Governor issues emergency order to send lake water ‘south’; Water conservation areas south of lake already full; Flow south from WCAs blocked by Tamiami Trail

Florida Gov. Rick Scott wants to send excess freshwater from Lake Okeechobee south, but existing water conveyance structures, direct rainfall south of the lake, the Tamiami Trail and the Department of the Interior make that difficult, if not impossible. Heavy rain in May — some areas received more than 400 percent of average rainfall — […]

Emergency Estuary Protection Wells proposed as temporary fix to lake releases

OKEECHOBEE — An emergency fix to harmful freshwater releases to the coastal estuaries could be built in just two to three years, while long-term solutions may be decades away. “We are working on long-term solutions. We are working on projects such as C-43 and the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration projects. Even on the most aggressive […]

Algae in St. Lucie coming from many sources

OKEECHOBEE — Record rainfall in May and continuing heavy rains this month are causing ecological damage, according to a report given by South Florida Water Management District Water Resources Director Terrie Bates at the June 14 meeting of the SFWMD Governing Board. Algae found in the St. Lucie watershed is coming from many sources, not […]

Flood control systems protect South Floridians

OKEECHOBEE — The Central and South Florida Flood Control Project, had some unintended consequences, but the project did what the engineers set out to do, and because of that flood control project millions of people now live, work, play and farm in areas that would otherwise be under water part of the year. The South […]

Will feds pay their share for EAA reservoir?

OKEECHOBEE — Will the federal government fund 50 percent of the cost of the planned Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) reservoir? At their June 14 meeting, members of the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board expressed concern that the federal government might not provide the expected 50-50 match to build the EAA reservoir. The reservoir […]

Algae testing takes time, says FDEP

LAKE OKEECHOBEE — Algae is part of the natural ecosystem in lakes, rivers and streams worldwide. Algae is ever-present in Lake Okeechobee, even when it is not visible in a bloom; boaters and fishermen are used to seeing algae in the water column or blown about by the winds. Since the U.S. Army Corps of […]

Flag Day ceremony hosted by Elks Lodge

These photos were taken at the Flag Day ceremony on Thursday, June 14 in Memorial Park .

Mast calls for halt to lake discharges

OKEECHOBEE — On June 7, U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) called on the United States Army Corps to cease discharges from Lake Okeechobee “until the water quality is deemed safe or an imminent threat to life exists.” Rep. Mast also invited the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works (who overseas the Army Corps) […]

Flow of water to Florida Bay hampered by efforts to protect endangered bird

OKEECHOBEE — A very wet start to the wet season, with a named tropical storm before the start of hurricane season, meant triple the normal rainfall in the month of May for the South Florida Water Management District. Water Conservation Areas (WCAs) north of the Tamiami Trail are brimming with freshwater — with water levels […]

Property owners face fines for code violations

OKEECHOBEE — The Okeechobee County Code Enforcement Special Magistrate Hearing will be held June 19 at 2 p.m. in the Health Department Auditorium, 1728 N.W. Ninth Avenue. Failure to correct code violations may result in a fine of up to $250 per day. To avoid fines, property owners should resolve the violations by June 14. […]