“Death by the Numbers,” St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

“Death by the Numbers,” St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

by Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch


Chart by Dr Gary Goforth comparing pollutants into SLRIRL from Lake O and C-44 basin area 1980-2015
Chart by Dr Gary Goforth accompanying his letter comparing pollutants into SLR/IRL from Lake O and C-44 basin area 1980-2015
Dr Gary Goforth
For many years Dr Gary Goforth led STA projects for the SFWMD. He is now independent.

“Death by the numbers”…

Simply click on the image above to view 1980-2015.  Numbers showing Lake Okeechobee and C-44 Basin flow rates and pollutants into the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon as presented by Dr Gary Goforth in his letter to Martin County dated February 9th, 2016.

This letter indeed helped the  Martin County Commission decide to call a State of Emergency and perhaps Senator Joe Negron shared it with the Governor as well, inspiring the Governors’ call to  the Asst. Secretary of the Army Corp of Engineers to “stop the discharges.” Great requests.

It would probably be easier for the ACOE to achieve  such with some significant land south of the lake…..



The state knows it. The federal government knows it. We all know it. The St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon have been sacrificed —–not for the common good, but for the interests of agriculture and development.

It is “death by the numbers” and it should stop.

Excerpt from Dr Gary Goforth letter to Martin County, 2-9-16.:
1. The intentional destructive Lake releases knowingly cause environmental and economic damage to the region; the State of Florida and US government intentionally cause these by sacrificing our region in order to protect the area south of the Lake, and should therefore, the Lake releases should be considered Emergency Operations. The BOCC should declare a State of Emergency and ask the State/feds to do the same. This may free up funds to help the region’s businesses and residents that will suffer losses as a result of the discharges.

2. In addition to water, the Lake releases carry significant amount of pollution and sediment/muck – the amount of nitrogen from the Lake over the next few months will likely dwarf the amount coming from septic tanks, and greatly exceed the TMDLs for nitrogen and phosphorus.

3. We can’t forget that the River & Estuary also receive local basin runoff in addition to Lake releases, so the Lake releases are destructive above and beyond impacts from local runoff. The “local” watershed is more than twice the natural drainage due to addition of C-23, C-24, C-25 and C-44 Canals.

4. The BOCC should ask the State and Corps to stop the releases immediately. They should ask that inflows to the Lake be reduced, that the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes be operated per their regulation schedules and NOT FOR USFWS purposes, that Holey Land and Rotenberger be used to the maximum safe depth (temporarily exceeding their 0-1 ft operating schedules), that the STAs receive as much Lake water as possible – based on hydraulic not water quality criteria, allow the WCAs to temporarily be operated above the regulation schedules up to maximum safe depths to allow Lake inflows, and that the District temporarily put water on as many public lands (e.g., a portion of DuPuis) as dispersed water management.


Dr Gary Goforth (https://garygoforth.net/)

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  • Posted 8 years ago

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