Tag Archives: Reservoir

Documenting the Discharges, 12-4-17, SLR/IRL

12-4-17, ca. 2:45 pm, photos: Ed Lippisch & Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch

The Army Corp of Engineers has lessened but not stopped Lake O discharges that started September 20th, 2017 just prior to Hurricane Irma. Perhaps as the discharges have gone on at such a high rate for a comparatively long time,  the plume has had a chance to extend its territory. In yesterday’s photos, the dark, filthy plume is reaching clearly south beyond the exclusive Town of Jupiter Island.

Yesterday was a beautiful day, but the river and ocean waters of our entire region were ugly, possibly contaminated. How are we to enjoy our property and lives here?

When viewing the aerials below, please note the blue, sapphire-colored water just on the edge of the discharge plume. Yes, of course all estuaries put forth darkened fresh water after a rain event, and Ed and I could see this occurring just south at Jupiter Inlet. Nonetheless, the black, gigantic plume that we repeatedly endure for the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon due to discharges from Lake Okeechobee is an aberration.

Please let’s all  support Joe Negron and the public’s work to build the EAA Reservoir; clean & send the water south!

Lake O discharges: http://w3.saj.usace.army.mil/h2o/reports.htm
Looking south along the southern most area of Jupiter Island.
Looking north along Jupiter Island-dark ocean waters. Jupiter Narrows an extension of the IRL on left.
Plume -looking north along Atlantic coast
Edge of plume; note clean sapphire colored water juxtaposed to dark Lake O/canal plume
Another angle, Jupiter Island,  looking south-blur due to wind and camera movement
Back at St Lucie Inlet
IRL, note bare bottom. This area is known as the Sailfish Flats and once had hundreds of acres of seagrass beds.
The Sandbar, a popular weekend recreational area for boaters, especially families, surrounded in dark Lake O discharge waters. This is a health issue.
Barren Sailfish Flats
Sand bottom with no seagrass between Sewall’s Point and Sailfish Point. An area once teaming with life.
The Crossroads — no seagrass beds just sand bottom
IRL looking north
St Lucie River near St Lucie Inlet dark as coffee
North of St Lucie Inlet the plume covers near shore protected reefs as it does south of the inlet.
Blue!
The plume as viewed from under the wing of the Cub
Plume edge: The tainted water we are given by our government; the blue –the water we should have by God & Nature.

 

“Billions of gallons of fertilizer, sewage, and legacy pollution from Lake Okeechobee are spewing into the St. Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon…”

“Right now billions of gallons of fertilizer, sewage, and legacy pollution from Lake Okeechobee are spewing into the St. Lucie River, carrying a new threat of toxic algae. Water managers may say Irma left them no choice, but of course that’s a half-truth…” 

*Previous paragraph shared with permission from Bullsugar.org. Please read the rest of Peter Girard’s post here: (http://www.bullsugar.org/eaa_reservoir_plan_needs_sfwmd_model)

Link: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izaNH73GPoI)

Link:(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMkyBDq-4QE)

All photos/videos  taken off St Luice Inlet September 30, 2017 JTL/EL

Documentation of primary and secondary plumes at St Lucie Inlet caused predominantly from human directed ACOE/SFWMD discharges post Irma and other from Lake Okeechobee & canals C-44, C-23, C-24, C-25. 10am, September 30, 2017. Primary plume out 3 miles; secondary 3 1/2 and not quite south to Peck’s Lake. We must continue to #ReplumbFlorida #forthefuture #forthewildlife #forthekidz #fortheeconomy for our #indianriverlagoon JTL/EL

Why are C-44 and S-2 flowing backwards into Lake Okeechobee? 

My brother, Todd,  wrote to me on June 8th noting that the C-44 canal was flowing westwards into Lake Okeechobee rather than dumping eastwards into the St Lucie as is standard operating procedure after a big rain…

Yes this canal, as most of the others, can “flow” in either direction, seemly “backwards.”

So how can this happen? This backwards flow?

Dr Gary Goforth says the following:

“Yes this is normal operations; generally when the Lake level is below 14 ft the Corps leaves the locks at S-308 wide open which allows any local runoff to flow into the lake.”

Another way Lake Okeechobee can receive water in an unusual way is if the water is pumped into it–back pumped. This has recently been done from the EAA. Back pumping into Lake O has been outlawed, but it is allowed if communities or farmland would flood.

According to an exchange yesterday on Facebook, with  Audubon’s Dr Paul Grey:

“St Lucie (C-44) backflows are just one of many southern inflows now, S-2 is backpumping, three other southern outlets are flowing backward into the low lake (L-8, S354, S-352) the Caloosahatchee was backflowing but appears equalized today. More water is flowing into the lake from downstream areas than upstream right now. Not the end of the world but not desirable either, it is very polluted water. http://w3.saj.usace.army.mil/h2o/reports/r-oke.html  “

When I asked Dr Grey if this was being done to gather water in the lake as we’ve recently been in a drought, or to keep the farmlands in the  EAA and surrounding areas dry, this was his response:

“Both, they want to fill the lake this summer, and so do I, in concept, but much of this backpumping and flowing is because the farmers have been pumping water so rapdily off their own lands they have made the canals too deep, and risk fooding the communities. And rather than tell the farmers the canal its too deep and they have to modererate their pumping, the SFWMD backpumps/flow it to the lake.”

In any case, when I visited yesterday during my trip to Belle Glade, S-308 was closed at Port Mayaca and no more water was entering Lake O from C-44. I’m not sure about S-2.

The water looks dark and full of sediment. The once beautiful beach is full of gritty rocks. Maybe the lake is healthy in the shallows south, near the islands, but by Port Mayaca it looks terrible. Algae has been reported by S-308 a few weeks ago according to a report from Martin County at the River’s Coalition meeting. But thankfully there is not algae reported in C-44 right now.

We have really made a mess of it. For our rivers and for Lake Okeechobee, the reservoir must be built and we must continue to advocate for sending cleaned water south and re -plumb this outdated system. Forward flow or backwards flow, just say NO.

6-13-17 JTL

____________________________________

Todd Thurlow notes 6-8-17

Jacqui,

Interesting note: if this data is correct, C-44 has poured 10.7 billion gallons (aka 13.82 Stuart Feet) of water into Lake Okeechobee in the last three days. With all the recent “local” runoff into the canal, they have opened S-308, sending the water west to the Lake to help get the low lake level up.

48.5 million gallons passed through S-80 to the St. Lucie on June 5th…

-Todd

C-44 back flow to Lake O, ACOE

Article in Okeechobee News by Katrina Elsken “St Lucie Water Flowing Into the Big O” http://okeechobeenews.net/lake-okeechobee/st-lucie-water-flowing-big-o/

SFWMD: https://www.sfwmd.gov

ACOE Lake O: http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Lake-Okeechobee/

Structures and canals south of LO
Canal and basin map, Martin and St Lucie Co,SLR/IRL. SFWMD
C-44 canal from Stuart to Lake O.
S-308 at Lake O and C-44 canal Port Mayaca

Numerous wood storks and great egrets eating fish in the polluted side canals of C-44:

Video:(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-7IwzHGZIM)

Award Winning “Field and Stream” Journalist, Hal Herring Tours the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

Award winning conservation, hunting and fishing journalist, Hal Herring over S-308, the connection from Lake Okeechobee to canal C-44 and the St Lucie River/IRL, JTL 5-13-17
Award page Hal Herring, from his web site

At the recent Bullsugar “Fund the Fight” event, Captain Mike Connor introduced me to Montana based, award-winning fishing and hunting journalist, Hal Herring. I looked Hal straight in the eye, shook his strong hand and said, “It’s so nice to meet you Mr Herrington.” He smiled, eyes sparkling, and replied, “Herring mam. Like the fish.”

About Hal Herring: (https://www.halherring.com/about)

Hal Herring’s website: (https://www.halherring.com)

Fly Life Magazine writes: “Herring, one of the leading outdoor writers of our time, co-manages the Conservationist Blog for Field & Stream, is the author of several books and is a regular contributor to numerous other well-known outdoor news outlets including High Country News, Montana’s Bully Pulpit Blog and the Nature Conservancy magazine.”

To say the least, I felt honored to be chosen as a tour guide for Hal Herring as my husband and Mike Connor arranged an aerial journey for the visiting journalist. After researching Hal, checking out his website, and reading his article on the Clean Water Act, I knew I was dealing with a gifted journalist. What a great person to have learn about the problems of our St Lucie River!

IMG_3186.jpg
Hal Herring and JTL, Baron’s back seat
Contemporary Florida canal map ACOE/SFWMD
1839 military/Everglades map
Dan, Ed, Hal and JTL
Canals C-23, C-24, C-25 and most southerly C-44 connected to Lake Okeechobee.

We prepared the Baron for Saturday. My husband Ed invited friend and fellow fisherman Dr Dan Velinsky. The flight stared with a rough take off.  I steadied myself. “Please don’t let me puke Lord…” As Ed gained altitude, things settled down and we were on our way…

After taking off from Witham Field in Stuart, we followed the dreadful C-44 canal west to Lake Okeechobee; diverting north at the C-44 Reservoir under construction in Indiantown; traveled over the FPL cooling pond and S-308, the opening to C-44 and the St Lucie River at Port Mayaca. Next we followed Lake Okeechobee’s east side south to Pahokee, and then Belle Glade in the Sugarland of the EAA; here we followed the North New River Canal and Highway 27 south to the lands spoken about so much lately, A-1 and A-2 and surrounding area of the Tailman property where Senate Presidient Joe Negron’s recently negociated deeper reservoir will be constructed if all goes well; then we flew over the Storm Water Treatment Areas, Water Conservation Areas, and headed home east over the houses of Broward County inside the Everglades. Last over West Palm Beach, Jupiter, north along the Indian River Lagoon and then back to the St Lucie Inlet. Everywhere the landscape was altered. No wonder the water is such a mess…

See red triangle left of right circle. This area of A-1 and A-2 and the reservoir is to be located on top of and closeby
Old orange grove being made into the C-44 Reservoir/STA,  Indiantown
FPL cooling pond on edge of Lake O, Indiantown
S-308 at Lake O, Port Mayaca
Over Lake O
A-1 and A-2 area, southern EAA with WCA on left
Edge of Conservation areas next to A-1 and A-2 areas
Broward County built into Everglades
Along the SE coast looking south, FPL’s St Lucie Nuclear Power Plant
Martin County, St Luice Inlet

I explained the history, Dan told fish stories, Ed ducked in and out of clouds. All the while, Hal Herring took notes on a yellow legal pad with calmness and confidence. Nothing surprised him; he was a quick study in spite of all the variables. He was so well read, not speaking often but when he did, like a prophet of sorts. He spoke about this strange time of history, the time we are living in, when humans have overrun the natural landscape. He spoke about mankind being obsessed with transcending the limits of the natural world…and the control of nature…but for Hal there was no anger or disbelief, just wisdom. In his biography, he says it best:

“My passions as a writer and storyteller lie where they always have – in exploring humankind’s evolving relationship to the natural world, and all the failures, successes and deep tensions inherent in that relationship…”

In the Everglades region, Hal may just have hit the jackpot!

Hal Herring and JTL

Related Articles, Hal Herring

Filed and Stream: http://www.fieldandstream.com

http://flylifemagazine.com/profile-hal-herring-fights-environmental-indifference-word-by-word/

Fly Life: http://flylifemagazine.com

Field and Stream, Clean Water Act, Hal Herring: http://www.fieldandstream.com/imminent-death-waters-us-rule

Field and Stream, people: http://www.fieldandstream.com/people/hal-herring

Hal Herring’s website: https://www.halherring.com

About Hal Herring: https://www.halherring.com/about

Blood in the Water, Senate Bill 10, SLR/IRL

bloodinthewater
Shark feeding frenzy,  public image.

http://animals.howstuffworks.com/fish/sharks/shark-feeding-frenzy.htm
https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2017/0010

The time is now to fight for President Joe Negron’s Senate Bill 10 to purchase land in the EAA for a reservoir to offset the sometimes toxic, and always damaging, discharges from Lake Okeechobee. The powers that be know the bill is taking some hard hits. They smell blood in the water. Like sharks going in for the kill they are coming from every direction. Just remember, in many instances during a feeding frenzy, sharks turn on each other. So not being a shark myself, I say, “let the games begin…”

Some Major Groups Working Against Negron’s Senate Bill 10.

1. Stand Up For North Florida

http://www.politico.com/states/florida/story/2016/10/front-group-new-entity-pushes-north-florida-cities-counties-to-oppose-negrons-everglades-reservoir-plan-106035

http://floridapolitics.com/archives/tag/steve-southerland

http://standupnorthflorida.com/read-our-resolution/

2. Sugar Labor Management Committee
(US Sugar, Fanjul Corp.) (see letter at end of article)

http://saintpetersblog.com/tag/steve-southerland/

2. Martin County Economic Council “Finish the Projects”
Website: https://www.mceconomy.org

Resignation of long time member and co-founder, Bud Jordan, citing USSC influence: http://www.tcpalm.com/story/opinion/columnists/eve-samples/2017/02/24/eve-samples-economic-council-co-founder-resigns-citing-us-sugar/98270284/

3. Pro development, Martin County Commissioner, Doug Smith, only commissioner to vote against SB 10.

http://www.bullsugar.org/one_angry_man

16 County Summit represents agricultural interests and will be hosted by MCBOCC:
http://www.tcpalm.com/story/news/local/indian-river-lagoon/health/2017/02/21/martin-county-commissioners-propose-16-county-sfwmd-water-summit/98211938/

4. Lake Okeechobee Regional Compact division of Florida Regional Compact:
http://www.floridaleagueofcities.com/resources/florida-regional-compact
http://www.flcities.com/docs/default-source/default-document-library/lake-okeechobee-regional-compact.pdf?sfvrsn=0

5. Glades Lives Matter advocacy group of United States Sugar Corporation

http://www.ussugar.com/news/icymi-glades-lives-matter/

6. Senator Simmons Senate Bill 816 proposing to Raise the Level in Lake Okeechobee. (Destroying the ecosystem around Lake O is not the answer)
http://gladescountydemocrat.com/lake-okeechobee/sb-816-let-lake-okeechobee-rise-19-ft/

7. South Florida Water Management District

https://www.sfwmd.gov/news/statement-re-florida-senate-appropriations-subcommittee-hearing

http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/stateroundup/opponents-line-up-against-joe-negrons-everglades-restoration-plan/2310901

8. “Save Our Farms/Stop the Lies”
http://save-our-farms.com

9. “Florida Sugarcane Farmers,” a consortium of U.S. Sugar Corp., Florida Crystals and the Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida, ran ad arguing against Senate President Joe Negron’s proposal to buy 60,000 acres in the EAA, by Tyler Treadway
http://www.news-press.com/story/news/local/indian-river-lagoon/health/2017/01/13/analysis-sugar-growers-ad-blasts-lake-okeechobee-reservoir-plan/96342032/

shark-01.jpg
Great White Shark, public image.
fullsizerender-4
Cartoon Andy Marlette, News Journal published in TCPalm.

Map of Public Lands in the EAA, Lands Owned by the State, SLR/IRL

Reporter Tyler Treadway’s Stuart News articles today poses the question: “Can State Build Reservoir on Public Land to Move Lake O Water South?”So, I thought I’d share this map of Everglades Agricultural Area Lands in Public (State) Ownership along with a list of owners created by the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council. The piece noted in the article is the around the lighter looking triangle, #10 . It’s a great map and very educational…In any case, with any argument, #SupportJoeNegron

file-page1-4.jpg

FullSizeRender 2.jpg
#s enlarged

‘For his part, Negron said he just wants to get whatever land is needed to “store, clean and move enough Lake Okeechobee water south to reduce and ultimately eliminate the discharges. I’m open to considering all options: private land, state land, federal land or any other.” ‘ Stuart News

Tyler Treadway, TCPalm http://www.tcpalm.com/story/news/local/indian-river-lagoon/health/2017/01/13/lake-okeechobee-st-lucie-river-everglades/96484530/

636153421042051226-Joe-Negron.JPG
President of the Senate, Joe Negron
file-page1.jpg
Senator Negron’s proposed map for land purchase in the EAA.

TCPRC:http://www.tcrpc.org

Kudos SFWMD; “Water Year” or “Calendar Year”–Sending Even More Water South in 2015! SLR/IRL

Satalite image of south Florida, 1980, NASA. Public photo.) (http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/environment/wetland_freeze.html)
Satellite image of south Florida. From top to bottom, one can see the Kissimmee chain of lakes, Kissimmee River/canal; Lake Okeechobee; the Everglades Agricultural Area (in red) ; the Water Conservation areas below that; and finally Everglades National Park and Florida Bay.  (Public photo NASA, 1980.(http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/environment/wetland_freeze.html)

The number one thing I learned as a teacher was that I had to do my best, at all times, and with all students, to be “fair.” This required calling  students out when they did something inappropriate, as well as praising  them when they did something great.

Today, besides explaining the difference between a WATER YEAR and a CALENDAR YEAR, I must recognize the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD)(http://www.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/sfwmdmain/home%20pagefor doing something “great.”

Two days ago, our friend, Dr Gary Goforth, (http://garygoforth.net),”architect of the STAs,” reported that so far, the SFWMD has sent more water south from Lake Okeechobee, through the Storm Water Treatment Areas, (STAs) than even in 2014, which itself was a “record year.”

This will help save the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon….

You may recall prior to 2014, comparatively “little” water had been “sent south,” for a long, long time…meaning more of it went into our estuaries. 

Let’s learn:

Below, are summary notes from Dr Goforth that I have edited for simplicity of communication:

 

Attached is a snapshot of the current flows into and out of Lake Okeechobee for WATER YEARS 2015 (May 1 – January 2015).

Dr Goforth, 1: current flows into and out of Lake Okeechobee for Water Year 2015 (May 1 – January 2015).
Current flows into and out of Lake Okeechobee for Water Year 2015 (May 1 – January 2015). (Chart, Dr Gary Goforth.)

Highlights:

Water years chart showing Lake O water sent to STAs 1995-2105. (Chart Dr Gary Goforth, 2015.)
Water years chart showing Lake O water sent to STAs 1995-2105. (Chart Dr Gary Goforth, 2015.)

The District continues to send large volumes of Lake water to the STAs and WCAs: over 416,000 acre feet (136 billion gallons)! which coincidently is the volume of the Lake releases made to the St. Lucie River/Estuary in 2013. During the 3 months of the current dry season (November-January) they have sent over 207,000 AF to the STAs. They are on pace to greatly exceed my target of 250,000 acre feet during the dry season! And they said it couldn’t be done. On a side note – STA performance continues to improve in association with the additional flows.

 “Water Year” 2015 now is in the record books for the most Lake water ever sent to the STAs 

Also, “Water Year 2015” now is in the record books for the most Lake water ever sent to the Everglades since 1994.

The obvious bad news is that Lake discharges continue to the St. Lucie River/Estuary – at a rate that has practically no effect on reducing the stage of lake Okeechobee (less than 0.1 of an inch per day – less than evaporation).

*Jacqui-please feel free to share this information, with the caveat: “Estimates are preliminary and subject to revision.” 

 

Thank you Dr Goforth for sharing the above good news and kudos to the SFWMD!

___________________

Now as a side bar—I don’t want to confuse anybody, but I do want to share, in case you have noticed too, that sometimes these charts are reported in WATER YEARS and sometimes in ANNUAL YEARS.

For instance, the chart below that I shared in a blog reporting 2014 flows last year shows the report in CALENDAR YEARS. Dr Goforth’s chart above is in WATER YEARS and that is  why 2014 in his above chart does not look as high as one would expect it to–as 2014 was also a “record year,” (above 250,000 acre feet sent south.)

Water Sent South report Dr Goforth, 2014 in ANNUAL YEARS.
Water Sent South report Dr Goforth, 2014 in ANNUAL YEARS. This shows 2014’s water south above 250,000 acre feet reported in CALENDAR YEARS whereas the chart above shows in WATER YEARS.

So what’s the difference? A WATER YEAR is May through April over a two-year period; whereas a CALENDAR YEAR is just that, a calendar year….

I guess the scientists people usually use WATER YEARS…

But sometimes it gets reported in CALENDAR YEARS. Sometimes they don’t specify….Ag!

So anyway, it can be is confusing interpreting these charts. I wanted to make sure that everybody knew both: that in 2014 the SFWMD district sent over 270,000 acre feet south; and in 2015 they have already sent 416,000 acres south! Two great record years after the public outcry following the “lost summer” of 2013.

Although all this water going south is fantastic news, it must be noted as Dr Goforth did, that this is not enough water to “save” the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon. This is why the river movement is advocating for the state legislature to purchase option lands south of Lake Okeechobee in order to create an eventual  reservoir to store, clean, and convey –closer to the 150,000 acre feet that is necessary to go south so as not to destroy the estuaries…..

But today we focusing on praising good work….

Thank you to all of the hard-working members of the SFWMD who try to balance politics with science, a very difficult classroom! We recognize your good work; we commend you, we thank you. Please keep raising that bar!

____________________________________________________

SFWMD website: Sending Water South:(http://sfwmd.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapTour/index.html?appid=a9072c94b5c144d8a8af14996ce23bca&webmap=d8e767997b0d494494243ffbc7f6f861)