Northern Lake O algae bloom On Saturday, July 29, 2023, my husband Ed returned from flight with 103 aerial photographs of the St. Lucie River to Lake Okeechobee. When there are so many photographs it is difficult for me to decide which ones to include so I have shared most in gallery format.
The St. Lucie River continues to be darkened by C-23, C-24 and storm water runoff while Lake Okeechobee continues to suffer from cyanobacteria blue-green algae blooms primarily in the north. Ed said there was algae in the middle of the lake but that it was more like a “sheen.” Like gasoline on water.
Ed’s photos show algae on both sides of the St. Luice Canal (C-44), but none at S-80, St. Lucie Locks and Dam, and little visible in the lake -again just a greenish color- at S-308 at Port Mayaca lakeside.
The algae in north Lake Okeechobee is dramatic and looks more clumped than I have witnessed previously. Perhaps wind and rain? Strange…
The only good thing I can say is that the ACOE and SFWMD continue to recommend no discharges from Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie River. We’ll see about next week.
On July 25, my brother Todd Thurlow eyeonlakeo texted me that S-308 was open at 1656 cubic feet per second but S-80 remained closed. I would imagine this water let in from the Lake Okeechobee was for canal levels or water supply of agriculture. If I were growing crops I would not wish to accept this water as University of Florida Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences UF IFAS had notes: “Cyanobacterial toxins can accumulate in crop plants, resulting in injury and yield loss; human health may be affected. Impacts of field crop exposure to cyanotoxins in irrigation water are unknown.”
Known or unknown, it can’t be good.
The historic role of agriculture supported by our state and nation is the primary reason the lake is in such awful condition today; this has been documented since 1969. (U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with Central and South Florida Flood Control District two year study on chemical and biological conditions of Lake Okeechobee, Beyond the 4th Generation, Lamar Johnson 1974.)
On Saturday, July 29 the South Florida Water Management District recorded the lake level at 15.03 feet. Do not pray for rain…
ST. LUCIE RIVER, ST. LUCIE CANAL, S-80, ST. LUCIE LOCKS AND DAM
ST. LUCIE CANAL TO S-308 AT PORT MAYACA AND LAKE OKEECHOBEE, ONE PHOTO BACK IN STUART