Florida's algae problem stems from decades of Lake Okeechobee pollution

July 11, 2016 by David Fleshler, Sun Sentinel

The algae fouling South Florida beaches traces its origin to cattle ranches, farms and neighborhoods as far north as Orlando.

A vast area drains into Lake Okeechobee, where water laden with phosphorus has fertilized the growth of horrific algae blooms that have been discharged to the ocean. The target phosphorus level for the lake is 105 metric tons a year. Last year, the lake received 450.

The problem has been building up over decades, and defies easy solutions.

Republican Gov. Rick Scott has blamed the algae plague largely on the Obama administration's failure to fix the federally controlled dike around the lake, where high water levels necessitated discharges to the ocean to protect the deteriorated earthen structure.

But environmentalists point to decades of overdevelopment and lax regulation of agriculture, saying the state never forced farms, cities and other sources of phosphorus to reduce it sufficiently to allow the lake to recover.

"I think it's irresponsible to point the finger at the federal government," said Eric Draper, executive director of Audubon of Florida. "The question of who let the all that pollution into Lake Okeechobee is not a federal responsibility, that's a state responsibility. Florida allowed three million acres that drain into Lake Okeechobee to become overdrained and overdeveloped."

Most recently, he said, the state Legislature and Scott took action that served the lake badly. Lobbied by U.S. Sugar, a major campaign contributor, the governor and his appointees at the water management district rejected a deal to buy U.S. Sugar land south of the lake for water storage. That could have eventually reduced the need for discharges to the ocean.

And last year the state Legislature passed an agriculture-backed revision to water quality law that allowed polluters to continue discharging phosphorus as long as they complied with , such as not fertilizing when the weather forecast calls for heavy rain.

"Best management practices are essentially voluntary measures," said Bradley Marshall, senior associate attorney at the Florida office of Earthjustice, the environmental law firm. "What we need are hard limits on how much phosphorus comes off these lands, and the state is not providing that."

Tom Frick, director of the Division of Environmental Assessment and Restoration for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, said the new system is neither voluntary, nor easy to comply with.

Landowners within the lake's huge watershed must show they are either not discharging pollutants or comply with best management practices, he said. The state is checking into levels of compliance and will engage in enforcement where necessary, he said.

Ultimately, he said, the state's plan calls for bringing the lake's phosphorus down to environmentally healthy levels within 15 years.

Known once as the Devil's element for its use in poisons and explosives (and status as the 13th element discovered), phosphorus was first isolated by a 17th-century alchemist. It's an essential nutrient for plants and animals, but it has proved one of the most vexing problems for the Everglades, where native sawgrass requires a low-phosphorus environment to keep out competing plants such as cattails.

Phosphorus-laden discharges of water from the lake have been blamed, along with the hot weather, septic tanks and other factors, with causing the catastrophic algae blooms that have coated Treasure Coast beaches with green slime.

Although many environmentalists blame "Big Sugar," the cane fields of U.S. Sugar and Florida Crystals around the southern rim of the lake today account for only a small percentage of its phosphorus.

About 37 percent comes from land to the north that drains into the Kissimmee River, according to a 2015 report by the South Florida Water Management District. This includes vegetable farms, citrus groves, cattle ranches, dairy farms and neighborhoods as far north as the Orlando suburbs, where lawn fertilizer, animal waste and other sources of phosphorus wash into the river, which feeds into the lake.

Only 5.8 percent came from the lands where the sugar fields are located, along with towns and other kinds of farms.

Judy Sanchez, spokeswoman for U.S. Sugar, said the industry has sharply reduced discharges to less than three percent of what's going into the lake.

"People are just used to pointing the finger at us," she said.

She criticized the idea of a buyout, saying it would not yield enough land for water storage to significantly reduce the damaging discharges from the lake to the ocean.

"You can't send much more water south," she said. "No matter what land you acquire, you're still going to flow water out the estuaries."

While the 's discharges to the lake are minimal compared to other sources, that wasn't the case in the past. A 1992 study found that sugarcane fields and sugar mills accounted for 28 percent of the lake's phosphorus.

"There is a historic load of phosphorus already in Lake Okeechobee that came from the sugar farms," Draper said. "There is a current load, even if it is not a major percentage, coming from the sugar farms. We have had long-standing plans to move some of the that water to the sugar farm land, and the sugar industry went from being favorable to that strategy to lobbying against it."

Earlier this month, the governor announced a proposal for matching grants to help homeowners switch from septic tanks to central sewer systems, which would reduce one source of phosphorus reaching the water.

"It is up to all of us - the state, Florida's local communities and the federal government - to work together on long-term solutions to improve the quality of our water," he said. "If approved by the Legislature, this voluntary program will provide funding to encourage residents to move from to sewer systems in order to curb pollution."

To critics, this appeared to be an attempt to avoid the more difficult choices that need to be made to clean up the .

"The state is trying to shift the blame to septic systems," said Marshall, of Earthjustice. "While certainly they're a source of phosphorus, they're not the primary source of these blooms. It's no coincidence that the blooms are occurring right after the discharges from Lake Okeechobee. Because that means they can avoid dealing with the real problem, which is runoff."

Explore further: Army Corps to reduce lake flows fueling Florida algae bloom

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gobit
2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 17, 2016
Everyone knows that atleast 95% of the water that enters Lake Okeechobee comes from the North... the Kissimmee Basin and Orlando area. If everyone didn't know the north is where residential and the sugar farms are! Solution to the problem: clean the water before it goes south.
gkam
1 / 5 (8) Jul 17, 2016
"Clean up" the phosphorus in the effluent? How? Lots of dispersed sources, especially the ranches.
Captain Stumpy
4.4 / 5 (7) Jul 17, 2016
Everyone knows that atleast 95% of the water that enters Lake Okeechobee comes from the North... the Kissimmee Basin and Orlando area. If everyone didn't know the north is where residential and the sugar farms are! Solution to the problem: clean the water before it goes south.
Oops... @gobit, sorry about the downvote... the page jumped while loading.

I meant to 5 star you

sorry
Captain Stumpy
3.7 / 5 (9) Jul 17, 2016
@STOLEN VALOR liar-kam
"Clean up" the phosphorus in the effluent? How?
*before* it pollutes the water sources

you can do this in a number of ways including, but not limited to:
-sacrificial plots/feedlots & Prescribed/rotation grazing
-Heavy use area re-vegetation
-Nutrient management plans
-Fertilizer application technology
-Dry stacks, composters, incinerators in poultry houses (required for all newly constructed poultry houses in some states)

REF: DEQ/EPA regs (especially sect 319 non-point source pollution) and BMP for watershed protection areas - multipurpose
also see: watershed based management plans (covered under EPA 319)

Captain Stumpy
4.4 / 5 (7) Jul 17, 2016
cont'd
of course the best method is to limit sources of pollution, point and non-point through various means:
-upgrade existing wastewater-treatment facilities
-Additional control of phosphorus from non-point sources (such as applications of lawn fertilizers and disposal of animal wastes)
-restrictions on phosphate detergents

Cultural eutrophication is an unnatural speeding up of this process because of man's addition of phosphates, nitrogen, and sediment to the water
http://water-rese...osphates

http://water-rese...in-water

gkam
1 / 5 (9) Jul 18, 2016
I am glad you finally read up on eutrophication and methods to "clean up" one area of nutrients. With a little goading, you will eventually understand it, and see what the problem is that we studied back in the Master's course. Of course, our studies were rigorous, not just conversational.

I have been pushing anaerobic digestion of animal and other wastes for decades, since I used it in my thesis in 1982 to power an ethanol production facility. We could clean up California's Central Valley if we got rid of the politicians owned by "Agribusiness".

We do not have farms any more, we have agribusiness, which does not care for the land, which they can salt up,then write off, dodging taxes. Many of the "farms" are owned by investors in New York City, where they found Ag subsidy checks going to Fifth Avenue.
Captain Stumpy
3.5 / 5 (8) Jul 18, 2016
@STOLEN VALOR liar-kam
I am glad you finally read up on eutrophication and methods to "clean up" one area of nutrients
1- i know a lot more about it than you do, and that is proven above
2- you didn't study crap in your "masters course".... you can't validate the claim of a legit MS because you not only don't have a Baccalaureate to produce but your own school stated all you did was pay $$ for the diploma, write some crappy "thesis" and you got experience for "life"... and that is direct from the school who wrote you the MS for "life experience" in the "college of professional studies"

THAT was checked by me and validated by Ira based upon the evidence you yourself sent

http://s1027.phot...p;page=1
gkam
1 / 5 (9) Jul 18, 2016
Nope. Not having a degree of any kind yourself, you might not recognize a real one. Like Ira, who tried and tried to disparage what I did and he did not achieve, you just cannot accept that others are real people, not phonies like you hiding behind fake names, too scared to take responsibility for your own words.

I like the part where you and Ira contend I never finished school, "forgetting" that my generation's education was interrupted by an unfortunate war, . . for those of us who actually showed up.

And you validated that I attended the University in the very rigorous Master's program. It was a Master of Science, not arts. That means Thermodynamics of Energy Systems, Ecoscience , Environmental Law, Environmental Economics and other pertinent graduate-level courses. There were no silly "life experience" courses in the late 1970s, when I started the course. It's envy and frustration which makes you disparage the work of others.

Outgrow it.
Uncle Ira
3.8 / 5 (10) Jul 18, 2016
like the part where you and Ira contend I never finished school, "forgetting" that my generation's education was interrupted by an unfortunate war,
The war did not cause you to drop out of three colleges did it? In three years non less, eh?

But it did cause you to join the Air Forces to keep from getting drafted into the Army, because those drafting deferments don't apply to peoples who keep dropping out.
gkam
1 / 5 (10) Jul 18, 2016
Outgrow it, Ira. Your lack of military service gives you no credibility.

Just another wannabe headed for being a neverwas.
Uncle Ira
3.9 / 5 (11) Jul 18, 2016
Outgrow it, Ira. Your lack of military service gives you no credibility.

Just another wannabe headed for being a neverwas.


What that means Cher?

I am everything I ever wannabe and I neverwas anything I did not want to be. And a lot things that you don't have the clue about. (Even though I leave you plenty of clues.)
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.7 / 5 (9) Jul 18, 2016
attended the University in the very rigorous Master's program. It was a Master of Science, not arts. That means Thermodynamics of Energy Systems, Ecoscience , Environmental Law, Environmental Economics and other pertinent graduate-level courses
The endless loop of george kamburoff, professional liar, cheat, and obvious psychopath.

Theres no reason to ask for further evidence. George kamburoff enjoys making people jump through hoops for him. Its all hes got left.

"...we can only say that it seems to be that the psychopath ENJOYS making others suffer. Just as normal humans enjoy seeing other people happy, or doing things that make other people smile, the psychopath enjoys the exact opposite."

-After all the world insists on making HIM suffer. Hes tired of having to justify his lies. Hes george kamburoff after all, and he'll say anything he damn well pleases.

Try to convince any rodent not to gnaw. Its what they do.
https://www.youtu...nDMkj4bQ
gkam
1 / 5 (10) Jul 18, 2016
"Try to convince any rodent not to gnaw. Its what they do."
-----------------------------

So we see.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.1 / 5 (9) Jul 18, 2016
"I am George Kamburoff"
"I am George Kamburoff"
"I am George Kamburoff"
"I am George Kamburoff"
"I am George Kamburoff"
"I am George Kamburoff"
"I am George Kamburoff"
"I am George Kamburoff"
"I am George Kamburoff"
"I am George Kamburoff"
"I am George Kamburoff"
"I am George Kamburoff"

heehee

Hey george can you do this?
https://www.youtu...DlSjOTdA

(No psychopaths were harmed in the making of this video. Unfortunately.)
antigoracle
2 / 5 (4) Jul 18, 2016
Outgrow it, Ira. Your lack of military service gives you no credibility.

Just another wannabe headed for being a neverwas.

LOL.
Unlike you gskam, whose entire life gives you incredibility.

Just another neverwas, desperate to be a wannabe.
Estevan57
4 / 5 (8) Jul 18, 2016
Gkam, isn't it embarrassing for you to have Captn. Stumpy expand on your own point to the extent that it make you look like a goober?

It should be.

You talk about yourself so much you can't spit out more than a bumper stickers worth of actual comment.

Pretty sad attempt at a sockpuppet, George. Even for you.
Captain Stumpy
3.5 / 5 (8) Jul 19, 2016
@STOLEN VALOR liar-kam
Not having a degree of any kind yourself, you might not recognize a real one
having a degree is how i know you are full of sh*t (and before you ask: no, i will not send you a copy)
it is also how Ira and I know you got your diploma through a mill
you have provided no baccalaureate proving you actually finished the required prerequisites for the MS program
epic fail on your part... here is what is typical in any higher education program
https://www.ndsu....rements/

http://www.depts....ba/stem/

see.. even for on-line Uni's there is a requirement for an undergrad degree
you validated that I attended the University
no, i validated that they actually gave the MS
they never actually validated you attended the UNI, nor did they validate your undergrad degree
my generation's education was interrupted
forgot nothing

you lied
period
end of story
gkam
1 / 5 (7) Jul 19, 2016
Rumpy, please get help for your ridiculous and need to "get even" with someone who bested you. You put all your cred on me being phony like you and estevan and ira and otto, the cowards who cannot take responsibility for their own words. And all of you lost.

It turns out I really did work on rocket planes at the Air force Flight test Center, really did help put together the Electronic Battlefield, really did those NASA studies and reports,really was Senior Engineer for Pacific Gas & Electric,and really did earn a rigorous Master of Science.

On the other hand, you four are still hiding,cowering behind phony names, too SCARED to take responsibility for what you say. So you scream nasties, anything you think will hurt.

Real class.

Real character.
Captain Stumpy
3.9 / 5 (7) Jul 19, 2016
STOLEN VALOR liar-kam
someone who bested you
bested at what?
you can't validate your claims, so how can you prove you 'bested" anyone?

more to the point: i proved that all MS programs require an undergrad degree (in small words for you, that means a 4yr baccalaureate or the equivalent thereof, depending upon the nationality of the applicant)

and how does your epic failure to provide empirical evidence support your arguments of ""Clean up" the phosphorus in the effluent? How?"

you didn't even know about BMP's or the tactics for cleaning phosphates (soluble or non-soluble) from the water before posting, otherwise you wouldn't have posted such a stupid claim

... and you say you have an MS in enviro engineering?

then why can't you answer the question you posed?
why did it take someone you "bested" to answer it?
why haven't you posted anything that can be validated or that is scientific

FOAD - or anhero
do us all a favor, joanne
Captain Stumpy
3.9 / 5 (7) Jul 19, 2016
You talk about yourself so much
@Estevan
funny thing is... he made the following comments
"Clean up" the phosphorus in the effluent? How?"
&
I am glad you finally read up on eutrophication and methods to "clean up" one area of nutrients
those are incongruous with someone who has a degree in Environmental Science as she claims... even more stupid considering the claims of "Energy Systems, Ecoscience , Environmental Law, Environmental Economics" classes to get the MS, none of which was validated by the college, BTW... though i would suggest asking them that yourself

what i fond most comical is the continued reference to a known inflated system of rating from the military... and the fact that most of it's claims are not only unable to be validated, but have no bearing on the topic at all.

i mean... who cares if she was airman of the Qtr for his squadron?

that is a gimme prize for all the Bravo Foxtrots

gkam
1 / 5 (7) Jul 19, 2016
Getting the front page of the newspaper of the Air force Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB with my picture on it really got to you, didn't it? The same with my name and picture on those military websites. Where are yours? You say you served, but I think that is not true. You do not know the differences between individual awards and unit awards, even with their names specifying it.

The problem is you and your silly anger at those who showed you up as an anonymous sniper, hiding from us,. because you are scared to take responsibility for your own words.

Now, stay on topic, and get over your adolescent anger.

Outgrow it.
Captain Stumpy
3.9 / 5 (7) Jul 19, 2016
@STOLAN VALOR chronic-liar
Now, stay on topic
you mean like your above posts?
only 1 was on topic, and you asked a question that you should already know the answer to, being an MS grad and all (LOL)

why didn't you post actual validated information?

UCMJ ("Title 10 U.S.C., Chapter 45, The Uniform, Department of Defense Instruction
(DoDI) 1334.1, Wearing of the Uniform, and Air Force Policy Directive (AFPD) 36-29, Military Standards"), AFI 36-2903, & AFI 36-28 all prove you lie chronically, along with: https://www.ndsu....rements/

that is topical because you made FALSE CLAIMS
(means you lied)

EPA-319 program also states you lied: see references above JUL 17 ( DEQ/EPA post)

anything else topical to EPA 319?

Now, stay on topic, and get over your adolescent anger. your silly anger at those who showed you up as an anonymous sniper, hiding from us,. because you are scared

Outgrow it.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.9 / 5 (7) Jul 19, 2016
Getting the front page of the newspaper of the Air force Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB with my picture on it really got to you, didn't it? The same with my name and picture on those military websites. Where are yours? You say you served, but I think that is not true. You do not know the differences between individual awards and unit awards, even with their names specifying it
"Even more amazing is the fact that, when psychopaths do get exposed by someone who is not afraid to admit that they have been conned, the psychopath is a master at painting their victims as the "real culprits."
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.9 / 5 (7) Jul 19, 2016
"Psychopaths just have what it takes to defraud and bilk others: they can be fast talkers, they can be charming, they can be self-assured and at ease in social situations; they are cool under pressure, unfazed by the possibility of being found out, and totally ruthless. And even when they are exposed, they can carry on as if nothing has happened, often making their accusers the targets of accusations of being victimized by THEM.

"I was once dumbfounded by the logic of an inmate who described his murder victim as having benefited from the crime by learning "a hard lesson about life." [Hare]"
http://www.cassio...path.htm

-Psychopaths love to teach, preferably in front a large captive audience, and up on a stage where they can look down on all of them.

But alone with a victim in a dark alley also works.
gkam
1 / 5 (7) Jul 19, 2016
We see they are also copy-and-pasters.
Estevan57
4.3 / 5 (6) Jul 19, 2016
"Clean up" the phosphorus in the effluent? How?..." - gkam

Not enough experience to figure this out? Wow, that really makes you look bad.
gkam
1 / 5 (7) Jul 19, 2016
It was a challenge. Uneducated folk like to wiki and pretend they know it all because of a few superficial concepts. I want him to see what it takes to do these things. It requires all the sources to be controlled, and all them-there Sovereign Citizens and others who think laws do not apply to them to fall in line and march to civilization by cleaning up their acts.

You go tell them.

If I look bad, it is through your emotionally-tinged lenses.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.9 / 5 (7) Jul 19, 2016
they are also copy-and-pasters
George is just jealous because real sources can be copy/pasted, unlike the stuff he makes up.

But lets try it anyways, from his own mr wizard website.

"You are the best!"

"I've been an electrical engineer for over 15 years, . . . and this is the first time I really understood it!"

" Excellent! This was one of the most fruitful and educational workshops that I've had the privilege to attend"

"Mr. George Kamburoff was one of the most captivating speakers I've ever witnessed."

"Course should have been longer."

"Couldn't be better."

"Excellent seminar! So was the instructor."

"The big factor for me was the practical, down to earth level which he presented the info."

"The guy was great! Bring him back."

"This guy has answered the right calling. Excellent at what he's doing,"

-Those are the only facts that really matter, eh george, even though they are obviously made up as well?

Everything else is just... wiki.
gkam
1 / 5 (7) Jul 19, 2016
Those quotations are real comments from my seminars, otto. You could not have been at any of them, not having the qualifications.

Want to discuss the waveshapes in that page of my website?
Estevan57
4.3 / 5 (6) Jul 19, 2016
I am always amazed at what stupid ol' Captain Stumpy can learn from a person of "experience"
AFTER he posts what you didn't know. I am sure he is in your debt forever. Perhaps you could charge him a consulting fee?

By the way, what was the name of that ethanol production facility you mentioned? It sure would add even more credibility to your fantastic career.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.9 / 5 (7) Jul 19, 2016
Those quotations are real comments from my seminars, otto. You could not have been at any of them, not having the qualifications.
No theyre not. You obviously made them up. Who do you think youre fooling?

Its what george kamburoff does. He lies.
gkam
1 / 5 (7) Jul 19, 2016
" Perhaps you could charge him a consulting fee? "
--------------------------

A referral for help would be more appropriate.

Are you the board tester in Portland?
Captain Stumpy
3.9 / 5 (7) Jul 20, 2016
I am always amazed...he is in your debt forever.
@Estevan57
ROTFLMFAO
wish i could give 50 stars for that post!

.

@STOLEN VALOR liar-kam
I want him to see what it takes to do these things
uhm... hey idiot, you know who i am, so obviously you looked and found out that i worked for Soil and Water/EPA - Non-Point source (section 319) for the state
so how is that educating me?

Seems to me like you were phishing for information and wanted to learn something you didn't know sh*t about

more to the point: considering you can't actually validate your claims, it appears you've been caught in yet another blatant lie, worse than the lie where you are apparently someone so special the USAF and Gov't ignore regulations and law just for your sake (STOLEN VALOR)
A referral for help would be more appropriate
give me your psychologist/psychiatrists names and i will refer them to your posts for you to get help

no charge
already asked you to anyway in a PM
gkam
1 / 5 (7) Jul 20, 2016
"you know who i am,"
--------------------------

No, we do not.

You are too SCARED to reveal that, too frightened to take responsibility for your own words.

Tell us. Don't be scared of me, I'm a nice guy.
Captain Stumpy
4.3 / 5 (6) Jul 20, 2016
@STOLEN VALOR liar-kam
No, we do not.
1- i said "you"
2- yes, you do. you have already received my name, address and map to the house, you idiot
feel free to file for discovery when you file the suit as you threatened and you will see
LMFAO
too frightened to take responsibility
how is that?
I actually sent you my addy & map so you could make good on your threat to litigate?

how is that failing to take responsibility?
it is far more logical & responsible than posting all my private info on a public site known for it's trolls, hackers and idiots like you
Tell us. Don't be scared of me, I'm a nice guy.
1- told you 5 times- being stupid is your problem, not mine

2- you're a sad broken geriatric sociopath braggart... nothing to be scared of

3- you're not a nice guy if you have to claim STOLEN VALOR, education you don't have, or to be someone you are obviously not on a public forum of any kind...

it makes you a chronic liar and pathetic

epic fail
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.3 / 5 (6) Jul 20, 2016
No, we do not
Gutless george is telling us he doesnt know how to search the internet.

Stumpy is easy to find. So is george kamburoff.

This doesnt bother george because as a psychopath he knows no fear. Also no joy, no empathy, no sadness, no affection, no guilt, no shame.

"Imagine - if you can - not having a conscience, none at all, no feelings of guilt or remorse no matter what you do, no limiting sense of concern for the well-being of strangers, friends, or even family members. Imagine no struggles with shame, not a single one in your whole life, no matter what kind of selfish, lazy, harmful, or immoral action you had taken."

-George is gutless not because he is fearful but because he is literally empty inside.

"In other words, you are completely free of internal restraints, and your unhampered liberty to do just as you please, with no pangs of conscience, is conveniently invisible to the world."

A charicature of a human being.

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