Lake Okeechobee

Kate Stein / WLRN

A project intended to help address blue-green algae outbreaks took a major step forward Wednesday as the U.S. Senate passed a bill that includes a proposal for an Everglades water storage reservoir.

Senators approved the bill, which includes many other water-related projects nationwide, by a margin of 99-1.

TOM JAMES - WWW.PELICANMEDIA.TV

Florida is waiting on Congress to authorize two efforts that could help address algal blooms plaguing the state's coastal and inland waterways.

Sam Turken / WLRN

Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis said on Wednesday he plans to protect the environment if elected, including restoring the Everglades and ending algae blooms near Lake Okeechobee.

But he refused to explicitly state whether he believes in climate change. 

The former U.S. Rep. toured the Everglades in Broward County on an airboat to learn more about efforts to improve water flow through the National Park.

Adam Weinstein/FTL algae
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Toxic blue-green algae blooms have officially come to Fort Lauderdale.

The green, foul-smelling goop has been sighted in Intracoastal canals, near Annie Beck Park, and the Las Olas Isles neighborhood.  

Adam Weinstein lives on the 15th street canal, and noticed the green floating patches near the dock behind his house two weeks ago.

Amy Green / WMFE

As Florida struggles with 'red tide' algae blooms on the west coast and blue-green algae in inland waterways, a federal program to help communities deal with harmful algae outbreaks is set to lose its Congressional authorization at the end of September.

There’s a new study into the resilience of Lake Okeechobee’s toxic algae as it flows from the fresh water lake into the brackish estuaries.

Pedro Portal, Miami Herald

Toxic algae is an increasing problem in Florida, whether it’s red tide on the state’s west coast, or from releases from Lake Okeechobee. Jill Roberts, from sister station WQCS in Fort Pierce, tells us about a statewide event to focus attention on the toxic water. Hands Along the Water will remind politicians that toxic algae is an important issue to the state's voters. 

Andrew West / News-Press

When Florida Sea Grant director Karl Havens, who is a well-regarded expert on water and has studied pollution all over the world, began hearing about a deepening algae bloom in his own backyard in Lake Okeechobee this summer, he struggled to find information that could tell him what was going on.

State scientists sample water in the lake, but too infrequently to track rapidly evolving algae blooms. Instead, Havens had to rely on satellite images that were taken on sunny days when clouds don’t get in the way.

Scott Calls For Action On Red Tide Amid Political Clamor

Aug 6, 2018

Political broadsides continue over who is to blame for ongoing water-quality problems across South Florida, as Gov. Rick Scott on Friday ordered more action to address red tide in coastal communities. 

WMFE

Toxic algae again is blooming in Florida waterways.

The algae began in Lake Okeechobee and is spreading after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers initiated flows to the adjoining Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers.

WMFE environmental reporter Amy Green explains some of the water management decisions behind this toxic alga in a conversation with WMMO's host Shawn Burke. 

Burke: Amy, how much algae are we talking about?

Green Algae In Lake Okeechobee Thrives In High Temperatures

Jul 16, 2018
CHARLES TRAINOR JR / Miami Herald

Last week, Gov. Rick Scott ordered a state of emergency for seven counties around Lake Okeechobee as a result of toxic algae blooms. Now the Army Corps of Engineers is releasing water from the lake because the algae has spread to both Florida coasts, hurting home values, tourism and local businesses. 

The Florida Phoenix

The Everglades Foundation is kicking off a campaign to include the Everglades Reservoir in this year’s federal Water Resources Development Act bill. The reservoir is designed to move water away from Lake Okeechobee and reduce the spread of the discharge causing the toxic algae blooms on both coasts. The announcement comes days after Governor Rick Scott declared a State of Emergency as a result of the toxic algae blooms. Dr. Steven Davis is the chief ecologist at the Everglades Foundation. He joined Sundial to discuss the dangers of toxic algae. 


Charles Trainor Jr. / Miami Herald

A plan to build a water storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee was approved by federal budget officials on Tuesday, as part of an effort to reduce blue-green algae blooms on Florida's coasts.

The roughly $1.6 billion dollar reservoir project will now pass from the White House Office of Management and Budget to the U.S. Senate, where it's expected to be funded as part of a water resources bill.

Courtesy of the South Florida Water Management District

From inside their massive headquarters in West Palm Beach, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) regulates the natural flow of water from Orlando to the Keys. Using canals and water-holding sites, officials are trying to prevent the types of algae blooms that led Governor Scott to declare a state of emergency in seven counties on Monday.

Martin County Health Department

Gov. Rick Scott on Monday declared a state of emergency for seven counties experiencing blue-green algae blooms, including Palm Beach County.

The blooms are in large part due to water discharges from Lake Okeechobee. They can cause fish die-offs and respiratory irritation in humans. And it's not the first time the foul-smelling blooms have prompted an emergency declaration: in the summer of 2016, at the peak of the July tourist season, the blooms closed beaches and fishing businesses.

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