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testerman28 wrote: »
Anumber1.. why do you not think that a good portion of this will not be the product of big sugar?
are you one of those guys who are paid to go against other peoples posts?
I ask because everything that someone brings up you have an answer for at 7,900+ posts and if you read them they are usually stirring the pot.
maybe that's just another reason this site is not even going anywhere??? maybe it has nothing to do with cold weather maybe a mirror is what you need..?
[email protected] Special wrote: »
A few comments for the recent posts.
1. Backpumping. Not a normal process with any real quantity, however when they backpump, in many cases the water is cleaner than that coming in the lake from the North.
2. The EAA reservoir. If we had it now, we would still be discharging into both East and West discharge points. The EAA would have only stopped about 10% of the discharge with all the water we got from Irma.
3. Moving water South. Can't do it now, everything is full to the brim from the conservation areas to Everglades National Park.
Fact: The north plan to store water North of the lake is faster, cheaper, and more efficient at keeping our water clean than any reservoir to the South.
Oh, but I don't know anything about it, I only Built phase 1 of STA 1W, Southern end of STA2, The Periphiton STA demo project, Parts of STA 3/4, Pump stations 335, 370, 372, STA 5 Discharge canal and bridge, etc etc etc.........With that kind of investment in this work, I pay attention to every single aspect of what is going on in the Everglades water issues.
Heck, when the FS gods started that thread to propose a new reservoir, I told them it would not happen and the only option was the old EAA site. After great argument by others, what happened???? The old EAA site!
You can be passionate about the issue, but it is very complicated to understand all the constraints on any plan you choose.
Darcy wrote: »
Yeh. I’ve learned not to feed the trolls, the animals, or the bored disgruntled old people.
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Tannic acid stained water flowing north from the Green Swamp into the gulf.
Kinda like the human hockey that flows from Orlando south into the lake then sent east and west during rain events like Irma.
BTW, good edit darciyssle!
January 2016- Back pumped 3 BILLION GALLONS into the lake from the south.
June 2017- Back pumped 5.7 BILLION GALLONS into the lake from the south.
September 2017- Back pumped 3.7 BILLION GALLONS into the lake from the south
2. Big Sugar controls FL water policy through control of Tallahassee, FL Chamber, etc.
3. Mitch Hutchcraft is a VP for King’s Ranch, a sugar farmer in the EAA. I wouldn’t call his opinion ‘unbiased’ by any stretch.
4. Septic tanks are a far less significant source of nutrients into the IRL compared to the discharges and local AG runoff. Less than 10% by most accounts.
5. I guess nice prediction on the A1/A2 Ron, but SB10 wasn’t downsized to those parcels for any scientific reason whatsoever. It was purely political - sugar made a deal with the Democrats (through minority leader Sen Jeff Clemens who has since resigned) the night before the senate vote for 60,000 acres of sugar land, and with no Dem support (just 1 out of 15 democratic senators stood strong - 6 votes were needed) Negron was left with no choice but to downsize the plan to its current form. It was actually quite disgusting to watch as it went down. But congrats?
Lake O: Another Chance for Change
By David Conway
More From David Conway
Time for Florida to get its act together.
As seen on Google Earth, Sailfish Flats, near St. Lucie Inlet,
was a flourishing seagrass meadow in December 2010, sea
trout, mutton snapper, pinfish and countless other species:
Please see article for
During Hurricane Irma, much of Florida was awash in water.
Lake Okeechobee was already high, in fact on its way to one
of its recent historical highs. Yet sugar cane farmers south
of the lake began pumping water from their fields, un-
treated water, back into Lake O. The discharges to the
coasts resumed, as did questions about the integrity of the
dike at Lake O, while the sugar industry was adding to the
height of the lake.
“Even then, as another major storm, Hurricane Maria, was
strengthening and its path was uncertain, possibly coming
to Florida,” said Chris Maroney, one of the founders of ad-
vocacy group Bullsugar, “they were backpumping. Those
sugar growers pretend that they care about the people who
live around the lake, but if they did they wouldn’t be pump-
ing back into the Lake during those dangerous times. It’s all
about sugar production and yield, and they’ve never had a
Now, for the first time in a long while, there’s a chance to
change Florida’s destructive water management policies
concerning Lake O, the Everglades and estuaries to the east
and west, by constructing a new reservoir and water treat-
ment facility as called for by Florida lawmakers earlier this
year. It may turn out to be a breakthrough in a decades
long saga, or yet another chance for change at risk of being
Recent Google Earth image: Following heavy Lake Okeecho-
bee discharges and algal blooms, the area was denuded of
seagrass by early 2017. Without clean water it may never
Please see article for
With public outrage high these last few years and the
damages from discharges making national news, advocacy
groups such as Bullsugar, Captains for Clean Water, and
many other organizations, among them Rivers Coalition
Defense Fund, Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, and The Everglades
Foundation, grew much more vocal and influential. Combined
with the outrage from citizens in the affected areas—finally,
state politicians knew that they had to do something. They
passed Senate Bill 10 which legislates the construction of
the storage reservoir and water treatment center in the
Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA), whose purpose is to
alleviate some of the damaging outflows to the coast and to
clean water and supply it to the Everglades and Florida Bay
in a more natural flow. As the new year’s legislative session
is about to begin in January, crucial work to further the EAA
reservoir project must be accomplished, on a federal level as
Already there have been plenty of signs that Big Sugar,
which fought S.B. 10, has been opposing the reservoir.
As reported by The Miami Herald in October, U.S. Sugar
spent 1.5 million dollars on pre-session legislative hearings
to fight the SB 10 development.
“The reason these problems perpetuate is because of the
federal government subsidies to the sugar industry, and
that industry turns around and invests that windfall profit
into the political process,” says Bullsugar’s Maroney. “For
instance, all of the storm water treatment areas in the EAA,
to clean pollution out of the sugar fields, is paid for by the
taxpayers. Sugar doesn’t even even pay for their own clean-
up. They invest in lobbyists, politicians and public relations
lobbying at every level. That is the reason that this problem
is so entrenched.”
Through late 2017, damages continue to mount from the
Lake O releases to the coasts and constricted flow to Florida
Bay—damages to Florida’s ecology, economy, culture and
even the health of its people. There’s growing scientific evi-
dence that cyanobacteria in algae— which can grow and
bloom in the discharges— can produce toxins that are
threats to human health, including an increased risk of
causing cancers and liver disease mortality.
The hope for change hinges on the successful development,
planning and implementation of the EAA reservoir as direct-
ed by S.B. 10. The amount of acreage for a water treatment
flowway to accompany the reservoir needs to be established
and arranged for, and there has to be a guarantee that the
new storage and treatment system, once it is built, provides
benefit to the natural system of Florida. If not, Maroney says
with an eye to history, Big Sugar might well hijack the new
reservoir system for its own use.
“I would first and foremost thank the fishing industry and
community for making this a priority to get fixed,” said Chris
Wittman of the grassroots advocacy group Captains for Clean
Water. “That’s a huge step toward fixing this issue. This is a
problem that’s going to take a significant amount of time to
fix. It’s very important for us to continue to get others to be-
come more engaged in this and not get complacent, because
the problem still looms. We will see this through over the next
five or ten years, because our way of life is at stake, our eco-
nomy, why we call Florida home, what we want to leave our
future generations. It’s all at stake.”
In the summer of 2013, the effects of Lake O discharges
via the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers closed beaches,
wrecked estuaries and shut down recreational fishing oppor-
tunities. Stuart resident Chris Maroney and his associates
were watching it all. “We saw that it was all part of an intent-
ional water plan that is meant to maximize sugar cane yields
in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA),” Maroney recalled.
“The problem is political. The real issue is that we have an
incorrect prioritization of how we manage our water in South
Florida, to the detriment of everyone else. Big Sugar mono-
polizes all the storage, treatment and flow of the water.”
Determined, Maroney and his colleagues founded Bullsugar
in the summer of 2014. “What we’ve done, in addition to
getting more people involved, is to get connected with all
the other experts who’ve devoted their lives to fixing this
problem, and to get us all working together. The Now or
Neverglades declaration supports the settled science behind
the solution. S.B. 10 could be that solution, if the details are
The year 2016 saw unusual winter and spring rains. South of
Tampa, people speculated that the discharges from Lake O
coming out the Caloosahatchee might have forced the tarpon
schools to the north more quickly than usual.
Captain Chris Wittman, a native of Ft. Myers, saw the effects
of massive discharges in February, a rarity, during tourist
season. “Along with a lot of other guides,” he says, “I saw
an alarming drop in business, as did hotels with their North-
ern visitors. Our clients are return visitors, and they book
multi-day trips. Meanwhile, their families can enjoy the
beaches. They don’t want to spend their hard earned money
when the fishing is poor from the freshwater discharges. At
the same time, the beaches are ruined with the dark, muddy
and often polluted fresh water.
“The discharges pour directly into San Carlos Bay,” Chris
explains, “from the mouth of the Caloosahatchee and the
southern part of Pine Island Sound, and over into Fort
Myers Beach and Estero Bay, and depending on the wind,
it can stretch 30, 35 miles north or south.”
Wittman, along with friend and fellow charter captain Daniel
Andrew, founded Captains for Clean Water, a grass roots
advocacy group which quickly grew in size and strength
to become a voice for those who want to see better water
quality and better water management policy in Florida.
“We took a unique approach by showing impacts to the eco-
nomy and quality of life of those affected by the discharges,”
said Wittman. “This doesn’t just affect Lee and Martin coun-
ties. It affects all of us, including Florida Bay to the south,
coral reefs, and Biscayne Bay. We have to solve the water
management crisis for all of Floridians.
“Captains for Clean Water was founded to solve this problem
once and for all. We work with policymakers to act in the
interest of the will of the people of this state. The angling
community is the most affected group, and historically they
haven’t been involved with the solution. We’re here to change
Wittman points out an important development to the success
of S.B. 10 and the fight for change in Florida water manage-
ment—the growing participation of recreational fishing and
outdoor industry partners.
“Now companies such as Mustad Hooks, SeaDeck, Yeti, Orvis,
Simms and many others have joined forces with Captains for
Clean Water to work towards a solution. The reason we’re
starting to see some progress with this issue is because of the
engagement of the fishing industry. Once fishermen became
engaged, the industry started to get involved, and that’s how
this problem will be fixed.”
“At any rate,” emphasizes Karl Wickstrom, founder of Florida
Sportsman and a leader of the Rivers Coalition which has been
documenting the discharge horrors for more than three dec-
ades, “the long fight to save the estuaries is far from over. We
have no choice but to double our efforts to stop the polluters
in their self-serving tracks.” FS
Field & Stream, a nationally known outdoor sports magazine,
in the Dec. '17-Jan. '18 issue, ran the article, Marsh
Madness, on p. 24, by Hal Herring -addressing this abuse
from the big agriculture lobby and posing solutions that must
be implemented to avert further damage so that restoration
for this habitat can take place.
Here is a fact for you guys, No matter what we do about reservoirs or discharges, there will always be emergency discharges during events like Irma!!!!!
The everglades and our entire "Engineered" everglades are about as full as they have ever been and discharges continue in all directions to try to lower water levels.
The entire system is still overloaded and Negrons best wishes of a reservoir the size of Texas would still be full and we would still be dumping water in all directions.
sure 'disturbances' ('events'), soon afterward, which dumped
another load of rain onto Florida -as much, again, as Irma.
Lake O went up (from under 14ft.) to over 17ft. stage. Like
winter of 2016 (I think that's right), this fall (2017) was,
again, the worst rain (wet) event in a long time.
Reservoirs, bigger the better, and other possible remedies,
are desperately needed (one'd be re-enforcing the Lake O
**** sufficiently) will all help! But it's inevitable, given
massive enough amounts of destructive and damaging
rain, discharges to the coasts may still have to happen. But
this must be minimized "for all we're worth" in the future!
You are right, not matter what we do about reservoirs or dischargers, there will always be emergency discharges during events like Irma.
What I don't understand is how the sugar fields getting flooded is an emergency enough to justify back pumping polluted AG water back into the lake which was already at elevated levels testing the dikes strength. That is pure BS, they risked the dike and the lives of those surrounding it by back pumping when it was already at elevated levels. For what? Risk lives to keep the AG fields dry? Really?
Please let me know if I missed something.