Governor directs Floridians to ‘limit movements’ Hunting, fishing and hiking still allowed

TALLAHASSEE — In an April 1 press conference, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced an executive order “directing all Floridians to limit movements and personal interactions outside the home to only those necessary to obtain or provide essential services or to conduct essential activities.” “We’re going to be in this for another 30 days,” said the governor. […]

Turnout light for primary

Turnout was light for the March 17 presidential primary, as most Floridians’ attention was focused on the COVID-19 pandemic. Statewide, Joe Biden received 61.9% of the vote; Bernie Sanders, 22.8%, Michael Bloomberg, 8.4 %; Pete Buttigieg, 1.9%. Others on the ballot received less than 1% of the votes. Some of the candidates whose names appeared […]

A Message from the Publisher – This is the time for pioneer spirit

By Katrina Elsken Publisher Caloosa Belle In 1985, I had the honor of interviewing some of LaBelle’s oldest residents for a series of articles on the area’s history. The pioneer founders of this community dealt with many hardships, but they always came together as a community, and found ways to help each other through even […]

Federal budget includes funding for EAA reservoir

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Friday, Dec. 20, President Trump signed a federal budget into law that includes $200 million for Everglades restoration. “President Trump has followed through on his promise to deliver for Florida and America’s Everglades,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said. “This investment in Everglades restoration will build on our efforts at the state level […]

Submerged aquatic vegetation in Lake O shows signs of recovery

OKEECHOBEE — Lake Okeechobee’s submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) is showing signs of recovery, according to information shared at the Aug. 8 meeting of the Lake Okeechobee Aquatic Plant Management Interagency Task Force, representatives from the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the South Florida Water Management District. The meeting was […]

Researchers look for key to avoid harmful algal blooms

ALVA — Can scientists find a way to prevent harmful algae blooms (HABs)? “We’re looking for a kink in the armor,” Dr. Barry Rosen, of the U.S. Geological Survey, explained Monday as researchers set up an experiment on the Caloosahatchee River. “Once you have an algae bloom, it’s almost too late,” he said. By then, […]

Scientists, anglers want more Lake O testing

OKEECHOBEE — Scientists, anglers and Lake Okeechobee residents would like to see more testing of the waters of Lake Okeechobee. Environmental groups and coastal residents have also called for more testing. To solve the concerns about cyanobacteria (also known as blue green algae) in the big lake, more information is needed about where, when and […]

Coastal estuaries are no longer what nature designed

The St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries have been extensively changed from the systems designed by nature. During an online public webinar on May 28, Patti Gorman of the South Florida Water Management District, explained how development and flood control efforts have drastically changed the natural estuaries. The Calooshatchee River’s estuary was also changed by development […]

Franklin Lock area closed to swimming

LEE COUNTY — The Franklin Lock recreational area on the Caloosahatchee River no longer includes a designated area for swimming. Closures of the swimming area have been common in recent years. According to the U.S. Corps of Engineers, health concerns about the bacteria levels in the water have caused the beach to be closed 29 […]

Lake O falls below 11 feet

Lake Okeechobee fell below 11 feet above sea level on Monday. Most of the decline in the lake level is from evaporation into the air and percolation into the aquifer. Since May 18, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been releasing water from Lake Okeechobee at the rate of 800 cubic feet per second […]