Images help us understand where we are going, were we are, and where we have been. Here along the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon, the present “image” is not an easy one, as everything is “toxic green.”
The Army Corp of Engineers’ recent press release informs that the agency will begin releasing water from Lake Okeechobee into the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon on Monday, May 4th, 2015. This water is known to contain toxic algae. Some of this toxic algae has tested at high levels as shown by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s report as shared with Martin County government on 4-29-15:
Toxin potential * The dominant taxon was: Microcystis aeruginosa Class Cyanophyceae yes
*Toxin analysis showed 8.4 µg of microcystin-LR per liter in the sample.
According to the press release fom the ACOE, they have consulted with scientists from the South Florida Water Management District, Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection, as well as the United States Geological Survey. The thinking is that the lake is too high and it may be a better idea to release the toxic algae into the brackish waters of the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon where it may “break up,” rather than allowing it to fester and possibly grow even larger in the fresh, warm, stagnant waters of Lake Okeechobee.
Maybe the bloom will disperse. This is not the point. The point for me, as a small town elected official, is that the “higher” governments, now apparently both state and federal, have knowingly and publicly agreed to pour toxic algae into our community.
Yes, the ACOE and SFWMD and others may have done this in the past, but “nobody knew.”
The remainder of this blog is a plea to the agencies:
Now we know. We saw it. A video was created by citizens and shared with hundreds, maybe thousands. Senator Negron was even alarmed so he called, and you agreed not to open the gates. Toxic algae is a health hazard. You tested it just to verify it was toxic. It tested positive. Now, one week later, you are going to “knowingly” and publicly release it?
I know what you are thinking—
I sympathize….possible flooding south of the lake; it can’t happen. Flood control; it’s your first priority— I get it.
You are in a bad position having to choose between “possible flooding” or “releasing toxic algae into a community. What can you do?
MAKE THOSE HIGHER UP THAN YOU HELP MAKE THE CHOICES.
Share your concerns with Governor Rick Scott, President Barack Obama, members of Congress and the Florida legislature. Get on the phone and call them. Reach out.
I will search for remedies too. The public will as well. What is ironic is that this forced cup of poison we all must drink is binding us together as never before. We are bound in time and place. We must fulfill our destiny and create an image for a better water future.
The present models, the present images, are not working.