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.