Yesterday, 5-23-22, at around 3:30pm, these aerials were taken of the Sailfish Flats, the confluence of the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon between Sewall’s Point and Hutchinson Island.
The water looks great and I have had reports of seagrass-although sparse-growing in some parts of this region. KEEP THE LOCKS CLOSED and thank you Ed for documenting the St Lucie!
Mind you, the entire river is not this color. The water gets more tannin and darker as you approach the locks and upper reaches of the forks. These were once fresh and clear. In a hundred years, things have drastically changed…
As you can see, the proximity to the St Lucie Inlet allows for flushing/cleaning of this area. Since repeated blue-green algae laden discharges starting in 2013, and then again in 2016 and 2018, the grasses have become sparse mostly due to poor light penetration. The inlet cannot flush when high discharges from Lake Okeechobee and area canals are pouring through for long periods of time.
Some of the shading you see is macro-algae not seagrasses. It takes years for seagrass to recover. With three good recent years they seem to be recovering. Things are looking up so long as Mother Nature and politics don’t get in way. Please continue to advocate for our waters!
I am including all photos- although similar- so you may compare and get the feeling of
1977 aerial below by Chris Perry for historic comparison.