What's Happening Now

Can mangroves keep up with rising sea levels? 
 
Check out this recent paper by Dr. Glenn A. Coldren and researchers from Villanova University and Smithsonian Environment Research Center on work at Kennedy Space Center. Their study showed coastal wetlands in the southeastern United States may respond strongly to rising temperatures due to climate change and may help shorelines keep pace with sea level rise.
 
 
"State officials must strengthen environmental policies to solve algae crisis", an article by Gary Goforth 
 
The water quality of the lake is at an all-time crisis level and human health, the environment and the regional economy are suffering as polluted lake water is discharged to the estuaries. 
 
Be heard with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers  
 
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is hosting a series of public meetings. On Thursday, June 28 2018 a meeting will be held at the Blake Library in Stuart, Florida. Seating will be limited. 
 
"Flawed water-delivery system continues to imperil estuaries", an article by Mark Perry 
 
The water management system in South Florida is designed, engineered and operated to provide flood protection and water supply, but it obviously is being controlled to support the profit-driven agricultural industry around Lake Okeechobee.
 
 
Treasure Coast Water Crisis
 
As a citizen of the Treasure Coast, what can you do to make a difference and save our waterways?
 
A message for World Oceans Day from Mark Perry
World Oceans Day on June 8th gives us the chance to reflect on the importance of our ocean and what we must do to protect it. The ocean provides 95% of the living space here on Earth and holds 98% of the water on our planet. It is our planet’s life support system. 
 
 
Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission just approved 8 revisions for the 2018 General Election ballot. Included in these is Proposal 6004, which prohibits offshore oil and gas drilling. 
 
"Shouldn't State Lands be Used for State Waters?", an article by Mark Perry
Discharges of water from Lake Okeechobee totaled 832 billion gallons in 2017. The majority of those discharges, 650 billion gallons, went east and west causing massive environmental destruction to the northern coastal estuaries: the St. Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon and the Caloosahatchee River. 
 
33rd Everglades Coalition Conference
The Everglades Coalition, an alliance of 62 local, state, and national conservation organizations held their 33rd annual Everglades Coalition Conference in Stuart from January 11-14. This conference brought together scientists, government officials and members of the public to protect and restore America’s Everglades benefiting wildlife, the economy and families. View more information from the conference below:
 
 
EAA Reservoir Project (SB 10): 90 Days In
It looks like the project is making progress. Everything has been moving forward according to schedule, with the exception of the US Army Corps of Engineers who requested 30 additional days to begin the post-authorization report.
 
 
Plans to be Presented on August 16th for Lake Okeechobee Watershed Project
 
We’re a year into the planning phase of the Watershed Project. The SFWMD and US Army Corp of Engineers are developing 3 alternatives to be presented August 16, 2017. These plans will be to store and treat water before entering Lake Okeechobee. Once completed, this project will store 47% of the Lake’s regulatory releases according to the District modeling. 
 
SB 10 Signed by Gov. Scott
 
Governor Rick Scott has signed Senate Bill 10, the plan to build a water storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee. This is a step in the right direction for restoring the Everglades and stopping the harmful discharges into our local waterways. This plan provides a timeline to SFWMD & USACOE to complete planning in 3 years, funding FY 2018 $30 M for acquiring land and leases, and $3M to develop post-authorization change reports. Also includes up to $800 M in Florida Forever Bonding for land, planning and construction, and $64 M in FY 2019 for EAA Reservoir Project.
 
SB 10 Approved By Senate – Off to House
 
The Senate has approved Senate Bill 10 to build a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee to store and clean water that will be sent south to the Everglades. The bill is now in the House of Representatives to be approved. We urge you to reach out to House Speaker Richard Corcoran to show your support of SB 10.
 
You can reach Speaker Corcoran at 813-792-5177 or by email at Richard.Corcoran@myfloridahouse.gov
 
HB 761 Filed by Representative Altman
 
On February 10, 2017, House Bill 761 was filed by State Representative Thad Altman, to respond to the critial water resource needs in the coastal estuaries and the Everglades. 
 
We hope that this companion bill, along with SB 10, will bring the State of Florida a solution for this water crisis. 
 
 
SB 10 Filed by Senator Bradley
 
As of January 26, 2017, Senate Bill 10 was filed, an act relating to water resources, to begin the formal process of purchasing land south of Lake Okeechobee and sending the water south.
Take a look at the following attachments for more info:
 
We encourage you to contact your legislators and let them know that you want them to support this plan.
 
FOS Signs Now or Neverglades Declaration
 
Florida Oceanographic Society signed the Now or Neverglades Declaration at Rally for the River on July 24th, 2016. "The most important thing that we can do to fix this water crisis is to not give up. Stay involved and keep up the fight!" says Executive Director, Mark Perry. As an organization, FOS stands behind the declaration and encourages both individuals and organizations to sign.
 
 
Petition for Presidential Candidates
 
We encourage everyone to sign this petition on Change.org. Martin County invites Presidential candidates to tour our deteriorating waterways.
 
 
Algae Bloom in our Waters
 
"A blue-green algae bloom in Lake Okeechobee started May 9th at 33 square miles and has grown to 239 square miles as shown in this NASA Satellite image July 2nd. Damaging discharges from the Lake to the St. Lucie Estuary continue to deliver massive amounts of the Toxic Algae together with tons of phosphorus and nitrogen to keep it growing. The toxic algae covers the estuary, southern Lagoon and nearby beaches. The highest toxic level recorded to date for this current algae bloom, 414 micrograms per liter, was measured by state agencies at the Bathtub Reef Beach on June 30. The level for human health impacts is 10 micrograms per liter according to the World Health Organization." 
-Mark Perry, Executive Director
 
To get up-to-date monitoring visit DEP.
For more information from the World Health Organization visit EPA.
 
2016 Discharges Surpass levels from 2013's 'Lost Summer,' by TCPalm's Ed Killer
 
In 2013, 136.1 billion gallons of dirty water poured forth over 166 days to create one of the most memorable summers ever, for the wrong reasons. This year, 2016 is WORSE than 2013.  
 
 
"Florida's Ocean & Coastal Future," an article by Mark Perry
 
The ocean provides 95% of the living space here on Earth. Every breath we take and every drop we drink depends on a healthy ocean. Every life on Earth depends on the ocean - and now, the ocean's life depends on us!  
 
 
"Stop Killing the Estuaries and Everglades," an article by Mark Perry
 
The unintentional pollution and mass destruction of our estuaries is unacceptable. Water from Lake O is being discharged into the St. Lucie, Indian River Lagoon & the Caloosatchee Estuary at over 6 billion gallons a day.  
 
 
Florida Oceanographic Society Demands Stop to Discharges
 
Florida Oceanographic Society's Board of Directors recently passed a resolution advocating for a change to the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. 
 
 
 
Florida Bay: An Ecosystem on the Brink 
 
The River of Grass no longer provides freshwater inflows needed to maintain healthy salinity levels in Florida Bay. Learn what can be done to ensure a healthy habitat and viable estuary for future generations. 
 
State Budget Summary on Land Acquisition Trust Fund (LATF)
 
The FY 2015-16 State Budget Summary shows allocations for the $724.5 million of the Land Acquisition Fund (LATF). Take a look at the PDF along with various statements and updates from Mark Perry.