Tag Archives: safety

“State of Emergency” Halts Northern Waters, but Not Lake’s Algae Waters, SLR/IRL

2. Lake O alae 6 26 2016
1. Lake O algae 6 26 2016
Map of bloom
Map of bloom
2. Lake O alae 6 26 2016
2. Lake O algae 6 26 2016
SFWMD canal and basin map. C-44 canal is the canal most southerly in the image.
SFWMD canal and basin map. C-44 canal is the canal most southerly in the image. S-308 is at the lake, Port Mayaca and S-80 along the C-44 canal. Both discharge into SLR.

Today’s photos were taken by Dr Gary Goforth this past Sunday.  During a trip, he flew over Lake Okeechobee.

He writes: “Jacqui–The photos are of the southeast part of Lake; the plane had just passed over Clewiston and is headed northeast. The city of Pahokee is visible along the upper right shoreline. The FPL reservoir is visible in the background. The bloom is enormous – easily over 100 sq miles in extent, although areas are patchy.” GG



It’s hard to understand state of emergencies.

Martin County waters are experiencing  their third “state of emergency” since 2013–two of those being this year in 2016.

Yesterday, Governor Rick Scott declared one, after our county commission declared one first, over the blue-green algae blooms in the St Lucie River, Indian River Lagoon and Atlantic Ocean —I am very grateful.

What I do not understand is that when you really read between the lines, we will continue to be under siege.

After one sifts through the words of the declaration there are basic things that stand:  the emergency order directs Water Management Districts and the Florida Wildlife Commission to stop flows into the lake as soon as possible coming from the north. It also allows a waiver of requirements to purchase pumps to move water south, and increases water testing.

This is all good and well, but there is one problem. This means the discharges from the lake continue– perhaps lessened, but they will continue…full of the same algae that is causing the emergency in the first place. And the lake is very high at 14.90. The dumping could go on for months even if no new water enters the lake from the north…

Until the gates at S-308 and S-80 are closed we will suffer. Like having the dike too high is a safety issue for those south of the lake, sending the lake’s algae waters to the St Lucie River is a safety issue too. Take a look.


ACOE Lake O: http://w3.saj.usace.army.mil/h2o/currentLL.shtml

Rick Scott’s site: (http://www.flgov.com/2016/06/29/gov-scott-declares-state-of-emergency-in-st-lucie-and-martin-counties-following-algal-blooms/)

Simplified Emergency Order and short article Stuart Magazine: (http://www.stuartmagazine.com/up-front/noteworthy/gov-rick-scott-declares-state-emergency-over-blue-green-algae-blooms)


From: "Wesley Scott"
From: “Wesley Scott” <wes@indianrivershutter.com>



“How to Rescue a Shorebird”

Northern Gannet rescued at Bathtub Beach 2-12-14
Northern Gannet rescued at Bathtub Beach 2-12-14

I believe the first shorebird I “rescued” was a blue heron, along the St Lucie River. I was in middle school and my friends found the magnificent, four foot tall creature, caught in fishing line in Rio, in the mangroves by their home. If I remember correctly, I was the one who held the beak and  body while my friends cut away the fishing line. I never let go, and my best friend, Vicki Whipkey, had an older sister Beth, who drove us to a Veterinarian, Dr Hooks.  This was about 1976. I felt oddly important; I had a purpose, to help…

I have always felt a responsibility to assist animals in distress, but one must be careful. How I learned this stuff, I’ll never know. I think it was just part of growing up in Stuart when it was small and we as we were always outdoors. And my parents always had some animal for my brother and sister and I to raise: a raccoon, a robin, a opossum, a black snake….

With birds, the most  important thing is to be very careful of the beak. Almost any shorebird, can  take out an eye very quickly. Of course the bird is scared and thinks you are a predator when you try to rescue it, so if you are not comfortable, just call the authorities.

If you feel  inclined, have a towel or shirt in one hand and ideally someone else with you; don’t hesitate, grab the beak and close it, not covering the nostrils;  be gentle with  the head and neck but be firm, you must be in control;  move the head inward, in the direction of the neck’s natural curve, close to  bird’s body; now use your other hand to  scoop its  body up and into your arms; keep the  head away from your  face.  You’re almost done!

Now to get the bird some help. I have driven pelicans to the Treasure Coast Wildlife Center while holding them in my lap,  probably not a good idea. Ideally, you have a large container and gently put them into it, covering it so they calm down. You can now deliver the bird or call the authorities to come pick it up.

The Treasure Coast Wildlife Center is located at 8626 SW Citrus Blvd. Palm City, Florida 34990, 772-286-6200. Animal Control’s number  is 772-220-7170, through the Sheriff’s non emergency number.

Most recently with the Gannet, it was after 5PM so I had to call Animal Control. The control officer’s name was Michele Thonney. She was terrific: prompt, knowledgeable, and compassionate. I am planning on writing Sheriff Snyder a note  expressing my gratitude for his professional staff. She even sent me a link to a video on Gannets (below), amazing dive bomb birds that hunt fish from fantastic heights and can swim/dive 40 plus feet deep; they live at sea and  migrate thousands of miles, if “from around here,” probably to Nova Scotia.  Their airodynamic bodies have been used in the design of missiles. It is rare to find a Gannet along our Martin County beaches: I feel lucky to have helped one. Good luck to you, should you decide to as well!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwPrXOtBoVg