Mast argues for lower lake level

OKEECHOBEE — Congressman Brian Mast’s proposal to lower Lake Okeechobee to 8 ft. in the dry season to prevent wet season releases to the coastal estuaries was the topic of discussion at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District briefing on Aug. 17 in Stuart City Hall. Ernie Marks, South Florida Water Management District […]

Blue-green algae bloom now in lake is fueled by nitrogen from the air

Tests by the University of Florida show the cyanobacteria bloom in the lake has changed. At the start of the summer, the dominant type was a species of Microcystis, according to Florida Department of Environmental Regulation (FDEP) tests. In late July, the Microcystis bloom appeared to die off. A new bloom that has grown in […]

Blue-green algae in about 30 percent of lake

OKEECHOBEE – Satellite images show cyanobacteria in about 30 percent of Lake Okeechobee. Images acquired on Aug. 6 are partly obscure by clouds on the eastern side of the lake, according to Dr. Sachi Mishra of the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “Blooms are clearly visible in […]

Property owners oppose siting of reservoir near SR 78

OKEECHOBEE — “We knew this meeting was going to be personal,” said Lt. Col. Jennifer A. Reynolds, deputy district commander for South Florida in the Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District, at the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project (LOWRP) meeting held Aug. 2 in the Williamson Conference Center at Indian River State College in Okeechobee. […]

Algal bloom in lake drops to 17 percent

OKEECHOBEE — Satellite imagery released Aug. 3 shows the cyanobacteria bloom in Lake Okeechobee has dropped. Images taken Aug. 2 show cyanobacteria in about 17 percent of the lake (about 93 square miles). The last image available, from July 29, showed cyanobacteria (also called blue-green algae) in about 40 percent of the big lake. The […]

Disposal of sewage from urban areas contributes to phosphorus load to lake

OKEECHOBEE — Florida farmers are sometimes blamed for nutrient loading that originated in the coastal urban areas, according to Dr. Paul Gray of Florida Audubon. Dr. Gray gave a presentation on the issues affecting Lake Okeechobee’s water quality at the July 31 meeting of the Okeechobee Rotary Club. For many years, the coastal communities were […]

Satellite images show algal bloom changing; researchers still in ‘wait and watch’ mode

OKEECHOBEE — Satellite imagery continues to show changes in the cyanobacteria in Lake Okeechobee. Due to the lack of a broadbased regular sampling program, researchers can only speculate about what the images mean based on their knowledge of the lake and experience with algal blooms in similar bodies of water. The imagery from July 2 […]

Company wants to use robots to clean up algal blooms

OKEECHOBEE — Could robots be dispatched to clean up algae? Dyana Voss, of Marine Cleanup Initiative, visited the July 26 meeting of the Okeechobee County Commission meeting to invite the commissioners to a demonstration. She said Lee County has already provided funding to build the robot. “We will do a week-long trial in the Caloosahatchee […]

Media focus on algae is hurting tourism on Lake Okeechobee

OKEECHOBEE — Lake Okeechobee is open for business, but negative media reports about algae — often accompanied by 2016 images of the algal bloom on the Treasure Coast — are scaring tourists away this summer. Local anglers have been boasting about catching big bass all summer, and posting photos on social media to show their […]

Algae bloom on Lake Okeechobee has decreased to about 30 percent of the lake

OKEECHOBEE — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Friday reported that the algal bloom on Lake Okeechobee has decreased to about 30 percent of the lake. In addition, about half of the bloom has decreased significantly in concentration. At its peak on July 2, the bloom was in about 90 percent of the lake, according […]