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.
I must drive to Ft Pierce this morning so I do not have very much time to write– this post will be short and undeveloped, but you’ll get the idea.
Yesterday, I received information from a very reliable person, and it is making me wonder…
“The information” is the image above showing an algae bloom in Lake Okeechobee on 4-14-15. I don’t know why it says “unvalidated data,” but if you look at it closely it shows an algae bloom in Lake Okeechobee. I was told this image and an algae report can be found on the “Lake Okeechobee Operations” page of the South Florida Water Management District.
If this is true, and I believe it is, why didn’t the public or the local governments hear about this bloom before 4-24-15? Also, who is really in charge of this information? Yes, I was told it can be found on the South Florida Water Management’s web site, but then it is the Army Corp of Engineers, a federal agency, that is responsible for opening the S-308 structure at Lake Okeechobee to release water when “necessary” into the C-44/St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon….(The SFWMD is a state agency….ACOE is federal…..)
Are the state and federal agencies talking? Why isn’t the ACOE “in charge of the water” if they dump it? I don’t get it….
The bottom line is the information is “out there.” It was known to both the state and federal agencies that an algae bloom was in Lake Okeechobee before Kenny Hinkle and Mike Connor’s video spurred outrage along the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon and the ACOE was contacted by citizens and Senator Joe Negron and made the decision not to open S-308 this past Friday. This has come up in more places than one.
I am happy “they” didn’t open the gate, but I am confused why we didn’t hear about the very large algae bloom earlier.
I don’t get it. Am I naive? Am I becoming a crazy conspiracy theorist? Is this information purposefully not being shared, and if so who is not sharing it?
Is the government above our heads? If so we must change this. We must become in charge of this information for ourselves as it is public’s information paid for by our tax dollars.
I think we must push for a web cam at the gates of the lake that we, the public, can easily access and EASY access to the website that has live maps of algae blooms. As I have stated, I believe this information is here now, but how do we access it?
The information for blooms knows as HABs, or Harmful Algae Blooms, must be EASILY available to all citizens. I believe that the Florida Wildlife Commission, FWC, also had a very developed program and WEBSITE AREA on algae blooms because in the past as I even wrote about it in a previous blog. I seems like their committee kind of died off for some reason….
HABs are a problem all over the world, and they can be spotted with satellite imagery. They should be spotted for all of us. Unfortunately, this is the “now” and this is the future.
In the age of information, you’d think if would be “easier than this,” but is not. We must control our destiny, if we are to protect our lives and our property. The government is not doing this as it should be. They may not even really know this as they have been not doing it for so long….Very, very, sad.