Documenting the discharges by plane – 9-24-21

Our partners at LightHawk have continued to fly surveillance flights over Lake Okeechobee regularly to help us keep an eye on the toxic algae activity within the lake. On Wednesday, pilot Howard Greenberg sent us footage from his latest flight. In the video, evidence of persisting algae blooms appears slight, but recent satellite images confirm that there's still good reason to keep our monitoring going. This summer the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee have enjoyed a much-needed reprieve from toxic Lake Okeechobee discharges — a change that communities on either coasts have been grateful for. But a big storm this time of year could still make releases to the estuaries a reality — and the Army Corps has their eyes on [...]

2021-09-24T14:32:14-04:00September 24th, 2021|All Posts, Lake Okeechobee, Toxic Algae|

VIDEO: What’s going on with red tide?

We have a system that helps us identify impaired water bodies. We have established targets for necessary pollution reduction to bring water bodies back to health. But the state of Florida is failing to crack down on polluters by adequately enforcing these rules. The results are catastrophic. Just look to the prolonged red tide event happening right now on the west coast for proof. We'd like to extend a big thanks to Jacki Lopez of Center for Biological Diversity, Justin Bloom of Suncoast Waterkeeper, and our own Gil Smart for sharing their insight and knowledge with us as we talked red tide during today's Clean Water Conversation. If you missed the event today, you can find the full recording below. And as recommended during [...]

Documenting the discharges by plane — 7-23-21

https://youtu.be/bOzIao3lH2M Our partners at LightHawk are helping us keep a close eye on the toxic algae crisis in Lake Okeechobee. This past Friday, pilot John Kusianovich flew a route along the northwest shoreline of the lake. The video above captures the back half of the trip, following the flight path seen in the image below. By John's account, the flight which included a 360 where the Kissimmee river enters the lake, didn't yield too many views of algae on the surface "aside from some patches here and there." The latest NOAA satellite imagery estimating an active bloom that was roughly 260 square miles as of yesterday, is a good reminder that algae can be present even when it's not visible. [...]

2021-07-26T16:44:53-04:00July 26th, 2021|Toxic Algae|

VIDEO: The latest on Florida’s toxic algae crisis

With toxic algae yet again plaguing Florida's water, residents are still left vulnerable due to inadequate warnings about the health impacts of exposure and retroactive "solutions" that focus more on temporary clean up than tackling the issue at its root cause. Today's Clean Water Conversation delved into the details of this worsening crisis. We heard input from Florida Gulf Coast University algae scientist Dr. Barry Rosen, Lake Worth Waterkeeper Reinaldo Diaz, and Stuart resident Becky Harris on the toxins in our water, the threats they pose to people and our pets, and how you can become an advocate for change. If you missed the conversation today, you can find the full recording below. https://youtu.be/1sI0f0DylFs Today's Clean Water Conversation was brought [...]

2021-06-25T16:38:49-04:00June 25th, 2021|All Posts, Clean Water Conversations, Toxic Algae|

Documenting the Discharges by Plane – 6-23-21

https://youtu.be/__nRmI93UCc The toxic algae crisis in Lake Okeechobee is worse than it was the last time our partners at LightHawk shared a flyover with us. Pilot Howard Greenberg captured video on June 23 of a festering bloom piled up at the gates of Port Mayaca and streaked through the open waters of Lake Okeechobee just beyond that. That's bad news for Florida residents that are already on edge after recent reports of a dog that died after ingesting toxic algae and more than 120,000 residents in Palm Beach County were warned not to drink their tap water, which was contaminated with toxins caused by blue-green algae. As we continue to document the visible changes by air, be sure to keep [...]

2021-06-24T17:04:18-04:00June 24th, 2021|All Posts, Lake Okeechobee, Toxic Algae|

Is This Florida’s Flint?

Toxic algae in West Palm Beach drinking water raises crisis to a new level Florida is in the midst of a toxic-algae crisis. And communities that rely on water from West Palm Beach are the latest victims. On May 28, city officials warned more than 120,000 residents of West Palm Beach, Palm Beach and South Palm Beach not to drink their tap water, which was contaminated with toxins caused by blue-green algae. This is the poison Friends of the Everglades and Bullsugar.org have been warning about for years — and calling on government leaders to fix. But, time and again, polluters get preferential treatment over Floridians. Now, the poison is in drinking water. The toxin cylindrospermopsin can cause upset stomach, [...]

2021-06-09T08:41:50-04:00June 9th, 2021|LOSOM, Toxic Algae|

Stakeholders across the state unite to request an equitable Lake Okeechobee management plan

Photo taken by the Lake Worth Waterkeeper of blue-green algae at the Lake Okeechobee Pahokee Marina on April 26, 2021 Today, Friends of the Everglades joined Everglades advocacy leaders across the state, Congressman Brian Mast (18th District of Florida), and Congressman Byron Donalds (19th District of Florida) to urge the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to adopt a more equitable Lake Okeechobee management plan. In order to expedite restoration efforts, aid in conservation efforts on federal lands, and protect impacted constituents and economies, the new Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM) must send the maximum amount of water to the Everglades, Everglades National park, and Florida Bay during the dry season and eliminate harmful discharges to the St. [...]

Everglades Illustrated: Growing public health threat calls for bold action now.

The Everglades is vast, and restoration is complex. We're breaking it down visually for you. Growing public health threat requires bold action now. This photo could be a a glimpse into our future. The Lake Worth Waterkeeper captured the image of blue-green algae at the Lake Okeechobee Pahokee Marina on April 26, 2021 — a month shy of the official start to Florida's rainy season, and the same day that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection reported the microcystin concentration at the marina had reached 860 parts per billion — 107 times more toxic than the EPA recreational limit for safe human contact. Just five days later, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that the Lake Okeechobee blue-green algae bloom had [...]

It’s time for Gov. DeSantis to issue a State of Emergency on toxic algae

Photo taken at the Pahokee Marina 4-26-21 by the Lake Worth Waterkeeper. On April 26, 2021 the Florida Department of Environmental Protection reported the microcystin concentration at the Lake Okeechobee Pahokee Marina had reached 860 parts per billion — 107 times more toxic than the EPA recreational guideline for safe human contact. Just five days later, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that the Lake Okeechobee blue-green algae bloom had expanded to an estimated 300 square miles as indicated by satellite imagery. These blooms present a direct public health threat to communities living around and downstream of Lake Okeechobee and waterways impacts by toxic Lake Okeechobee discharges. The near-term outlook for the co-occurring blue-green algae and red [...]

Toxic Discharge Update: 04-20-21

Yesterday, video from the Indian Riverkeeper put an all too familiar fear at the forefront of minds for Florida residents living downstream of Lake Okeechobee. Photo taken along the shore of Lake Okeechobee at Port Mayaca by the Indian Riverkeeper. Thick mats of green sludge piled high at the gates of the S-308 structure at Port Mayaca, which connects Lake Okeechobee to the C-44 Canal. When opened, the releases that spill through those gates run a path roughly 32 miles long into the waters of the St. Lucie River. Samples taken at the site a week ago by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection measured 22 parts per billion of microcystin, nearly three times more toxic than the [...]

2021-04-20T17:50:37-04:00April 20th, 2021|Toxic Algae|

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