Want to stop algae blooms? Stop feeding the algae

OKEECHOBEE — 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 […]

Lake Okeechobee coverage mired in misinformation

OKEECHOBEE — Misinformation, partial truths, vague but colorful descriptions and puzzling statements plague media coverage of the second largest freshwater lake within the continental United States. Political spin by candidates for local, state and national office add to the confusion about the water released from Lake Okeechobee, and the part those releases play in the […]

Sugar farmers push back on attacks from politicians and media

OKEECHOBEE — Farmers around Lake Okeechobee are attempting to push back against attacks from politicians and media outlets around south Florida. After toxic algae blooms began to take over waterways in south Florida, some politicians running for election began to single out one scapegoat, ‘Big Sugar.’ During a campaign event in Fort Myers in early […]

Warnings similar for very different hazards

OKEECHOBEE — Warnings given by Florida State agencies about potential hazards in Florida waterways give the same advice for two very different potential hazards. Some of the Florida Wildlife Commission rules for living with alligators can also apply to algae. For example: Don’t feed the alligators/algae. Keep pets away from alligators/algae. Do not swim in […]

Nitrogen from the air helps fuel blue-green algae

OKEECHOBEE — 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 […]

Blue-green algae bloom now in lake is fueled by nitrogen from the air

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 […]

New NOAA image shows algae in 45 percent of lake

As the long, hot summer continues, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration continues to track cyanobacteria concentrations in Lake Okeechobee. The computer-generated image is derived from data using satellite imagery capturing spectrums of light not visible to the human eye. Cloud cover and wind can affect the satellite data. The image from Aug. 9 “is […]

Blue-green algae in about 30 percent of lake

OKEECHOBEE – Satellite images show cyanobacteria in about 30 percent of Lake Okeechobee. Images acquired on Aug. 6 are partly obscure by clouds on the eastern side of the lake, according to Dr. Sachi Mishra of the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “Blooms are clearly visible in […]

Algal bloom in lake drops to 17 percent

OKEECHOBEE — Satellite imagery released Aug. 3 shows the cyanobacteria bloom in Lake Okeechobee has dropped. Images taken Aug. 2 show cyanobacteria in about 17 percent of the lake (about 93 square miles). The last image available, from July 29, showed cyanobacteria (also called blue-green algae) in about 40 percent of the big lake. The […]

Algae bloom on Lake Okeechobee has decreased to about 30 percent of the lake

OKEECHOBEE — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Friday reported that the algal bloom on Lake Okeechobee has decreased to about 30 percent of the lake. In addition, about half of the bloom has decreased significantly in concentration. At its peak on July 2, the bloom was in about 90 percent of the lake, according […]