The Phoenix Flyer

The feds say they will keep releasing vile Lake Okeechobee pollution to coasts

By: - July 16, 2018 2:28 pm

Despite the nasty fluorescent green algae outbreak that’s happening off South Florida’s east and west coasts, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has resumed releases of the polluted water from Lake Okeechobee that’s filled with fertilizer, manure and sewage from surrounding industrial agriculture operations and cities north of the lake.

The Okeechobee swill flows out through the St. Lucie River to the Atlantic and the Calooshatchee River to the Gulf.  The releases are expected to happen for the next 10 days. Activists are planning a series of protests.

The disgusting algae is affecting real estate values, reports the Fort Myers News Press, adding that it’s hard to say just how much right now.  The News Press reports that a study in 2015 by a Realtor’s group found that algae outbreaks knocked back property values by $541 million a year in the west coast’s Lee County and $428 million a year in Martin County, on the east coast.

The Wall Street Journal has a story today about Florida’s outbreak and the News Press has incredible aerial video of the slime moving past waterfront homes.

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Julie Hauserman
Julie Hauserman

Julie Hauserman has been writing about Florida for more than 30 years. She is a former Capitol bureau reporter for the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times, and reported for The Stuart News and the Tallahassee Democrat. She was a national commentator for National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition Sunday and The Splendid Table . She has won many awards, including two nominations for the Pulitzer Prize. Her work is featured in several Florida anthologies, including The Wild Heart of Florida , The Book of the Everglades , and Between Two Rivers . Her new book is Drawn to The Deep, a University Press of Florida biography of Florida cave diver and National Geographic explorer Wes Skiles.