Algae task force prioritizes regional storage projects

More regional water storage, projects to address legacy nutrients and stricter rules about septic tanks were all identified as priorities by the scientists on the Florida Blue Green Algae Task Force. Following a series of meetings to discuss water quality issues in Florida, the Blue-Green Algae Task Force drafted a series of recommendations for the […]

SFWMD considers changing rules for lake watershed

WEST PALM BEACH — At its Oct 10 meeting, the South Florida Water Management District Board voted to start the process to change Chapter 40E-61 Florida Administrative Code of the also known as Lake Okeechobee Works of the District rules. Stephany Olson, SFWMD science supervisor, said there are large gaps between the restoration goal and […]

Lake releases to continue

JACKSONVILLE — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District continues to release water from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee Estuary this week. “The good news is we got a little bit of rain, especially south of the lake,” said Col. Andrew Kelly, commander of the Jacksonville District, in an Oct. 11 media briefing. He […]

Florida Crystals praised for EAA land lease adjustments

OKEECHOBEE – The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) governing board had nothing but praise for Florida Crystals at their Oct. 10 meeting. Executive Director Drew Bartlett said when he came on board with the SFWMD, the governing board challenged him to expedite work on the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) reservoir and stormwater treatment area […]

Lake Okeechobee water level dropping

Following the driest month of September since recordkeeping started in 1932, the level of Lake Okeechobee continues to drop. On Monday, the lake level was 13.4 feet, down 0.2 feet from the previous week. The average lake level (based on historical records from 1965 to 2007) is 14.97 feet. During the 2018-2019 dry season, the […]

Lake Okeechobee releases to help Caloosahatchee estuaries

Franklin Lock and Dam

JACKSONVILLE — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will start freshwater releases from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee River on Saturday, Oct. 5, to help maintain healthy salinity levels in the estuaries. The driest September since record keeping started in 1932 has left the Caloosahatchee basin short of water, requiring the lake releases. “The runoff […]

Algae task force considers recommendations

NAPLES — The Department of Environmental Protection Blue Green Algae Task Force worked on recommendations on Basin Management Action Plans (BMAPs), Best Management Practices (BMPs), septic systems, sewage spills and stormwater storage and treatment at their Sept. 25 meeting at Florida Gulf Coast University. BMAPsThe task force noted the BMAPs have been hindered by local […]

UPDATED: Florida Crystals voluntarily agrees to terminate lease early to expedite construction of storm water treatment area

PALM BEACH COUNTY Florida Crystals is living up to the promise to make leased land available as needed for the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) reservoir and stormwater treatment area (STA). On Sept. 30, the New Hope Sugar Company (part of the Florida Crystals Corporation) sent a letter voluntarily terminating its lease on lands needed to […]

Lake level deviation is ‘all about algae’

When it comes to the level of Lake Okeechobee, there’s a lot of confusion. In a Sept. 20 media conference call, Col. Andrew Kelly of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers tried to straighten out some of the misconceptions about the Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (LORS), LORS operational flexibility, LORS deviations and the Lake Okeechobee […]

FDEP: Algae potential ‘significantly reduced’ in lake

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection reported no algae blooms the week of Sept. 13-19. Water samples collected from Lake Okeechobee contained no dominant species of algae and no toxins. No algal bloom conditions were observed by the samplers. National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration satellite imagery for Lake Okeechobee for that week shows that bloom […]