News Archive


Lee County BOCC Weighs In On Lake Okeechobee Adaptive Protocols
A number of critical, threshold issues have arisen regarding the Adaptive Protocol document for Lake Okeechobee, and these issues require that the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board serve its key function as policy makers.
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Water Managers Work to Restore Balance for Caloosahatchee River
An unusually wet "dry" season has forced South Florida's water managers into an all-too-familiar balancing act.
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Exploring Options for Regional Water Storage
With the annual rainy season under way, the SFWMD is evaluating strategies that could increase regional storage and lessen the volume of future freshwater releases from Lake Okeechobee.
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Caloosahatchee Dry Season Deluge to Continue
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and South Florida Water Management District got an earful at public meetings.
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For comments on this matter from Lee County legal consultant John Fumero, P.A., click here.

Water Releases from Lake Okeechobee Begin
Early rain events have caused water levels in Lake Okeechobee to rise unexpectedly, in turn forcing the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to start releasing water into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers.
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EPA Conducts Hearing for New Water Quality Standards
Supporters outnumber opponents at public hearing for new water quality standards.
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Year-Round Water Conservation Measures Now In Effect
Sweeping year-round water conservation measures to better protect South Florida's water resources began March 15, 2010.
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U.S. Sugar Deal is Key to Everglades Restoration
Let's not forget that not only the environment but our water supply is at stake.
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Everglades Restoration Deal Gets Lifeline
Gov. Charlie Crist's prized, half-billion-dollar Everglades restoration land deal with U.S. Sugar Corp. cleared an important hurdle, when water managers voted to keep the deal alive for another six months. Read more...

Harmful Algal Bloom Bill Passes House
On March 12, 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to establish and maintain a National Harmful Algal Bloom and hypoxia program. Read more...

Charlie Crist's Downsized U.S. Sugar Deal Under Siege
20 months after Gov. Charlie Crist unveiled his $1.75 billion bid to buy out the U.S. Sugar Corp., the landmark land buy for Everglades restoration is at serious risk of slipping away. Read more...

2010 South Florida Environmental Report Released
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the South Florida Water Management District have released the 2010 South Florida Environmental Report detailing a year of restoration, scientific and engineering successes in the Kissimmee Basin, Lake Okeechobee, the Everglades and South Florida coastal areas. Read more...

House Will Ban Drilling Platforms Visible from Shore
House Speaker-designate Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, said any bill that comes out of his Select Policy Council on Strategic and Economic Planning will guard against the "visual blight" that drilling critics say has marred the coasts of Alabama, Louisiana and Texas. Read more...

Pledge to Keep Oil Rigs Out of Sight from Coast Falls Flat
Southwest Florida's tourism industry took no apparent cheer from a Florida legislator's remarks that any bill permitting offshore oil drilling also would require that platforms be kept out of sight from shore. The issue for Floridians is not visual blight; it's ecological disaster. Read more...

EPA Proposes Fresh Water Nutrient Limits for Florida
The EPA proposal sets limits on nitrogen and phosphorous for freshwater lakes, rivers, streams, springs and canals. Read more...

Ongoing Red Tide Study Unlocks New Information
An ongoing study of how humans are affected by red tide toxins has continued with a field study on Siesta Key public beach. Read more...

For a copy of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers news release regarding the deal, click here.

Water Quality Improves After Lawn Fertilizer Ban
A new study shows phosphorus levels dropped an average of 28 percent after the adoption of an ordinance curtailing the use of phosphorus on lawns. Read more...

Protecting Florida's Underwater Meadows
Good water quality and a healthy aquatic environment attract tourists to the tune of more than $50 billion annually. Read more...

SFWMD and U.S. Sugar Propose Revised Land Acquisition Plan
The Southwest Florida Water Management District and United States Sugar Corp. are proposing a revised framework for acquiring 180,000 acres of agricultural land south of Lake Okeechobee for Everglades restoration. See map of proposed land usage. Read more...

SFWMD Recaps Public Comments
The Southwest Florida Water Management District has released an overview of public comments and next steps for the Northern Everglades Watershed Protection Plans. Read more...

Fresh Hope for the Everglades
Those attending the annual meeting of the Everglades Coalition - the group of activists and political leaders who have led the restoration fight for the last quarter-century - found two very good reasons for optimism. Read more...

SFWMD Takes Next Step in Land Acquisition for Everglades Restoration
The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Governing Board has voted 4 to 3 to accept a proposal to acquire more than 180,000 acres of agricultural land for Everglades restoration. Read more...

Caloosahatchee Watershed Protection Plan Released
Comments on the draft of the Caloosahatchee Watershed Protection Plan are due back to the SFWMD by the end of October. Representatives from the District plan to make a presentation of the plan to the Lee County Board of County Commissioners on October 28. Read the plan...

No more talk. It's time for action.
Florida's most stringent water restrictions, limiting lawn irrigation to one day a week and forcing agribusiness and golf courses to conserve, have begun. Read more...

New NOAA Model Links Mississippi River Nutrient Outflow to Florida Red Tides
A new NOAA research model indicates nutrients flowing from the Mississippi River may stimulate harmful algal blooms to grow on the continental shelf off the west coast of Florida. Read more...

Lee County & SFWMD Respond to Proposed Revisions to Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule
The Lee County Board of County Commissioners and the South Florida Water Management District have reviewed and responded to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' revised Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and proposed operational revisions to the Lake Okeechobee and Everglades Agricultural Area Water Control Plan. These USACOE proposed changes will regulate lake levels and discharges from Lake Okeechobee. Read more...

Landmark Legislation Takes Effect
Florida Governor Charlie Crist signed the Northern Everglades and Estuary Protection Act, providing $40 million to help improve water quality in area estuaries. Read more...

Water Quality Sensors
The Sanibel-Captiva C/onservation Foundation is installing remote sensors in the estuary and Caloosahatchee River to collect water quality data. Read more...

Sanibel Adopts New Regulations
Sanibel City Council approved a new City Ordinance regulating the use of fertilizers containing nitrogen and/or phosphorus within the City. Read more...

Lake Okeechobee Clean-Up
Unprecedented drought and record-breaking water lows have added up to opportunity for environmental restoration on Lake Okeechobee. Read more...

CERP May Underestimate Water Storage Needs
The 30-year timeframe on which the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) is based was a relatively cold period of time as opposed to the warm period in which are in now, according to Paul N. Gray, Ph.D., from the Audubon Society of Florida. Read more...

America's #7 Most Endangered River
American Rivers, a nonprofit advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., has listed the Caloosahatchee River as America's #7 most endangered river for 2006. Read more...

Latest Research Findings
A study released on March 14, 2006, suggests that improved management of freshwater releases from Lake Okeechobee, combined with nutrient removal strategies for sewage within the Caloosahatchee River drainage basin, could help mitigate future outbreaks of harmful macroalgal blooms - outbreaks of algae that can be seen without a microscope. Read more...

Pollution Link to Algae Blooms
Florida's Environmental Secretary confirmed the link between water pollution and "the exponential growth" of algal blooms in an email she sent to former Governor Jeb Bush. Read more...

Stories From Your Neighbors

One way to truly understand the impact that freshwater releases from Lake Okeechobee are having on Lee County is to hear your neighbors’ experiences. Those who live on or near the Caloosahatchee River are really seeing the effects first-hand. Here are their stories.

Read Local Stories

Tell Us Your Story

To tell us your tale, email us at mywaterstory@leegov.com. And thanks for taking time to help us better understand the scope of what’s happening to us all.

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Related Links

South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force:
http://www.sfrestore.org

South Florida Water Management District:
http://www.sfwmd.gov

More Links

Glossary

Phosphorus [P]:
An element or nutrient required for energy production in living organisms; distributed into the environment mostly as phosphates by agricultural runoff and life cycles; frequently the limiting factor for growth of microbes and plants.

Blue-Green Algae:
A type of algae natural to our area that blooms in the climatic and nutrient conditions it finds favorable.

Go to the Glossary