Don't Play In The Weird Green Water
Lake Okeechobee water release resumed today. The lake levels are at their third highest for the last eleven years at 14.48ft. They plan to try the releases in pulses instead of a steady stream to more simulate rains. The lake is currently mostly covered with a blue-green algae. Not only are the locks opening to go out to the oceans, they are draining it south as well, into Everglades National Park. The new reservoir plan was passed by Trump. It goes to Congress next.
“We have received permission to open the S-12 structures on July 13, which will help increase flows from the overfull Water Conservation Area 3A into Everglades National Park,” said Kirk. “The Water Management District is slowing flows into the lake from the Kissimmee River and other points north, and moving as much water as they can to tide and to other storage areas at points south.”
Recent developments in Washington DC have also led to progress on multiple long-term projects that will give water managers more flexibility when making decisions in the future.
“Within the past 24 hours, the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works has transmitted the state’s proposed Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir project to Congress,” said Kirk. “In the past week, the Corps has allocated an additional $514 million in funding to accelerate completion of dike rehabilitation to 2022. We continue to turn dirt on Kissimmee River projects and the C-44 Reservoir. The state of Florida is progressing on the C-43 Reservoir among its many projects. All of these efforts represent critical measures to improve the current water management system and the environment in south Florida.” USACE
Weather Safety at Venues
American Meteorological Society put out an article on Weather Safety at Venues and Public Gatherings. Turns out people are killed every year by weather at these events. The ways varied. One of the worst was the Pope visiting in a heat wave. Others included lightning, large hail, stampede, down burst, stages being blown over and terrorizing wind vs tent incidents. Apparently many organizers don't have weather plans or hope for the best. There is a lot of helpful tips in there for event organizers to be weather ready and avoid weather injury & death litigation. For the attendees, it's best to stay aware and seek shelter as needed.
Levee Database Goes Public..Gates Open at Lake Okeechobee, Algae is Already Blooming..There's a Reservoir Plan
The National Levee Database is now available to be perused by the public. Turns out nationwide there is 8,798 Levee Systems containing 29,124 Miles of Levees. There is 46,507 Levee Structures and the Average Levee Age is 55 years old. It was easy to check out the levee system built nearby in 1991. Found 24 miles of embankment levee well west of Palm Bay on the west side of the river. It was last been inspected in 2015 and deemed unacceptable.
The height of Lake Okeechobee recently spiked with all the rain to over 14 foot. The locks on both sides of Florida were opened so the Lake could be lowered. This has affected water quality in the canals, locks and beaches they flow into. Here is the daily Lake height and flow rates through the various canals.
To the east:
6.1 billion gallons of Lake Okeechobee water has been discharged to the St. Lucie River since June 1.
27.3 billion gallons of water has flowed through St. Lucie Lock and Dam since May 8.
Brown algae blooms has been reported at:
Shepard Park, where Frazier Creek enters the river in downtown Stuart
Palm City on the north side of the Palm City Bridge
Port Mayaca, where Lake Okeechobee water is discharged toward the St. Lucie River
St. Lucie Lock and Dam
Much of the C-44 Canal connecting Lake O and the St. Lucie.
Indian River Lagoon
Blue green toxic algae has been found in lower levels in Port Mayaca
Above is the various Lake Okeechobee levels over time in blue.
Below the Mayor from Sanibel Island speaks out as the area loses tourist due to the Lake run off.
Sanibel Mayor speaks out on Lake Okeechobee runoff Published on Jun 8, 2018The mayor of Sanibel wrote a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineering, addressing the concern that the runoff from Lake Okeechobee was damaging quality of life on the island and affecting the local tourism economy.
Bill Passes to Build a Lake Okeechobee Reservoir
Wednesday the 2018 Water Resources Development Act was passed by the US House, that included a Reservoir for Lake Okeechobee. The project should help relieve the flooding threat and filter water more so than release it straight to the ocean. The Senate is expected to vote on it's version of the bill this summer. Florida passed a similar bill this past year. Nearly 500 acres has already been purchased, mostly from the Seventh Day Baptists. Below is a map of the reservoir project area.