October 26 and was impressed that for the second time in row since I was ditched by the Senate, South Florida Water Management District executive staff and a governing board member drove all the way from West Palm Beach to attend the meeting. Obviously this is done for their self preservation, but still!
The subject of the meeting was “Sending Water South,” and basically the theme, in line with my last blog post, was that the the high water in Water Conservation Areas south of Lake Okeechobee makes sending water south right now “impossible.” Staff said they were draining the WCAs now, the Storm Water Treatment Areas are restored, and they hope to send Lake Okeechobee water south in December. Of course no one mentions this bottleneck is caused by the Everglades Agricultural Area….
I found this possibility about sending water south in December misleading. In fact, it was False hope. Sure there is always a possibility that things will not turn out as science plans, but we should recognize science nonetheless. Especially as the District is based on science has its own scientific weather bureau that is so respected the ACOE relies on its data!
Two days prior to the Rivers Coalition meeting the District hosted a Water Resource Form. During this forum the high probability of above average rainfall December 2023 through February 2024 over the sixteen county South Florida Water Management District was noted. This is due to a weather condition known as El Nino. So back to the Rivers Coalition meeting, what if as science is revealing, we do not have a dry season and it rains over the Water Conservation Areas? Hmmm? Then the SFWMD probably wont be able to send water south in December, or January or February and tree islands and fur-bearing animals will continue to suffer as will we. This may have been mentioned in passing but it was not discussed.
I rather be prepared for something that may happen than have my government spoon feed me false hope gliding over serious issues. A scientific agency has the responsibility to share science not hope.
TCPalm Article by Ed Killer