Everglades Illustrated: Sanibel Red Tide Report

Take a look at these photos from Friends of the Everglades Multimedia Producer Leah Voss. The images from a recent visit to Sanibel Island offer a sobering look at a community still very much in distress after Hurricane Ian made direct landfall along Florida’s west coast on September 28. Much of the island remains off limits to visitors as the local population continues the hard work of recovery. The latest threat exacerbating the post-storm situation hangs heavy in the air and the surrounding water — red tide. Along the shoreline, Leah described a nauseating smell and an unmistakable tickle at the back of her throat. A dead seabird laid in the [...]

2022-12-14T09:56:29-05:00December 13th, 2022|Caloosahatchee Estuary, Everglades Illustrated, Red Tide|

Everglades Illustrated: A system overwhelmed

Hurricane Ian barreled into the west coast of Florida on September 28 as a powerful Category 4 hurricane. As relief efforts remain rightly focused on the heartbreaking human toll of the storm, the environmental fallout has yet to come front and center. Satellite images are helping to piece together the beginnings of a story that has only just begun to play out. In the NASA satellite image above, swirls of sediment stirred up in Florida’s coastal water, “lifted from the seafloor as Ian neared the coast,” starkly contrast with dark plumes of stormwater runoff exiting the land. Though this tannin-colored runoff is not altogether unusual, the sheer volume of water coming off the landscape is out of the ordinary, [...]

2022-10-11T12:58:37-04:00October 11th, 2022|Caloosahatchee Estuary, Everglades Illustrated|

Toxic Discharge Update: Moore Haven and Ortona Locks 10-16-20

Scenes from the Moore Haven and Ortona Locks on the Caloosahatchee River captured Friday afternoon, October 16. Releases from Lake Okeechobee began Wednesday, October 14 at a rate of 4,000 cfs out of S-77 west to the Caloosahatchee estuary. The Army Corps reports that releases west are being implemented in a steady release at S-77 with the local basin providing a natural watershed pulse at S-79 in addition to the lake releases. https://youtu.be/MfzqGXDVsuE https://youtu.be/5xCjH2pFNgk https://youtu.be/Xo-Eo7S6Zyc

Army Corps: Hold off on Lake O discharges

Today, Friends of the Everglades asked the Army Corps of Engineers to hold off on Lake Okeechobee discharges to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries for one more week. We believe the cost-benefit analysis remains in favor of waiting, for the following five reasons: The 7-day forecast looks relatively dry, which means Lake Okeechobee’s water levels are likely to stop rising so quickly. King Tides are projected on the east coast this week, posing flooding risk that could be amplified by Lake O discharges. There are no imminent tropical-cyclone threats in the Atlantic that could bring rain to Lake Okeechobee. Florida Department of Environmental Protection is still waiting on toxicity results for water samples taken at S-308 and S-77, the [...]

RECOVER Northern Estuary Salinity Envelope Public Comment

Ms. Ehlinger, Please find Friends of the Everglades' attached line-by-line feedback pertaining to the RECOVER Northern Estuaries Salinity Envelope Performance Metrics. We thank the Army Corps of Engineers and the whole RECOVER team for its work on these draft metrics, which are an improvement over the 2007 targets. That said, we see room for improvement if the RECOVER metrics are to stand as a true measure of CERP’s ability to restore, preserve and protect the South Florida ecosystem while balancing other water-related needs. First and foremost, Friends of the Everglades strongly opposes including any Lake Okeechobee Regulatory Releases in “Optimum” performance metrics for the St. Lucie Estuary. The St. Lucie Estuary requires ZERO cubic feet of water from Lake Okeechobee; [...]

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