Environmental experts respond to Lake Okeechobee discharge into Indian River Lagoon and St. Lucie River

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has begun releasing water from Lake Okeechobee after citing higher-than-average water levels from El Niño conditions. Many local environmental experts say they are worried.

Massive Lake Okeechobee discharges to come this weekend, officials announce

This weekend, the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is going to begin a massive release of water from Lake Okeechobee for the first time in months.

El Niño rains to blame for Lake Okeechobee water sent to the St. Lucie River, Stuart

Lake Okeechobee water will start pouring into the St. Lucie River on Saturday.

Environmentalists warn of impacts ahead of Lake Okeechobee discharges

Residents along Florida's east coast are bracing for the floodgates, which hold back water from Lake Okeechobee, to open Saturday. 

Lake Okeechobee discharges coming Saturday; Army Corps says lake too high

The Army Corps of Engineers will begin discharging water from a swollen Lake Okeechobee on Saturday.

What would discharges mean for Martin County?

People in and around Martin County are anxiously awaiting whether the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will announce discharges from Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie Estuary.

Army Corps of Engineers considering discharges from Lake Okeechobee to St. Lucie Estuary

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is considering "different release scenarios" of discharges from Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie Estuary ahead of the wet and hurricane seasons.

DEP issues final order to punish Port St. Lucie resort for destroying mangrove forest

Sandpiper Bay Resort has five months to restore a mangrove forest it destroyed to create a beach and unobstructed view of the St. Lucie River, according to a Jan. 23 state order.

Dune remains strong following December storm, though expert warns of erosion potential going forward

The recent string of winter storms has had an impact on our coastal beaches, especially along the Treasure Coast.

Expert warns of potential for Lake Okeechobee discharges this winter

This summer, experts braced for a flurry of discharges from Lake Okeechobee that would threaten local waterways on the Treasure Coast, including the St. Lucie River and the Indian River Lagoon.

Decrease in weekend temperatures expected to attract manatees to West Palm Beach waters

Every year, the manatees bring people from near and far, all of them hoping to catch a glimpse.

This weekend, temperatures are expected to be in the low 50s and 60s, which means our waters will also be a little cooler.

Dr. Zack Jud, with the Florida Oceanographic Society, says for hundreds of years when the waters start getting colder, the manatees go searching for a place to warm up.

Read the article here

How DEP plans to punish a Port St. Lucie resort for destroying a half-acre mangrove canopy

DEP proposes punishment for Sandpiper Bay Resort in Port St. Lucie.

Environmental leaders meet in Martin County to discuss 'imminent' Lake O discharges

Mark Perry, Florida Oceanographic Society Executive Director & CEO, discusses Lake Okeechobee water management with Steve Davis, Everglades Foundation chief science officer, at the St. Lucie Lock and Dam on Tuesday, July 25, 2023, in Martin County. 

 

Reaffirming the Need to Restore the Everglades in Memory of the 'Lost Summer'

Environmental Groups gathered in Stuart Tuesday, July 25th, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of what has come to be known as the ‘Lost Summer’, a series of devastating algae blooms that left south Florida residents stunned and spurred renewed efforts to restore the Everglades.

Fertilizer Fight: 55 groups pen letter to governor to veto fertilizer study, protect water

Nitrogen and Phosphorous can make your lawn beautiful, but they also feed blue-green algae and kill seagrass, critical to marine life in our waterways. Environmental groups want the governor to veto a plan they say will hurt local ecosystems.

Toxic algae blooms reported in Port Mayaca

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported a 'moderate' level of toxic algae blooms in Martin County over the weekend.

Port Mayaca Lock and Dam shutting down in response to toxic algae photos

The U.S Army Corps of Engineers is adjusting its water release schedule at the Port Mayaca Lock and Dam (S-308) in Martin County after receiving aerial images showing a thin ribbon of algal mass moving towards the gate Monday.

'Surprised to see it this early': Toxic blue-green algae found in Lake Okeechobee during winter

Environmentalists are keeping an eye on local waterways now that harmful blue green algal toxins have been spotted in Lake Okeechobee, especially in parts of Martin County.

Army Corps releases latest Lake O management plan's predicted effect on St. Lucie River

The Army Corps last week released an Environmental Impact Statement that details the potential consequences of how the agency plans to manage lake levels for the next decade. A final draft of the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM) is expected to be adopted in 2023.

Mast’s bill takes aim at Lake O discharges

The Treasure Coast’s congressman introduced a bill Wednesday requiring a multiyear roadmap to end Lake Okeechobee discharges to coastal estuaries, which are often a vehicle for toxic algae and ecological destruction.

Starving manatees will face another rough winter next season

When manatees on Florida's east coast gather next winter, they're likely to face another season of starvation.

Revised SB 2508’s impact on river, lagoon weighed

The most contentious environment bill of this year’s legislative session is heading to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk. 

DEP will expedite seagrass-planting permits to help manatees

Florida will make it easier and faster to plant seagrasses, the main food source for manatees that are dying in record numbers, according to a Treasure Coast lawmaker.

Mark Perry receives 2022 Conservationist Award

Mark Perry, executive director of the Florida Oceanographic Society, recently was awarded the 2022 Conservationist Award by the Everglades Coalition in honor of his 40-plus years protecting and restoring the greater everglades ecosystem.

South Florida environmentalists react to SB 2508

Lawmakers amended a controversial water bill this week after several people, including Governor Ron DeSantis, voiced opposition.

SFWMD wants more say when Lake Okeechobee level drops, but environmentalists are worried

Clean-water advocates lost the war for zero discharges to the St. Lucie River in the new plan being written to manage Lake Okeechobee’s water level for the next decade. Now they fear a new state proposal threatens the battle they did win: a nearly 40% reduction in Lake O discharges.

2021 was a record year for Florida manatee deaths. Here are 5 ways you can help sea cows

More Florida manatees died in 2021 than any other year, most of them from starving, and many readers have asked TCPalm: How can I help? 

Seagrass beds are starting to revive along the Indian River Lagoon; but for how long?

Don't cue the ticker-tape parade quite yet, but seagrass is starting to make a comeback in the Indian River Lagoon along the Treasure Coast and Space Coast.

U.S. Sugar Corp. vs. Army Corps: Who's right about operating Lake Okeechobee levels?

The Army Corps of Engineers is "rolling the dice" with water South Florida depends on by lowering Lake Okeechobee, the U.S. Sugar Corp. says.

Despite Dorian, Army Corps won't start Lake Okeechobee discharges to St. Lucie River yet

Less rainfall than expected from Hurricane Dorian plus efforts to keep Lake Okeechobee low add up to no discharges to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers.