FDEP monitors algae in area lakes and waterways

LAKE OKEECHOBEE — What effect will the wind and rain from Hurricane Dorian have on Lake Okeechobee? It’s too soon to tell. The winds and rain associated with Hurricane Dorian made it impossible for NOAA to get reliable satellite images. The most recent available image is from Sept. 1, and NOAA notes that it may […]

Algae task force considers nutrients from septic tanks

FORT PIERCE — The Blue-Green Algae Task Force considered a human source of nutrient loads into Florida’s lakes and waterways at their Aug. 1 meeting. They reviewed the nutrient load from septic tanks and leaks and overflows from sewage systems. Dr. Eb Roeder of the Florida Department of Health explained septic tanks are meant as […]

Algae task force meets Thursday

FORT PIERCE — The Blue Green Algae Task Force will discuss innovative technologies to treat, prevent, reduce or eliminate Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) at its next meeting. Also on the agenda are septic tank regulations and discussion of a few sewer overflow impacts and causes. The task force will meet Thursday, Aug. 1, in the […]

Project could turn algae into fuel

MOORE HAVEN — Can the algae in Lake Okeechobee be extracted and turned into biofuel? An experiment conducted near the Moore Haven lock in July indicates this could be a possibility. Dr. Martin Page, project manager with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said the 2018 WRDA provided the corps with some funding for research […]

FDEP is testing algal blooms as they pop up

OKEECHOBEE — As the summer heat continues, the lake remains below 12 feet above sea level, and blooms of algae and cyanobacteria (called blue green algae, although it is not actually algae) are common. The heat combined with little movement of water create conditions conducive to the rapid reproduction of the microscopic organisms into “blooms.” […]

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 […]

Task force wants more lake testing

FORT MYERS — Comprehensive testing of the lake water and sediment is needed in order to find the most efficient ways to reduce the blue green algal blooms in Lake Okeechobee, according to discussion at the Blue Green Algae Task Force’s second meeting, held July 1 in Fort Myers. “The challenges with regard to water […]

Latest FDEP sample finds lake water safe

The latest sample of algae in Lake Okeechobee found the water safe for human contact, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection data. A sample taken of a windblown algal bloom at the Port Mayaca Lock had microcystin levels of 1.08 micrograms per liter, according to FDEP. The new Environmental Protection Agency standard for […]

Will ‘send it south’ destroy Keys?

Will sending water from the Big O south save Florida Bay’s sensitive ecosystem and the coral reefs of the Florida Keys … or destroy them? Proponents of the push to send more water from Lake Okeechobee south to Florida Bay were celebrating earlier this month, with the announcement of more federal and state funding to […]

Task force seeks solutions to blue-green algae issues

On Wednesday, the state’s new blue-green algae task force started the complicated task of finding the most effective way to control harmful algal blooms. While much of the focus was on the Lake Okeechobee watershed and the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries, the panel discussed algae issues in the St. Johns River, the state’s springs […]