Septic tanks may pollute waterways

A potential source of water pollution could be in your back yard. Nationwide, about 20 percent of American homes use on-site sewage treatment and disposal systems (OSTDS), more commonly known as septic tanks. In most states, septic tanks are used in rural areas where it is not cost-effective to run sewer lines to remote homes. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 — […]

Flood control systems protect South Floridians

The Central and South Florida Flood Control Project had some unintended consequences, but the project did what the engineers set out to do, and because of that flood control project millions of people now live, work, play and farm in areas that would otherwise be underwater part of the year. The South Florida pioneers knew […]

District wants to increase water flow south

The South Florida Water Management District is using all of the tools in the box to deal with the runoff from May’s record-breaking rainfall. “Water levels throughout the district — which is made up of 16 counties in South Florida — are very high after record-breaking rainfall in May,” SFWMD spokesman Randy Smith said at […]

More study needed to deal with the algal blooms What we don’t know CAN hurt us

Nearly two years after the ‘guacamole’ algae bloom that blanketed the Treasure Coast in the summer of 2016, there are plenty of theories, but we don’t “know” the cause. The prevailing theory was that algae in the freshwater released from Lake Okeechobee through the C-44 canal seeded the bloom, which grew to thick mats when […]

Most of big lake’s water loss is to evaporation

Weather patterns are on track to drop Lake Okeechobee to 12.5 feet by the start of the rainy season, according to a forecast shared at the last meeting of the 16 County Coalition for Responsible Management of Lake Okeechobee, the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Estuaries, and Lake Worth Lagoon. Not all forecasters agree with the […]

FDEP approves plan for EAA reservoir project

The long-awaited Everglades Agricultural Area reservoir project moved closer to realization on March 5, when a secretarial order was signed by Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein. This project was the subject of Senate Bill 10, Audubon Florida’s top 2017 legislative priority. During the development of the project, which occurred on a speedy […]

Herbert Hoover Dike protects much of South Florida

The safety of the Herbert Hoover Dike is vital to the people of the Glades. Those who live around the Big O’s southern shores in South Bay, Belle Glade, Moore Haven and Clewiston know the danger they could be in if the dike failed. The dike also protects the farms of the Everglades Agricultural Area […]