May the fourth be with us! Toxic algae, discharging St Lucie locks. We must keep going!

@JaxStrong

@BarackObama

@joenegronfl

@RepMurphyFL

@SteveCrisafulli

May the fourth be with you! Toxic algae, discharging St Lucie locks.

On May 4th our friend Katy Lewey,  river warrior, founder of the River Kidz of St Lucie and Indian River County put together a gathering so we could all be there when the locks open.

st lucie locks may 4, 2015

st lucie locks may 4, 2015

They have been open but were recently closed due to the discovery of Toxic green algae at Port Mayaca.

In the past few years we are blessed to have great news teams that show up and we show up for them.

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In between, the new’s cycle we decided to take a ride to Port Mayaca to see the green toxic algae for ourselves.

When we got there we found Ben, an employee of SFWMD.  I have lots of friends who work or worked for them. Good People. Dedicated Scientists.

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He was taking water samples of both sides of the locks.

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This is what we saw on the inside of the locks.

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Slime crimes.

We all documented.

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Algae buster mammas.

Algae buster mammas.

Then we went to the overpass for a nice wide shot.

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you can see the green by the gates. There is also a section off to the right that is not in the photo.

 

I was not there last week so I have no basis of comparison but I can say the weather has been cooler and this stuff thrives on two things according to my ORCA friend and past Indian RiverKeeper George Jones : Heat and nutrients.  So I have no idea what will come next because of the the cool weather. Will it come down and just hang stagnant until it gets hot and then bloom? George said it sucks the o2 out of the water and at night it goes underwater so it just doesn’t sit on the top it goes to the bottom and it sucks the o2 thus killing everything underneath.

Everything.

A big green blob.

kinda like this

Harmful algae Blooms

A harmful algal bloom (HAB) is an algal bloom that causes negative impacts to other organisms via production of natural toxins, mechanical damage to other organisms, or by other means.

armful algal blooms have been observed to cause adverse effects to a wide variety of aquatic organisms, most notably marine mammals, sea turtles, seabirds and finfish. The impacts of HAB toxins on these groups can include harmful changes to their developmental, immunological, neurological, or reproductive capacities. The most conspicuous effects of HABs on marine wildlife are large-scale mortality events associated with toxin-producing blooms. For example, a mass mortality event of 107 bottlenose dolphins occurred along the Florida panhandle in the spring of 2004 due to ingestion of contaminated menhaden with high levels of brevetoxin.[8] Manatee mortalities have also been attributed to brevetoxin but unlike dolphins, the main toxin vector was endemic seagrass species (Thalassia testudinum) in which high concentrations of brevetoxins were detected and subsequently found as a main component of the stomach contents of manatees.[8]

Immune system responses have been affected by brevetoxin exposure in another critically endangered species, the Loggerhead sea turtle. Brevetoxin exposure, via inhalation of aerosolized toxins and ingestion of contaminated prey, can have clinical signs of increased lethargy and muscle weakness in loggerhead sea turtles causing these animals to wash ashore in a decreased metabolic state with increases of immune system responses upon blood analysis.[10] Examples of common harmful effects of HABs include:

  1. the production of neurotoxins which cause mass mortalities in fish, seabirds, sea turtles, and marine mammals
  2. human illness or death via consumption of seafood contaminated by toxic algae[11]
  3. mechanical damage to other organisms, such as disruption of epithelial gill tissues in fish, resulting in asphyxiation
  4. oxygen depletion of the water column (hypoxia or anoxia) from cellular respiration and bacterial degradation

so when we get upset there is good reason.

Toxic Algae is also harmful to humans.

This is from the cdc.

http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/hsb/hab/default.htm

Algae are vitally important to marine and fresh-water ecosystems, and most species of algae are not harmful. Algal blooms occur in natural waters used for drinking and/or recreation when certain types of microscopic algae grow quickly in water, often in response to changes in levels of chemicals such as nitrogen and phosphorus from fertilizer, in the water. Algal blooms can deplete the oxygen and block the sunlight that other organisms need to live, and some can produce toxins that are harmful to the health of the environment, plants, animals, and people.

Please also see this blog post about pets and toxic algae.

https://cyndi-lenz.com/2015/05/03/preview-of-coming-attractions-toxic-algae-and-your-pets/

When all else fails. When everyone has closed their doors to us. The legislators, the Governor’s Board of South Florida Water Management.

Rick Scott himself.

What choice do we have then to defend our selves and the creatures of the Indian RIver Lagoon?

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Post Earth Day Press Conferance (Video) Stuart FL April 29

Press Advisory

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STUART EVENT: Contact Cara Capp, (305) 546-6689, cara@evergladescoalition.org,
Mark Perry, 772-486-3858, mperry@floridaocean.org
CAPTIVA EVENT: Contact David Jensen, 239-470-5389, dave@gocaptiva.com; Rae Ann Wessel, 239-246-0100, rawessel@sccf.org
Two Coasts, One Message:
Buy the Land Now
Rallies to support State Senator Joe Negron for his efforts to open the door to a sugar land purchase and call for further action
When: Wednesday, April 29, 2015
East Coast *** THERE WILL BE VISUALS ***
Where: Flagler Park, 201 SW Flagler Ave, Stuart, FL
Time: 11 a.m. to noon (11 30 a.m. Press Conference)
WHO & WHAT: Elected officials, Everglades Coalition, Rivers Coalition, and River Warriors will laud Florida Senator Joe Negron (R) for planning on introducing legislation asking for $500 million for land purchases, money that could buy U.S. Sugar lands. Will present “Buy the land” letters to Governor, House Speaker, Senate President from 19 local elected officials and resolutions from 11 local governments. Florida Realtors’ water quality/home values study. People will sign a giant poster saying, “With Joe we stand. Let’s buy the land.”
West Coast *** THERE WILL BE VISUALS ***
Where: Jensen’s Twin Palm Resort & Marina, 15107 Captiva Dr, Captiva, FL 33924
Time: 10 to 11 a.m. (10:15 a.m. Press Conference)
WHO & WHAT: SW FL business leaders, Realtors and Chamber of Commerce officials. Boaters, fisherman, kayak and paddle boarders will take to the water in support. Singer/songwriters: North Captiva’s Bob Hipkens and Austin Church from Cocoa Beach. Florida Realtors’ water quality/home values study. Videotaping of messages to the Governor and Leadership will also be captured and Queenies ice cream will be served. Banners, posters. Painted fish.
Background: There is broad public support for exercising the 48,600 acre purchase option in the US Sugar contract, but water managers must take action now for the process to begin. As polluted water is dumped to the coasts, the Everglades multibillion dollar restoration project, is starving for water. The solution, according to the scientific community, is to pursue 48,600 acres of sugar land to store and clean the water.

Bustor Brown and his human Jennie Pawlowsky.

Bustor Brown and his human Jennie Pawlowsky.

Mark Perry, Florida Oceanographic

Jason Totoiu, Everglades Law

Ed Fielding, Martin County Commission

Irene Nethery Gomes and Takeata King Pang

Irene Nethery Gomes and Takeata King Pang

Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch Commissioner Sewells Point, Blogger, Tireless River Advocate, Plume Chaser

Mark Perry and Troy Macdonald, former mayor of Stuart, FL

Drew from Palm Beach Soil

Rebecca Fatzinger

Rebecca Fatzinger

Celeste De Palma, Audobon, FLorida

Mary Perry 2

Chris Dzadovsky, St Lucie County Commissioner

Celeste De Palma’s Speech in Spanish

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Discharges stopped for the moment.

@BarackObama

@joenegronfl

@RepMurphyFL

@SteveCrisafulli

@MaryLynnMagar

@Gayle_Harrell

So this what happened. Thursday,  Kenny Hinkle  Jr. and Captain Mike Connor went up to Port Mayaca and made a video and took photos showing green algae.

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Then Senator Negron saw and told them to shut it down.

http://www.tcpalm.com/franchise/indian-river-lagoon/health/possible-bluegreen-algae-found-in-st-lucie-canal_46291092

“Senator Negron Calls on Army Corps to Immediately Suspend Harmful Releases from Lake Okeechobee Due to Algae Bloom”

Stuart, Fla. – Today, State Senator Joe Negron (R-Stuart) called on the Army Corps of Engineers to immediately suspend the harmful releases from Lake Okeechobee due to the current toxic blue-green algae bloom in water adjacent to the lake.

“I have personally seen video and photos confirming that water adjacent to Lake Okeechobee is currently experiencing a toxic blue-green algae bloom,” said Senator Negron. “With the elevation of Lake Okeechobee at less than 14 feet, there is simply no reason whatsoever for the Army Corps to be discharging water at this time.”

“While releases from Lake Okeechobee are always harmful, discharging water with a toxic blue-green algae bloom is particularly dangerous to our lagoon and estuary,” said Senator Negron.

“Right now, there is zero chance of any breach or damage to the dike,” said Senator Negron. “At the same time, there is a hundred percent chance of damage to our lagoon and estuary when the Army Corps pours hundreds of millions of gallons of polluted water into our community. Why would they do that?”

The Army Corps of Engineers will suspend discharges from Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie River so state agencies can run tests on a possible blue-green algae bloom that has been found in the western end of the St. Lucie Canal.

How long the discharges will be curtailed for the testing by the South Florida Water Management District and the state Department of Environmental Protection was not confirmed.

Then this happened:

http://www.tcpalm.com/franchise/indian-river-lagoon/health/possible-bluegreen-algae-found-in-st-lucie-canal_46291092

today its all over the news

https://www.facebook.com/irene.n.gomes/videos/vb.1230436264/10204036954024068/?type=2&theater

Really amazing teamwork guys.

Press Release from Rick Scott’s Office: For Immediate Release, Office of the Governor, Lake Okeechobee Toxic Algae and ACOE’s Halting Releases to St Lucie River.
April 24, 2015
Contact: media@eog.myflorida.com
(850) 717-9282

Governor Rick Scott Dispatches Florida Department of Environmental Protection Team to Test Potential Algae Blooms in Lake Okeechobee
LAKE OKEECHOBEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott made the following statement following claims of harmful blue green algae blooms in Lake Okeechobee.
Governor Rick Scott said, “Today, following reports of harmful blue green algae blooms in Lake Okeechobee, I’ve asked the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to immediately dispatch a team to test water for harmful algae blooms. The Army Corps of Engineers did the right thing by halting their releases this afternoon. President Obama also needs to live up to his commitment to repair the dike and responsibly manage Lake Okeechobee.

Today Obama is managing Lake Okeechobee? Wow. Because a few weeks ago it was the state. Oh that’s right it’s suppose to be a partnership.

I want to drive this point home.

1. Even if this water was totally clean and devoid of all the nasty nutrients and toxic green algae it would still kill us because it  is fresh water. So the legislature needs to know this – even the clean water will kills us. I don’t understand why this particular important point is never mentioned. NO FRESH WATER!  Please find a hydrologist and ask them to explain salinity.

2. Now add on toxic green algae to the mix. been there. done this. bought the t shirt. But know this -it only happens when this stuff comes out of Lake O. So whenI hear talk in Tallahassee of not buying the land because we have enough land (Sen ALAN HAY) and how water needs to be stored north. I have to wonder what kind of information are these people getting and who are they getting it from.
Who are you getting it from?

 

How in the world do you recharge the aquifers if you store the water north of the lake? How do you fend off salt water intrusion if the water does not flow south?

HOW?

Just proves to me that our legislators have no understanding of what is going on here.

I know its hard but if we can understand this stuff so can you.

and why would any one push this stuff? They do because its sugar speak. Anything to avoid what would save us. We didn’t like  but we lived through discharges from our own water shed which was mostly AG BTW. This is what no one tells you and big sugar wants you to believe.

What kind of person does that anyway? What kind of people distorts the truth for their own personal gain? When is enough enough?

Because this is the truth and this what happens and this has got to end. We CANNOT have another toxic summer.

Do the right thing. Buy the land. Don’t destroy us.

and stop taking money from Big Sugar. I’m sure there is lots of other corporate welfare out there.

 

Beach Rally and Patrick Murphy gives President Obama a bottle of dirty river water.

Yesterday we had a fun beach rally and spelled out “Buy the Land” in the sand.

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The Death Mermaid even showed up!

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At the same time this was happening President Obama landed in Port St Lucie. There was only one plane in the sky.

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You have to look really hard to see it.

Congressman Patrick Murphy greeted him and showed him a bottle of St Lucie River Water. Thank you so much Patrick Murphy for looking out for us! We know you have our backs!

http://www.wptv.com/news/region-martin-county/palm-city/hoping-to-catch-a-glance-of-president-obama-on-the-treasure-coast-this-weekend

Florida Legislature Steals Amendment One Money

By the time they are done with this they will spinning it upside down and inside out.

Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative, Amendment 1 (2014)‬
The Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative, Amendment 1 was on the November 4, 2014 ballot in the state of Florida as an initiated constitutional amendment, where it was approved. The measure was designed to dedicate 33 percent of net revenue from the existing excise tax on documents to the Land Acquisition Trust Fund.
The Land Acquisition Trust Fund was developed to acquire and improve conservation easements, wildlife management areas, wetlands, forests, fish and wildlife habitats, beaches and shores, recreational trails and parks, urban open space, rural landscapes, working farms and ranches, historical and geological sites, lands protecting water and drinking water resources and lands in the Everglades Agricultural Areas and the Everglades Protection Area. The fund was designed to manage and restore natural systems and to enhance public access and recreational use of conservation lands.
The campaign in support of the initiative was led by Florida’s Water and Land Legacy.
It passed with 74.96%

I think that’s pretty clear and not up for debate. Let me repeat this again.

lands protecting water and drinking water resources and lands in the Everglades Agricultural Areas and the Everglades Protection Area.

http://southeastagnet.com/2015/03/19/little-land-buying-in-florida-senates-amendment-1-plan

“Sen. Alan Hays, a Umatilla Republican who is chairman of the subcommittee, said the state might already have enough land within its preservation inventory. ”

““They have done everything that they can to shift agency expenses into the Constitution,” Draper continued after the meeting. “If they could find a way to pay for the towels in the executive washrooms with Amendment 1 they did it.”

“Hays said the will of the voters is “open to interpretation” and that he’s been flooded with email and phone calls from people claiming the state doesn’t need to buy more land.”

Really Senator Hays. This ok with your constituents?

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I have to doubt that the people of

Umatilla, Nature’s Hometown, is located in northern Lake County, Florida and offers many outdoor activities such as boating, fishing, camping and hiking.

said that. Only because I spend a great deal of time on water of Lake County and have taken 100 of photos of the Dora Canal. I know the people there. They love their water and their nature and I’m sure they do not want  our water, our indian river lagoon to look like the photo above.

Do you?

“President Andy Gardiner.
The legislative leaders expressed confidence lawmakers will agree on measures that backers of the amendment will support.
“When we look at water policy, we’re really interested in that oversight, and that oversight not just on water policy but Amendment 1 as a whole,” said Gardiner, R-Orlando. “We think it’s very important that the voters that supported Amendment 1 know that decisions are being based on critical need.”
Really? We have critical need. I don’t know whats more critical than stopping this.

and finally my favorite article of the morning

Florida Legislature to Voters For Amendment 1’s Water Protection: Drop Dead

http://flaglerlive.com/76153/land-protection-dt/
Because this really is a kick in the face to the voters.
“Problem is, Republican legislators are acting as if that’s some sort of tree-hugger’s wish list, rather than the law of the land.”
“Then late this week the Senate comes out with initial budget recommendations that outraged mainstream environmentalists and threatens to make a mockery of Amendment 1 goals — and of anyone who still believes this Legislature is sincere about implementing this amendment as intended when passed into law.
The bottom line there is that the full amount of money intended to be used for land acquisition needed to achieve the law’s goals is not being appropriated. There are all kinds of confusing details to sort through, and a ton of legislative legalese being spread around to explain the massive shortfall. But rather than salve on a wound, it feels like salt. It feels like a betrayal.
Why would the legislators do this? Forget their explanations and rationalizations. Most of them are simply caving in to Big Sugar and Big Agriculture, hungry eyes on campaign contributions to come, and already banked. Can you say, “Quid Quo Pro”?”

This morning we’re sending our “Death Mermaid” to Sen. Alan Hays and President Andy Gardiner.

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Ignore the Death Mermaid at your peril

http://contextflorida.com/diane-roberts-legislators-ignore-the-death-mermaid-at-your-peril/

OCCUPIED TALLAHASSEE–When the Death Mermaid shows up, pay attention.

Back in 1881, she appeared to Hamilton Disston, warning him against trying to drain the Everglades. Old Ham, never the most emotionally stable of multimillionaires, shut his eyes tight and swore on his mother’s grave he’d stop drinking cologne.

Death Mermaid

In 1969, she scared the feds into killing the Everglades Jetport, a project beloved of South Florida Democrats. It would have been the largest airport in the world and bang in the middle of the Big Cypress Swamp.

Last week she materialized at the South Florida Water Management District meeting, urging the water czars to stop screwing around with the Everglades.

You’d think they would listen to a skeletal apparition with long green hair (probably from all that toxic algae gagging Florida waters) and a tail. But these are Rick Scott appointees: they don’t believe in mermaids – or measurable water standards.

Attention Congressman Patrick Murphy! Bring us Attorney General Eric Holder.

To : Patrick Murphy

@RepMurphyFL
@PatrickMurphyFL

U.S. Representative for Florida’s 18th congressional district

From Keri West
Administrator: Save The Indian RIver Lagoon
Representing 8,131 members
Cyndi Lenz and Steve Cottrell
Administrators: River of Light
Representing  1,098
Change.org
https://www.change.org/p/rick-scott-stop-the-lake-okeechobee-discharges-into-the-st-lucie-river-and-estuaries
13,771 Supporters

We are requesting that you bring Attorney General Eric Holder to see the Indian River Lagoon. We feel that there is permanent damage from the  Toxic discharges to the Indian RIver Lagoon and the State of Florida has been negligent to our lagoon, the St Lucie  River, our economy and our lives.

Here is a photo. Where is this allowed and not addressed? How can we live in the United States of America and have this happen to us?

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The State of Florida is refusing to take the steps to buy the land needed to finish Everglades Restoration. The result of this will be continued discharges and total destruction of the Indian River Lagoon,  the Caloosahatchee River, the destruction of the Everglades, the Florida Bay and the drinking water of South Florida.

We have health concerns by our local Martin Memorial Hospital.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ocxWFpi_BQ

We have tried all avenues. We have money thru amendment 1 to buy the land. The state legislators are refusing to buy the land that would end the discharges. Our Citizens and Health Officials are concerned about bacteria rates, unidentified illnesses and treatment. Local business owners and winter residents are deeply concerned about our economy and industries that rely on the lagoon.

Higher levels of bacteria in Indian River
http://savethelagoon.org/tag/harbor-branch

FORT PIERCE – There is an increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the Indian River Lagoon according to a new study released by FAU Harbor Branch scientists.
To our fellow citizens and group. Please feel free to sign on with us by sending us your information and the amount of people you represent.

Congressman Murphy We need your help right now!

Representative Steve Crisafulli We need to buy the land.

To: Representative Steve Crisafulli and all the people who voted for him and  the entire area he represents:

This is my backyard in Jensen Beach, Florida

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This could be your backyard!

We need to buy the land so Everglades Restoration can be complete.  Clean water needs to go south.

We got the money in amendment one. There is a way to make this happen. Please contact him and ask him to please discuss with the scientists who understand this issue so we can fix this.

http://postonpolitics.blog.palmbeachpost.com/2015/02/18/speaker-crisafulli-dont-buy-land-south-of-lake-o/

“House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, says he opposes the controversial land deal that would enable the South Florida Water Management District to purchase 46,800 acres of land south of the lake at fair market value.”

That’s because when the option runs out the land can be sold for 5 times the amount. Big Sugar is reneging on the deal they made. And that’s ok with with the Speaker of the House Crisafulli.

“Crisafulli wrote in an email response. “At this time, I do not support spending limited state resources to purchase more land south of Lake. My priority is to utilize and care for the land we own now.

This shows his lack of knowledge on the subject. The money is there through amendment 1.

If this doesn’t happen we are going to get discharges forever. Our water will always look like this and YOU the people of Florida would have destroyed not only our portion of what was once the fabulous Indian River Lagoon and the most diverse estuary in North America but our economy, our lives. If this happens this is Florida’s legacy. The people of Florida have let this happen.

 

By not doing this you are destroying us, the drinking water of South Forida by allowing salt water intrusion, and the Florida Bay.

There are plenty of scientists at the Everglades Coalition I’m sure they would be happy to talk to you!

“Environmental groups, spearheaded by the Everglades Foundation, want the district to purchase the land. They believe that the district could use the land to build a reservoir to store water, which they say would reduce harmful discharges of water from the lake into the St. Lucie Estuary and Caloosahatchee River. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers releases water from the lake into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee when water levels rise and threaten the aging earthen dike that protects farmland and communities around the lake.”

Land Buy Critical for Everglades Restoration. Time is running out.

http://floridawaterdaily.com/2015/03/05/opinion-land-buy-critical-for-everglades-restoration

 

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Ignore the Death Mermaid at your peril

http://contextflorida.com/diane-roberts-legislators-ignore-the-death-mermaid-at-your-peril/

OCCUPIED TALLAHASSEE–When the Death Mermaid shows up, pay attention.

Back in 1881, she appeared to Hamilton Disston, warning him against trying to drain the Everglades. Old Ham, never the most emotionally stable of multimillionaires, shut his eyes tight and swore on his mother’s grave he’d stop drinking cologne.

Death Mermaid

In 1969, she scared the feds into killing the Everglades Jetport, a project beloved of South Florida Democrats. It would have been the largest airport in the world and bang in the middle of the Big Cypress Swamp.

Last week she materialized at the South Florida Water Management District meeting, urging the water czars to stop screwing around with the Everglades.

You’d think they would listen to a skeletal apparition with long green hair (probably from all that toxic algae gagging Florida waters) and a tail. But these are Rick Scott appointees: they don’t believe in mermaids – or measurable water standards. They shrugged her off: just another crazy eco-chick.”