Tag Archives: Okee

Great Water Projects on the Horizon for 2022

-A bit overwhelmed, Okee reviews the ACOE’s Integrated Delivery Schedule As the final days of 2021 come to a close, it is natural to be asking: “what is in line for 2022?” And although the world may seem as confusing as ever, and trying to read the Army Corp of Engineers’ -“List of Things to Do 2021 – that will be followed in 2022,” known formally as the “IDS,” or Integrated Delivery Schedule,”- impossible – things are looking really good for water.

IDS FINAL 2021 ACOE 

Historic funding is in place for Everglades restoration, and a lot of that work will be happening right here at home in Martin and St Lucie Counties. There have been a few ups and downs, but now the IDS looks more favorable than ever.

Today, I am going to hone in on two areas of the IDS. The first, Indian River Lagoon South, that county commissions are owed the most thanks for their leadership; and the EAA Reservoir, that the River Movement of the Lost Summer of 2013, with the leadership of Senate President Joe Negron, made happen.

When these two major projects are fully completed, the St Luice River/Indian River Lagoon will have an opportunity to heal. As a postscript, I must mention some of my readers have said I appear to be completely “sold by the engineering – the problem that got us where we are in the first place.” And I must say, that is not the case. I agree, engineering alone is not enough. We all must do our part on our own postage stamp of land. These postage stamps add up to millions of acres and they all flow to the river.  A great book about this is called “Nature’s Best Hope” A New Approach to Conservation That Starts in Your Yard, by Douglas W. Tallamy. Fixing Florida is a team sport and must include everybody!

So, back to our engineering team of the Army Corp of Engineers and the South Florida Water Management District’s CERP or  Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, let’s take a look. If you are like most people, when you look at this long list your eyes glaze over. So let’s zoom in.

The green area, two sections down, includes Indian River Lagoon South. This is a huge project that includes both Martin and St Lucie counties and the St Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon. When we peruse the green section, we see C-44 Reservoir; C-23/C-24 Reservoir; and C-25 Reservoir. Other major factors listed such as Storm Water Treatment Areas, an Interconnect Canal, Natural Water Quality Storage, Muck Removal, and Artificial Habitat Creation are also broken out. For simplicity, I will focus on the reservoirs as all else accompanies them.

You can study the entire list to see when the project goal of completion falls. All is before 2031. Mind you these projects are gigantic and complex. Like nothing else in the entire world. The C-44 Reservoir, the southern project of Indian River Lagoon South, in Martin County,  went on line just recently as the first major completed CERP project. Incredible! Now to get C-23/C-24 and C-25- the rest of “Indian River Lagoon South-” to the finish line!

INDIAN RIVER LAGOON SOUTH, PART OF CERP -LEARN MORE BELOW.

A. -IRLS C-44 Reservoir ACOE 

IRLS C-44 Reservoir ACOE Ribbon Cutting

The rest of IRLS that will be completed

B. IRLS C-23/24 Reservoir

C. IRLS C-25 Reservoir (SFWMD completes land purchase 2021)

The next section to focus on is the forth section down in a cream color;  it includes the EAA Reservoir that is located south of Lake Okeechobee near the southern part of Palm Beach County. This project  is dear to my heart as this is why I entered the fight, in 2008, in the first place. Sending more water south is the best way to send less water to the estuaries and open up the system to get water south to the Everglades as Nature would have…

Below we see different components of the EAA Reservoir; it too, is planned to be complete by 2031. 2031 may seem a long way from 2022, but in CERP time, it is “tomorrow.”

We must continue to fight in 2022 and beyond to keep this IDS “as-is” and complete these projects. In the meanwhile, please make your yard a conservation area. Individually and collectively, there are many reasons to be optimistic in 2022 about Florida’s Water Future.

EAA RESERVOIR, PART OF CERP. LEARN MORE BELOW.

-EAA RESERVOIR ACOE 

FLOW AFTER CERP:

MAPS FLORIDA SFWMD – See how Florida used to be and more.

Fun in the Fossil Closet

I don’t know about you, but since the coronavirus pandemic has relegated me to my home, I have been going though my closets. In fact, after I was done with mine, I called my mother and asked her to go through her’s as well. She always wins when it comes to finding cool forgotten stuff tucked away in the closet!

Yesterday, she found the family fossil box. She left it out front of her house for me to pick up. It was very heavy and FOSSILS was neatly written atop. It was a timely find as I have been blogging about Lake Okeechobee’s ancient inland sea. Lake Okeechobee and beyond offer not just shelling but incredible fossil hunting as well.  

Yes, almost all of Florida was once an ancient sea, not just Lake Okeechobee…Florida in various forms has been in and out of the water many times…

Many of the fossils from my mom’s fossil closet are from Gainesville where she grew up and where my grandparents lived. My cat Okee was very interested in the fossils too! They must still smell! She was bating an ancient shark tooth around like it was a toy. She loved when I laid out the contents of the fossil closet. 

Hudson Seaway: https://www.hgs.org/civicrm/event/info?id=1784


As you may have guessed, the saber-tooth cat skull above is not one from the Thurlow fossil closet! This is from the Clewiston Museum that has one of the state’s very best fossil collections containing all the fantastic megafauna that used to roam. In 2012, Ed and I went fossil hunting with the famous Mark Renz -in the area of the Peace River. So weird and incredible! Ed and I had a blast, Mark showed us some of his great finds when we were there, and Ed and I found some fossils too. Fossils are fun, and again kind of put things in, what should I say? Perspective…