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Old 09-09-2013, 09:31 AM   #1
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Lake Okeechobee Pollution . . .

Interesting article in the New York Times today about the pollution coming from Lake Okeechobee (Florida). Very sad for those of us who love that area. :-( All the rain we have had has filled the lake. And, to quote from the article:

"With lake waters at their limit, there were only two choices, neither of them good. One was to risk breaching the 143-mile dike, a potential catastrophe to the agricultural tracts south of the lake and the small communities that depend on them. The other was to release billions of gallons of polluted water into delicate estuaries to the east and west.
Following its post-Hurricane Katrina guidelines, the Army Corps of Engineers chose the estuaries, rather than test the dike’s vulnerabilities.
As a result, the St. Lucie River estuary in the east and the Caloosahatchee River estuary in the west, which depend on a naturally calibrated balance of salt and fresh water, were overwhelmed. The rush of fresh water from the lake and the estuaries’ own river basins, along with the pollutants carried in from farms, ranches, septic tanks and golf courses, has crippled the estuaries and, on the east coast of the state, the Indian River Lagoon.

As I said, very sad.


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Old 09-09-2013, 12:21 PM   #2
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Right now, my boat is in a marina on the St. Lucie near Stuart. Needless to say, the water isn't exactly something I'd want to swim in. My A/C water outlet shows a sickening brown streak down the hull. Can't imagine what it must be like for the fish.

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Old 09-09-2013, 02:15 PM   #3
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happens every few years it seems like. I won't be at all surprised if after all that nasty water is dumped if we have a dry year and the lake levels drop down to disaster level. The corp just can't seem to get it right.
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Old 09-10-2013, 05:08 AM   #4
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>The corp just can't seem to get it right.<

That is because there is always 4 or 5 groups demanding that their view of Paradise be followed.

Too much fresh water and the Corps is destroying the estuaries.

Too little and the power plants that rely on fresh not brackish , water start to scream.

Too low in the lake and all the bird producing islands burn and the local towns have no lake for winter folks..

Too much water and the berm is in danger.

Cant win no way!
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Old 09-10-2013, 07:22 AM   #5
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I grew up and lived on the south side of Lake "O" for most of my life and now live on Pine Island Sound where we see and feel the effects of the fresh water. This is an issue that man in all our magnificent ignorance created many years ago and it will not be fixed quickly or cheaply. The cost will be billions(yes,Billions) and many lives will be affected in the mean time. Its very easy to place the blame on a single entity (IE:The Corps of Engineers,Water Management,Big Sugar) but the truth is we are all to blame. We need to quit pointing fingers and work to solve the problem.
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:48 PM   #6
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At least they are finally trying to improve things.

The Corp put the meanders back into the Kissimmee River to force the water to slow down and flow through some marshes before it hits the lake. The marshes remove some of the fertilizer from the water.

They are also reinforcing the dike so the lake can hold more water.

A mile of bridge was just finished on the Tamiami Trail so more water could be released into the Everglades. The governor just approved a bunch of money to build several more miles of bridge so more water can be released south instead of east and west.

It is going to take a while but at least someone is finally working on it.

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