Cyanobacteria bloom continues

The cyanobacteria bloom in Lake Okeechobee was in about 36 percent of the lake on Sept. 13, as documented by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) satellite imagery, slightly decreased from the 38 percent observed by NOAA on Sept. 9. Cyanobacteria, also called “blue-green algae” although it is not technically algae, has been visible […]

Federal officials tour Everglades restoration projects

On Aug. 15, South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Governing Board Chairman Federico Fernandez and Executive Director Ernie Marks joined the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James to highlight some of the major Everglades restoration projects targeted at reducing Lake Okeechobee discharges to the northern estuaries. Additional participants included U.S. Army […]

Want to stop algal blooms? Stop feeding the algae

The cyanobacterial blooms that have plagued South Florida this summer have led to protests from the public, promises from politicians and blame (mostly targeted at farmers and Lake Okeechobee) from the coastal media. But amid all of the slogans, sound bites and allegations, maybe we’re asking the wrong question. Instead of asking where the algae […]

Components of park plan

The Moonshine Marsh Overlook Park project will include: • Dredging of around 648,000 cubic yards of muck and soil from Moore Haven Canal and Pig Trail channel; • Littoral zone mitigation of 34.5 acres, plus opportunities to create more marsh area; • 6+ miles of bank and scrub/shrub rehabilitation opportunities for wildlife habitat; • Florida […]

Mast argues for lower Lake Okeechobee level

STUART — Congressman Brian Mast’s proposal to lower Lake Okeechobee to 8 feet by the end of the dry season to prevent wet season releases to the coastal estuaries was the topic of discussion at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District briefing on Aug. 17 in Stuart City Hall. Ernie Marks, South Florida […]

Loss of aquatic vegetation means ‘the lake is hurting’

High water levels are hurting Lake Okeechobee’s ecological balance. Water Resources Director Terrie Bates explained the issue at the July 12 meeting of the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board. She said it is due to the lasting effects of Hurricane Irma, which churned the waters of the Big O and dumped enough rain […]

Lakeside Ranch STA contract approved

The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Governing Board last week awarded a contract to build the final piece of the Lakeside Ranch Stormwater Treatment Area (STA) project, the S-191A Pump Station. In cooperation with the other coordinating agencies, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, SFWMD’s project […]

S-127 Lock on Lake Okeechobee reopens for Navigation

Repairs completed ahead of schedule on north shore boat lock Click the map to see a larger version. OKEECHOBEE — For boaters navigating to and from Lake Okeechobee, the S-127 navigation lock at Buckhead Ridge in Glades County has reopened to navigation. The lock was closed on Aug. 13 to allow staff from the South […]

Nitrogen from the air helps fuel blue-green algae

Tests by the University of Florida show the cyanobacteria bloom in the lake has changed. At the start of the summer, the dominant type was a species of Microcystis, according to Florida Department of Environmental Regulation (FDEP) tests. In late July, the Microcystis bloom appeared to die off. A new bloom that has grown in […]

Property owners oppose siting of reservoir near SR 78

OKEECHOBEE — “We knew this meeting was going to be personal,” said Lt. Col. Jennifer A. Reynolds, deputy district commander for South Florida in the Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District, at the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project (LOWRP) meeting held Aug. 2 in the Williamson Conference Center at Indian River State College in Okeechobee. […]