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 […]

Reynolds debunks water myths

OKEECHOBEE — Myths about the South Florida watershed can hurt efforts to save the Everglades, according to Lt. Col. Jennifer Reynolds’ report to the combined county commissions of Okeechobee, Glades, Hendry, Martin and Palm Beach counties, May 7 at Okeechobee High School. ‘The greatest problem that I see in many of the conversations is that […]

Governor asks SFWMD board to resign

Following Governor Ron DeSantis’ request that all members of the South Florida Water Management District resign, two board members have agreed to leave the board. Dan O’Keefe and Carlos Diaz have given their letters of resignation. SFWMD Governing Board members are unpaid volunteers. All of those on the board at the time Gov. DeSantis took […]

SFWMD terminates option on U.S. Sugar holdings

Former Governor Charlie Crist’s “River of Grass” dream ended quietly last week when the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board terminated the state’s option on 153,209 acres of U.S. Sugar’s holdings. Without this action, the option agreement would have expired Oct. 11, 2020. At the Dec. 13 meeting of the SFWMD Governing Board, Brian […]

Demand for lake releases varies with season

It’s no wonder Lee County residents are confused about Lake Okeechobee releases. Half the year, local officials tell them the Caloosahatchee estuaries are dying because they need more freshwater flow from Lake Okeechobee The other six months, they are told the estuaries are dying because there is too much lake water being released. At the […]

NOAA imagery shows lake algal bloom decreasing

The latest images from space show the blue-green algal bloom on Lake Okeechobee is decreasing. Imagery from July 2 showed signs of cyanobacteria in 90 percent of Lake Okeechobee. Since the satellite images are only available at set intervals, NOAA was unable to get usable photos July 6-13 due to cloud cover. The July 14 […]

Toxic algae found in the Caloosahatchee River

Low levels of the toxin microcystin were detected in water collected in Lake Okeechobee where a large algal bloom has been reported, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation. Higher levels of microcystin were detected on the Caloosahatchee River in Glades County and in Lee County. The highest level of toxins detected this week […]

High toxin levels reported in Caloosahatchee River algal bloom

Low levels of the toxin microcystin were detected in water collected in Lake Okeechobee where a large algal bloom has been reported, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation. Higher levels of microcystin were detected on the Caloosahatchee River in Glades County and in Lee County. The highest level of toxins detected this week […]