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Old 08-28-2018, 10:55 AM   #61
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"A lot of the problem is our weak representation in Congress."

So right, Parks. The sugar mob owns the congressional delagations from all of the sugar producing states (FL, LA, ID, WS to name a few) through the legalized bribery we call campaign contributions. It's something that Republicans and Democrats can all come together on. See the wreckage of the latest attempt to reform the Farm Bill.
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Old 08-28-2018, 11:31 AM   #62
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Quite a bit has been written about Agricultures impact on water quality in Des Moines, IA.


Interesting reading about the legal issues boiling up there. A lot of it is centered around nitrates in the water - leached out of fields due to tiling.


MN has a lot of the same discussion, once again focused around tiling.


Once again facing a decision point. What is the trade off between domestic food production and water quality. Seems like a no brainer to protect the water - but the ability to feed ourselves with domestic production is also important.
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Old 08-28-2018, 11:57 AM   #63
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Footballfan, if they donít discharge water from the lake it will over flow and kill thousands of people like it did in 1928. The problem is that the water is full of nutrients that allow algae to flourish. We need to remove the nutrients before they enter the lake.

I just read about another source of nutrients entering the lake. It seems that an invasive water plant, hydrilla, is rampant in the Kissimmee River that feeds the lake. The state uses herbicide to kill it. It then rots and releases nutrients into the river. The state needs to stop the use of herbicide and start mechanical harvesting it.

Iíll add that to my list of things to do when Iím King of Florida.
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Old 08-28-2018, 01:29 PM   #64
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My perception is the channelization to connect Lake Okeechobee to the respective rivers on each side provides the pathway for gunk to flow out to each coast.


As boaters - would we be willing to give up the route?


In the 30's when it started it sounded great.


Closing off those channels would stop the outflow.


Full disclosure - I use the Okeechobee crossing on occasion.

I have also used that route a number of times, as we live in the Northern Gulf but often do trips to the Bahamas. We currently keep our boat in Stuart. If faced with a choice, yes, I'd give up the route. But the times when the outflow is really bad are when the locks are pretty much open all the time and they are dumping huge amounts of water.



I'm not very informed on this part of it, but it seems to me that controlled lock opening to allow navigation and controlled water flow would not be a problem.


Also, I think everyone realizes that in times of emergency some water will have to flow down the rivers. But the instances of that happening and the amount of water need to be drastically reduced.


Lastly, while there are a lot of food crops grown in Florida, they are no really the issue. The land south of the lake that is needed for storage, cleaning, and water flow is sugar land. It's not like they are raising corn or soybeans there, we can do without sugar being grown in the US.


So saying it's an either clean water or food issue is not accurate in this situation, though it may be in others.
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Old 08-28-2018, 03:36 PM   #65
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In reading this thread I was surprised to discover the similarities to the groundwater depletion in California’s Central Valley. Not so much in the effects, but in the actors and their arguments. Just like in Florida Big Ag swings a very big stick, just like in Florida the argument is made that it is all for food production and just like in Florida that food is Junk Food or snack food. Sugar in Florida and pistachios and almonds in California.

It is ironic that in a time where public health authorities are trying every means possible to cut down on sugar production and consumption other government entities are doing their best to promote it at the expense of public safety and health. California will pump their groundwater dry to produce more Almond Milk and Mixed Nuts and Florida will kill the Everglades for more sweet tea and sugary snacks.
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Old 08-28-2018, 03:41 PM   #66
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I have also used that route a number of times, as we live in the Northern Gulf but often do trips to the Bahamas. We currently keep our boat in Stuart. If faced with a choice, yes, I'd give up the route. But the times when the outflow is really bad are when the locks are pretty much open all the time and they are dumping huge amounts of water.



I'm not very informed on this part of it, but it seems to me that controlled lock opening to allow navigation and controlled water flow would not be a problem.


Also, I think everyone realizes that in times of emergency some water will have to flow down the rivers. But the instances of that happening and the amount of water need to be drastically reduced.


Lastly, while there are a lot of food crops grown in Florida, they are no really the issue. The land south of the lake that is needed for storage, cleaning, and water flow is sugar land. It's not like they are raising corn or soybeans there, we can do without sugar being grown in the US.


So saying it's an either clean water or food issue is not accurate in this situation, though it may be in others.
Sugar is not Food. You can eat it, but it is not essential to a healthy diet and in fact may be detrimental to good health.
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Old 08-28-2018, 06:24 PM   #67
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...It is ironic that in a time where public health authorities are trying every means possible to cut down on sugar production and consumption other government entities are doing their best to promote it at the expense of public safety and health. California will pump their groundwater dry to produce more Almond Milk and Mixed Nuts and Florida will kill the Everglades for more sweet tea and sugary snacks.
Problem is, people want to eat sugary foods,and food generally. So there is demand, and producers try to meet demand. If people were going to cease using sugar they would done so,they have not, and in the main they won`t.
As a result of increasing demand due to greatly increasing population worldwide, growers will use any means they can to satisfy demand. Thus we have messed up land,polluted waterways,overfished oceans,you name it, the demand is there and increasing. If you can remove nutrients etc locally before it hits waterways that`s good, but I suspect it`s a contribution vastly outweighed by poor practices elsewhere.
FF says thousands of people are being added to the area. That`s happening everywhere, it lights a fire under demand for the products of agriculture. Unless the world tackles population growth, problems like this will continue and worsen. It`s not just this region under threat.
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Old 08-29-2018, 06:49 AM   #68
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"FF says thousands of people are being added to the area. That`s happening everywhere, it lights a fire under demand for the products of agriculture. Unless the world tackles population growth, problems like this will continue and worsen. It`s not just this region under threat."

Most of these folks are retirees , not new births.Although many workers also relocate as places like CT and the high regulation/tax states are loosing population/businesses as folks vote with there feet.

They are fleeing the cold and northern decline.

The big hassle with the lake is there are tons of voices.

On the east coast the water released must not be too large or too small to not upset the sea/fresh water mix for spawning fish.

On the west side there must be enough fresh water so the Ft Myers power plants do not have to contend with salt in their cooling system.

A few years ago the corps released too much water during the summer and much of the lake went dry, the local communities that rely on winter fishing/boating folks nearly died.

Every voice claims president , none claim responsibility
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Old 08-29-2018, 07:47 AM   #69
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fresh water into salt = Red tide

Rivers drain into the ocean.

It's a natural occurrence.
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Old 08-29-2018, 08:39 AM   #70
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Nothing ďnaturalĒ about that Lake O water.
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Old 08-29-2018, 08:48 AM   #71
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Rivers full of chemical nutrients is NOT natural.
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Old 08-29-2018, 09:59 AM   #72
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"Rivers full of chemical nutrients is NOT natural."


And the source for the research of chemical nutrients are from agriculture?
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Old 08-29-2018, 11:11 AM   #73
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"Rivers full of chemical nutrients is NOT natural."


And the source for the research of chemical nutrients are from agriculture?
The Audubon Society for one.
http://fl.audubon.org/sites/g/files/...august2014.pdf

Agricultural accounts for about 70% and urban runoff most of the rest. Iíve heard stories from old timers who said the lake used to be so clear you could see the bottom all over.
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Old 08-29-2018, 11:31 AM   #74
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This isnít rocket science. The problem can be fixed without killing agriculture.

The key is to restore the Kissimmee River from a straight run back to its historical shallow meandering. A shallow meandering river will quickly fill with cattails. Cattails are pretty good at removing nutrients. Rice may be as well and that would be a financial incentive to build the shallow areas.

Complete restoration of the dike so that the Corps isnít forced to release so much water at one time.

Build marshes south of the lake to filter what is released south. The Everglades needs clear low nutrient water for the saw grass. If the nutrient load is too high, cattails will push out the saw grass. You can already see this happening.

In the past the Corps was limited in how much water could be released to the south without causing urban flooding because Tamiami Trail blocked the flow. Now several miles of bridges are being built to solve that problem.
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Old 08-29-2018, 02:18 PM   #75
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Wifey B: While every other country in the world is strengthening their environmental program, we are weakening ours and reversing much of what was in place. We are poor stewards of our environment. We live in denial. We place profits over environment and put our health and that of future generations at risk. From wildfires to red tide, from Flint Michigan to the PNW to the Houston, Texas, we're seeing the impact. It only takes a small amount, just a degree or a couple of inches. I'm in South Florida so guess I shouldn't care about red tide on the west coast of FL, but I do.

We should have heeded the advice in this commercial.

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Old 08-30-2018, 08:33 AM   #76
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"We are poor stewards of our environment. We live in denial. We place profits over environment and put our health and that of future generations at risk. From wildfires to red tide,"

The massive Calif wild fires are the result of 100 years of Gov mismanagement.

The first arrivals (AKA Indians) cleared the brush with fire at the right time of year.

Not allowed anymore , so the results are another disaster.
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Old 08-30-2018, 10:06 AM   #77
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Wifey B: While every other country in the world is strengthening their environmental program, we are weakening ours and reversing much of what was in place. We are poor stewards of our environment. We live in denial. We place profits over environment and put our health and that of future generations at risk. From wildfires to red tide, from Flint Michigan to the PNW to the Houston, Texas, we're seeing the impact. It only takes a small amount, just a degree or a couple of inches. I'm in South Florida so guess I shouldn't care about red tide on the west coast of FL, but I do.

We should have heeded the advice in this commercial.

I do not know anything about Florida programs....
Over the past 20 years or so we see huge improvements in the water ways where we typically boat - NY Long Island Sound and areas nearby. There are many species of both free swimming and marine bottom life that have come back in a big way over the past 10 years alone. Programs that have contributed to this include many large 3 stage water treatment plants, aggressive recycling program , reclamation programs , a huge number of funded pump outs as well as enforcement.
Even the once heavily polluted Hudson has seen an admirable resurgence due to the efforts over many years.
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Old 08-30-2018, 10:09 AM   #78
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Here is a short talk by Randy Wayne White about the subject. Randy lives in the area and writes the Doc Ford novels. https://www.miamiherald.com/news/sta...216819235.html

Like me, he thinks the problem is coming from north of the lake.
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Old 08-30-2018, 10:15 AM   #79
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A timeline on red tides for those interested....

http://crca.caloosahatchee.org/crca_...e_Timeline.pdf
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Old 08-31-2018, 07:47 AM   #80
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I left FLA in the early 90's but I was born and raised in the state and I have seen how things have changed for the worse.

For a few years prior to leaving FLA I volunteered with the GFC which is now the FWC. Because of that work, I saw quite a bit of the Water Management Areas(Everglades) from around the lake south to Dade county and even over on the west coast. In some of the WMAs south of Big Sugar, the water is crystal clear. So clear you can't tell there is water. I have seen areas where the water is FULL of fish and the water is invisible. The fish look like they were floating in air. If the fish would stay still you could collect an arm load of fish.

Well, it was that way decades ago.

Big Sugar is part of the Big Problem. I have been out with GFC biologists looking at water quality in the WMAs just south of sugar cane fields. The water was filthy. The water is all but black in color and you can't see very far into the water. It is simply loaded with stuff.

The cane fields are flooded and then drained as part of the growth process. Any chemical that is put on the cane is eventually going to get pumped into the water. The nutrient load is too much for native saw grass but cat tails love it. Back then there were areas set aside to hold water loaded with chemicals from the cane fields. This was to allow cat tails to filter the water before it moved south.

I seem to remember a law suit by environmental groups that stopped some of the movement of water from the lake to the south and that this water was no being moved to the coast.

Right before I left South FLA, I saw a news report on the loss of soil in the farm fields around the lake. The "soil" out there is really muck which is simply decaying saw grass and such. When the Everglades were drained, the exposed muck, "soil" starts to dry up and disappear. There was/is an agriculture station, I think it was in western Palm Beach county, and back in the 20's/30's a concrete post was buried to bedrock. The top of the post was left at grade level. The news report around 1990ish, show the top of the post about six feet above grade.

Driving around in the sugar cane fields, it certainly seems like the fields are MUCH lower than the dike roads. It would seem that at some point there will be no "soil" left for Big Sugar.

The sugar farms are HUGE. We went out on the farms to work and we were NOT welcome at all. Once passing through security gates to access the "farm" we would then spend 20-30 minutes driving to a WMA to work in. Unreal amount of land is in sugar cane production and because of government protection, we pay more for sugar than we should.

Big Sugar got caught stealing the cane cutters wages back around 1990. At the time, they were bringing in single men to cut cane from the Islands during cane cutting season. This was all manual labor. After they got caught not fully paying wages, they started using machinery to cut cane and stopped bringing in as many people from the Islands. There was one town out by the lake that had the highest HIV rate in the US. Everyone thought of San Francisco being hard hit by HIV, and it was, but that one town was in worse shape. I am sure it had nothing to do with thousands of single men brought in to cut sugar cane each season...

Back then there was long drought. It was so bad the Everglade were burning. Power was lost in some areas because the fire went under the power transmission towers. It was unreal. Big Sugar blamed the water shortage on the people living in South FLA which was a big fat lie since 70% of the water back then was used by agriculture.

People moving to FLA have had a big negative affect on FLA. But Big Sugar is $%^&*()_ up more land and water area than people moving to the state.

I watched a program on PBS about the algae blooms going on and it was depressing. When I was living in FLA they were moving from talking to working on returning the Kissimmee river to it's normal channels instead of being a ditch. They were going to fix the Lake....

Decades later things have NOT improved but have gotten worse.

Later,
Dan
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