The River of Light has made an online petition to stop the Lake Okeechobee discharges into the St.Lucie River and surrounding estuaries. Signing and sharing this petition can make a big impact on our local waters.
From the change.org petition page :
“The St. Lucie River Estuary and the Indian River Lagoon are in critical condition due to large discharges of polluted freshwater from Lake Okeechobee and the agricultural canals. Discharges now exceed 4.5 billion gallons per day! The water has high levels of phosphorus, nitrogen and pesticides while depositing over 500 cubic yards of sediment into the estuaries daily during the discharges. This is also a direct loss of billions of gallons of freshwater to the ocean that would normally recharge south Floridas drinking water aquifers.
Direct impacts of the discharges include fish with lesions, dying oyster populations and loss of seagrass habitat. Declines in tourism, boating, fishing, and all water-related activities are causing a major economic loss in our community. Here, the environment IS the economy. Protected areas are also being impacted, including two State Aquatic Preserves, the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary, NOAA Essential Fish Habitat, EPA Critical Habitat for Seagrass, the St. Lucie Inlet State Preserve Reefs, and St. Lucie Near shore Reefs nominated for National Marine Sanctuary. These estuaries and coastal ecosystems are habitat for over 4,300 species of plants and animals, including 33 endangered and threatened species, the most bio-diverse ecosystem in North America.
Stop the Discharges and Pollution Now Before it is Too Late!”
Please take a minute out of your day and make sure your voice is heard by signing the petition to stop these detrimental discharges.
For more information on the discharges and what you can do to help stop them, check out the following websites :