Lake O releases are on hold indefinitely

Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency Monday in Martin, St. Lucie, Palm Beach, Okeechobee, Lee, Glades and Hendry counties on both coasts of Florida because of algae blooms in the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers. The governor’s order gives state agencies more flexibility in managing fallout from the harmful algae blooms now […]

Cyanobacteria in water column, not lake’s surface

The good news: The surface of Lake Okeechobee is NOT covered in blue-green algae, toxic or otherwise. The bad news: According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there is a large concentration of cyanobacteria (sometimes called “blue-green algae”) in the lake. According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, some of the samples […]

Corps to reduce lake releases to St. Lucie Canal

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District has reduced flows from Lake Okeechobee over the coming days. Starting Friday (June 29), the target flow for the St. Lucie Estuary was reduced to a 14-day average of 585 cfs as measured at St. Lucie Lock & Dam (S-80) near Stuart.  The target flow for the […]

Public invited to comment on EAA reservoir plan

Plans for a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee continue to move forward. The public had another chance to ask questions and comment on the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) reservoir project June 27 at a meeting in Clewiston sponsored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Similar meetings took place June 26 in LeHigh and June […]

Boaters advised to use caution in restoration area

JACKSONVILLE — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District is advising boaters to use extreme caution when navigating in the Kissimmee River Restoration Project Area near the C-38 Canal to the east of Hidden Acres Estates. Draft depths are extremely shallow in the area, causing it to be non-navigable by most vessels. “We are […]

Algae does not hamper lake fishing

The water may be green in some parts of the lake, but fishermen on both the north and south sides of Lake Okeechobee report the summer has been a good one for fishing. “The fishing is great,” said Mary Ann Martin of the Roland and Mary Ann Martin Marina & Resort on June 25. She […]

Corps cuts lake flows to the coastal estuaries

Florida Gov. Rick Scott wants to send excess freshwater from Lake Okeechobee south, but existing water conveyance structures, direct rainfall south of the lake, the Tamiami Trail and the Department of the Interior make that difficult, if not impossible. Heavy rain in May — some areas received more than 400 percent of average rainfall — […]

Algal blooms reported throughout the area

Heavy rainfall in May and June followed by hot summer weather has led to increased reports of algal blooms and cyanobacteria blooms in South Florida. A combination of hot weather, low salinity, nitrogen and phosphorus can cause algae and cyanobacteria to grow rapidly; this is called a “bloom.” Laboratory tests are required to determine what […]

Satellite images show massive algal bloom on Lake Okeechobee

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is monitoring what they believe to be a large cyanobacteria bloom on Lake Okeechobee. According to Oceanographer Michelle Tomlinson of the NOAA National Ocean Service, they have been monitoring satellite photos of the lake since the start of June. Ms. Tomlinson shared the following information about the images. • […]

Algae testing takes time, says Department of Environmental Regulation

Algae is part of the natural ecosystem in lakes, rivers and streams worldwide. Algae is ever-present in Lake Okeechobee, even when it is not visible in a bloom; boaters and fishermen are used to seeing algae in the water column or blown about by the winds. Since the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began releasing […]