Corps accepts comment on Lake O Watershed Project

JACKSONVILLE — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District is accepting public comment on the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project (LOWRP) revised draft Project Implementation Report and Environmental Impact Statement (PIR/EIS). Public comment will be accepted through Aug. 19. The corps plan proposes a shallow (with water up to about 4 feet deep) Wetland […]

Researchers want to prevent HABs

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, […]

FDEP tracks toxic algae

OKEECHOBEE — Low water levels in Lake Okeechobee combined with the summer heat set the stage for cyanobacteria (blue green algae) blooms in the Big O this summer. The lake is still recovering from the massive inflow of nutrients in 2017 from Hurricane Irma. Over the past week, the algal bloom on Lake Okeechobee at […]

Wildfire draws attention to need for fire safety

A wildfire in the Everglades spread to more than 32,000 acres in one day last week, causing a brief closure of Alligator Alley due to heavy smoke. A rainstorm helped Florida Forest Service firefighters get the blaze under control. Wildfires from lightning strikes are common in Florida. Florida experiences the second highest number of wildfires […]

More storage north of lake needed, speakers tell task force

FORT MYERS — The Blue Green Algae Task Force July 1 meeting in Fort Myers included a review of Best Management Practices (BMPs) on agricultural lands north of Lake Okeechobee, and ideas for projects to meet the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) target for phosphorus into Lake Okeechobee. During the public comment period, many speakers […]

Senior Citizens party the night away

BELLE GLADE — The 2019 Glades Senior Citizen Prom was held on Saturday, June 29, at the Lake Shore Middle School. The theme for this year’s prom was ‘A Night Out In Paris.’ The Senior Prom Committee and KTM Foundation presented the event.

Everglades fire shows benefit of controlled burns

EVERGLADES — A lighting strike on the night of June 23 may have sparked the wildfire that tore through the Everglades and briefly shut down a part of Interstate 75, otherwise know as Alligator Alley. Smoke from the fire led to poor visibility and forced the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) to close down the section […]

Study finds low levels of microcystin in fish

PORT MAYACA – An Ocean Research and Conservation Association (ORCA) study on microcystin levels in fish in the St. Lucie Canal found very low levels of microcystin in most fish, well within the levels deemed safe for human consumption by the World Health Organization. The only fish found to be high in microcystin were armored […]

FWC responds to fish kill report

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission investigated reports of a fish kill on Lake Okeechobee last week, but could not find any dead fish. A video posted on Facebook by angler Kail Stevens on June 21 shows dead bass scattered on the surface of Lake Okeechobee near Lakeport. FWC biologists visited the area where the […]

Plants on lake controlled with spraying

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is conducting aquatic plant control on Lake Okeechobee this week through July 5. According to FWC, “these sites have been identified as critical infestation sites for floating plants as they negatively impact native habitat and navigation and require management on Lake Okeechobee. The low water levels seen around […]