SFWJ’s Wet Press provides links to water news being covered in south Florida’s coastal newspapers — “If its wet off the press, we post.”
Here’s the wrap up for January.
Water supply news continue to be the dominant headline. Phase 3 water restrictions were enacted across south Florida in December, and took effect this month. The restrictions dropped watering to once a week, among other measures — but this year’s water pie has not been carved up evenly, so some areas will be pinching but others will have more than enough water, and some of those water-richer localities have suggested they should not be held to region-wide restrictions, such as Marco Island and the Upper East Coast.
The Everglades Coalition conference in Captiva was the big Everglades Restoration news in January. Among many themes of that meeting was a need to approach Congress with one voice — lessening chance that funding will stall and be siphoned into other national water needs. Conference speakers also pointed to need not to put water storage eggs in single basket of Aquifer Storage and Recovery, and re-emphasizing need for surface water storage in the Kissimmee Valley and south of the lake. Also, be sure to check out Ed Killer’s article on the Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow and Donna Gehrke-White’s article on wading birds in the Everglades.
Lake Okeechobee news focused on new $1.5 million project to install low-water pumps in the lake, efforts to fortify 3500 ft section of levee along the lake’s southeast shore, and record-low winter lake levels.
Big Cypress/ Southwestnews included updates on efforts to restore Naples Bay, a startling loss of wetlands to development in the headwaters that feed into Estero Bay, and a slowdown to Picayune Strand restoration project due to a funding squeeze.
Coastal waters news included articles on red tide, which is still persisting along Florida’s northeast coast (an unusual occurrence) and manatee mortality, due to red tide and other factors.
Florida-wide water news continues to focus on water supply issues in Apalachicola and St John River basins, and a reminder that we are in a Florida-wide drought, not just south Florida.