This blog post is a follow-up to my previous post: https://wp.me/p3UayJ-9Vm, entitled “Top 25 Discharge Years” to the St Lucie and Caloosahatchee . Here I wrote that the SFWMD’s DBHydro systems’ discharge dates were not the same for the St Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries and speculated on why. To review, the St Lucie’s dates available on DBHydro are 1953-2019, whereas the Caloosahatchee’s is 1967-2019. Thirteen years are “missing.”
Of course my brother Todd, was able to locate and give insight into those missing numbers explaining that comparisons could be found in another system, the USGS system, that actually shares information about the entire planet.
Todd has created the above charts using the USGS data for the Caloosahatchee and the DBHydro data for the St Lucie, and we can now see the 1959/1960 discharge comparison of the St Lucie and Caloosahatchee for 1959 and 1960 in the above charts and excerpts below. Cool!
Delving into all this is a lot of work, and sometimes imperfect, but isn’t it great that the internet allows both the state and federal government to put all this raw data out there for anyone to analyze? Although it takes time and expertise, at the local level it is really our responsibility to individually, through non-profits, and as local governments, tap into this available data and present it in a fashion that everyone can understand, and perhaps inspire!
So now, the lost numbers of the Caloosahatchee are found revealing that the St Lucie River has the highest discharge number on record – 1960- at 3,093,488 acre feet!
The 1916 cartoon says it all, doesn’t it? “You can have all these lands, if you drain and develop them….”
How does the saying go? “Be careful of what you wish for…”
We sure got what we wanted and more. We’ve gotten so much we’ve killed it, or are in the process thereof….Uncle Sam gave us a gift in the Swamp Land Act of the late 1800s and we, the State of Florida, have killed it–the Swamp that is…and even with the “retched swamp mentality” of the 1800s, no one, not even Governor Napoleon Broward himself, envisioned real estate surrounded by putrid, polluted water…
This year our state legislature did not seem to recognize the sense of urgency in Florida regarding clean water and the health of the state’s natural resource’s as reflected in their decisions made, or not made, this 2015 legislative session. Amendment 1 was all but ignored. But from north Florida’s springs, to the estuaries of the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon and Caloosahtchee, to Biscayne Bay the people of the state still recognize this urgency. And this urgency is not just answered by money. It can be answered by beginning to have real discussion state-wide on these issuers. Florida voters know our past and we know what we want for the future.
The will of the people will be done.
Repressed desires only get stronger….
We all know that there are many ways to help, and we must do all we can, but in the long run there is only one way to change the “big picture,” for South Florida.
There must be a third outlet south of Lake Okeechobee as discussed since the earliest days of water management…we must stop wasting 1.7 billion gallons of water to tide every day, stop creeping development into the remaining Everglades, and most important, the agriculture community in the EAA must actively become part of the land acquisition solution for reconnection of Lake Okeechobee to Everglades National Park.
“Drainage and development of south Florida has had major environmental consequences in the Everglades. Saltwater intrusion into freshwater aquifers has extended as far as 6 miles inland from the coast in some areas. The land surface has subsided as much as 6 feet in some agricultural areas because of lowered water tables, oxidation of drained peat, and subsequent peat fires.
Mercury contamination of fish has resulted in a ban on the consumption of fish from the central part of the Park, WCA-2, and WCA-3 and is implicated in the deaths of endangered Florida panthers. Populations of wading birds have decreased by almost 95 percent from 1870 to 1973. In high-nutrient areas, cattails are replacing native sawgrass.
Plant and animal communities in the Everglades have been altered by changes in timing and duration of inundation; invasion of exotic plants as a result of drainage and land clearing, nutrient, and (or) contaminant-enrichment of water that flows into Everglades from agricultural and urban areas; and loss of habitat…”
Dead panthers from eating fish full of mercury?
This is not what we will leave our children…is it?