Lagoon Rally Recap + Second Rally on Sunday

Photos by Eric Hasert

Originally found here: http://www.tcpalm.com/photos/galleries/2013/aug/03/indian-river-lagoon-rally/140244/

The Save the St. Lucie River and Martin County Wildlife rally will be at 10 a.m. Aug. 11 at Stuart Beach.

Stuart residents Evan Miller and Clint Starling are organizing rallies to demand a stop to harmful releases of Lake Okeechobee water into the St. Lucie Estuary, which includes the Indian River Lagoon.

For more information, visit their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/513371885399065/

ERIC HASERT/TREASURE COAST NEWSPAPERS  Images from the Indian River Lagoon Rally at Phipps Park and the St. Lucie Locks in Tropical Farms as residents protest the discharge of water pumped into the St. Lucie River from Lake Okeechobee on Saturday August 3, 2013

ERIC HASERT/TREASURE COAST NEWSPAPERS  Images from the Indian River Lagoon Rally at Phipps Park and the St. Lucie Locks in Tropical Farms as residents protest the discharge of water pumped into the St. Lucie River from Lake Okeechobee on Saturday August 3, 2013

ERIC HASERT/TREASURE COAST NEWSPAPERS  Images from the Indian River Lagoon Rally at Phipps Park and the St. Lucie Locks in Tropical Farms as residents protest the discharge of water pumped into the St. Lucie River from Lake Okeechobee on Saturday August 3, 2013

ERIC HASERT/TREASURE COAST NEWSPAPERS  Dona Corbett (front), and Greg Sapp, of Stuart, carry a mock manatee while protesting against the release of  water from Lake Okeechobee into the St. Lucie River Estuary during the Indian River Lagoon Rally at Phipps Park and the St. Lucie Locks in Tropical Farms on Saturday August 3rd.

 

 

More Water Testing in Martin County

New health tests to be run on Martin County waters | Map

  • By Ashleigh Walters, WPTV; Staff reports
  • Posted August 5, 2013 at 7:38 a.m.

From: http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2013/aug/05/new-health-tests-be-run-martin-county-waters/

 

STUART — Health officials are expected to run additional tests on Martin County waters as residents and visitors are told to stay out of the water.

Tests have revealed higher than normal levels of enteric bacteria. It can come from storm water runoff, pets, wildlife and human sewage, causing stomach problems, diarrhea, eye irritation and skin rash in those who come in contact with it.

Water samples are being taken at Sandsprit Park, at the Stuart Sandbar, near the Roosevelt Bridge and at Leighton Park in Palm City. Those areas all remain under the advisory.

Blue-green algae has also been a problem in recent weeks as residents have been told to avoid the St. Lucie River from the Okeechobee Canal to the St. Lucie Inlet. The bacteria can produce toxins that are harmful to people and pets. Over the weekend, protestors called for government officials to address the problem immediately.

 

Advisories will remain in place until results show consistent readings in what the health department considers the “good” range. Sample results can be found at this link: http://bit.ly/1b6oZWV

 

If you see blue-green algae, you are asked to contact the Department of Environmental Protection at 772-467-5572. Abnormal fish behavior can be reported to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 1-800-636-0511.

Everglades project not good enough

From TCPalm: http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2013/jul/31/central-everglades-project-related-reservoir-okd/

Central Everglades project-related reservoir OK’d; good but not enough, environmentalist says

 

Central Everglades-related reservoir OK’d; good but not enough, environmentalist says

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has issued a permit for a shallow reservoir that will help reduce, but by no means eliminate, discharges of Lake Okeechobee water into the St. Lucie Estuary.

The permit authorizes the South Florida Water Management District to build, operate and maintain the A-1 Flow Equalization Basin south of Lake O. The impoundment will cover more than 15,000 acres and hold nearly 2 billion gallons of water.

Construction of the basin is a prerequisite for the Central Everglades Planning Project, a $2 billion initiative to use publicly owned land to divert more water from Lake O to the Everglades.

The basin will contain vegetation to help reduce phosphorus concentrations before moving water to the stormwater treatment areas, man-made wetlands that naturally remove phosphorus from water before it is discharged into the Everglades.

Ernie Barnett, the water district’s interim director, said the basin is scheduled to be complete July 30, 2016.

Barnett said a second reservoir, aptly named A-2, will be built and “bolted onto the A-1 to make it twice as big,” as part of the Central Everglades Planning Project. Mark Perry, executive director of the Florida Oceanographic Society, said the basin construction will benefit the St. Lucie Estuary, as long as it’s a first step.

According to the society, the estuary receives an average of about 144 billion gallons a year from Lake Okeechobee; the Caloosahatchee River estuary on the west coast receives about 316 billion gallons a year.

“I’m glad (the state) is heading in the right direction,” Perry said, “but there’s a lot more that needs to be done to save our estuaries.”

Perry has proposed a plan that would complement the project and eliminate the Lake O discharges by requiring the purchase of 21,000 acres of U.S. Sugar Corp. land and 32,000 acres of Florida Crystals land to build a reservoir that would store 159 billion gallons of water.