Operator files for approval of Fukushima plant water release
The operator of the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant says it has applied for approval from safety authorities to construct an undersea tunnel and other facilities needed for the planned release of large amounts of treated radioactive water into the seawashingtonpost.com
Harrowing North Carolina floods left farm animals stranded, lifted houses off their foundations
Once the water finally started retreating, Cordle went outside to survey the damage to the 10 acres where they’ve lived for more than a decade. The bridge over the creek and into their property had been washed sideways by the swells, trapping them on the farm. Just-purchased bales of hay had been swept downstream, leaving them short on animal feed. Fences across the property had been destroyed.washingtonpost.com
These photos tell you everything you need to know about California’s drought
Just this week, a major Southern California water agency declared a water supply alert for the first time in seven years, and is asking residents to voluntarily conserve. Many of the state’s counties are already under a state of drought emergency.
What exactly was Mark Zuckerberg riding in that viral Fourth of July video?
If you’ve been scrolling around on social media this month, then you may have noticed that over the Fourth of July weekend, Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg was riding on some sort of wakeboard on a lake with an American flag in tow.
Environmentalists sue over Florida wastewater reservoir leak
Environmental groups claim in a lawsuit that efforts to clean up a leaky Florida reservoir that dumped tens of millions of gallons of potentially hazardous gypsum wastewater into Tampa Bay must be overseen by a federal judge to guard against continued mismanagement.
Lake Okeechobee recedes, but not enough; Discharges continue
A rainbow graces the sky over a pier built over what should be lake Okeechobee July 9, 2007 in Okeechobee, Florida. WEST PALM BEACH – Lake Okeechobee discharges will be reduced to the Caloosahatchee River but will continue at the same rate to the St. Lucie River — indefinitely. The St. Lucie will continue to get a weekly average rate of 323 million gallons per day, the same amount since discharges started March 6, Kelly said. The bill, called the Toxic Health Threat Warning Act, would require tests to determine whether the lake water is contaminated. “We’re trying to be as communicative as possible about releases on Lake Okeechobee every day of the year, all the time,” Kelly said.
Lake Okeechobee water release could curb toxic algae bloom
Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency in seven Florida counties to combat the potentially toxic green algae bloom. While the South Florida Water Management District supported the decision to release water to the St. Lucie Estuary, spokesman Randy Smith said they will closely monitor salinity levels. With rainy season approaching in May, South Florida is still soggy from Tropical Storm Eta last year. If they go wrong, everything goes wrong,” said South Florida Water Management District board member Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch in a February meeting. The Army Corps makes weekly decisions on lake levels, and Perry hopes the water releases end before the April oyster spawning.
Sun and snow melt: Chicago warming up after bitter cold and heavy snow
There is about 2 to 3 inches of liquid water “trapped” in all the snowfall the area has experienced in the past few weeks, according to recent core samples taken by the weather service. A good meteorology rule of thumb is 10 to 13 inches of snow is about a solid inch of liquid water, said meteorologist Lee Carlaw of the Chicago area office of the weather service.chicagotribune.com
Florida hack exposes vulnerability of cash-strapped US water plants
Authorities say a hacker gained access to Oldsmar's water treatment plant in an unsuccessful attempt to taint the water supply with a caustic chemical. A local sheriff's startling announcement Monday that the water supply of Oldsmar, population 15,000, was briefly in jeopardy last week exhibited uncharacteristic transparency. Ad“I deal with a lot of municipal water utilities for small, medium and large-sized cities. The nation's 151,000 public water systems lack the financial fortification of the corporate owners of nuclear power plants and electrical utilities. Although such incidents have been relatively few, that does not mean the risk is low and that most water systems are secure.
Indian River Lagoon report: Water quality steady or improving while seagrass continues to decline
PALM BAY, Fla. – Seagrass is disappearing from the Indian River Lagoon causing hungry manatees to have to migrate to find their food. It’s one of the concerning conclusions from Tuesday’s virtual presentation of the third annual lagoon report card. That score was before the river suffering new fish kills like Thanksgiving at State Road 520 in Merritt Island. After the 2016 fish kills, Brevard County voters approved paying hundreds of millions of dollars over 10 years for cleanup efforts. “I think that we have not reached a point of no return,” Dr. Souto said.
Moon may hold frozen water in more places than suspected
Scientists say the moon’s shadowed, frigid nooks and crannies may hold frozen water in more places and in larger quantities than previously suspected. Another NASA scientist on the call, Dr. Jacob Bleacher, touched on the importance of water for the agency’s exploration plans. “We confirmed water on the sunlit surface of the Moon for the 1st time using @SOFIAtelescope,” Bridenstine tweeted. “We don’t know yet if we can use it as a resource, but learning about water on the Moon is key for our #Artemis exploration plans.”Earlier, NASA tweeted, “Happy Monday, skygazers! We don’t know yet if we can use it as a resource, but learning about water on the Moon is key for our #Artemis exploration plans.
14 million tons of microplastics on seafloor, study finds
Plastic pollution has been found in the most remote regions of Earth. An estimated 14 million metric tons of microplastics have accumulated on the seabed, more than 35 times as much plastic believed to be floating on the surface, according to a new study from Australia’s National Science Agency. [TRENDING: DeSantis to lift restaurant limits in Fla. | Here’s how to track your mail-in ballot | How can I tell difference between flu and COVID-19?] Using a robotic submarine, researchers collected 51 samples of deep-sea sediments from sites off Australia’s coast. Their findings show up to 25 times more microplastics than previous studies.
Algae blooms turn Indian River Lagoon green and stinky, again
BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Algae blooms are turning parts of the Indian River Lagoon green again in Brevard County. Brevard County Public Information Officer Don Walker said for the last couple weeks the weather conditions have helped and the county has not received reports of any major fish kills. On Sept. 11, county officials warned of a possible fish kill like the ones seen in 2016 and 2018 due to the wet weather in recent weeks. Brevard County voters approved a half-cent sales tax in 2011 to generate more than $400 million for restoration of the lagoon. Ron DeSantis signed bills designed to address environmental issues ranging from sea level rise to blue-green algae blooms.
Its license-free saltwater fishing weekend in Florida
Try your hand at saltwater fishing Saturday, June 6, and Sunday, June 7, without needing a saltwater fishing license. License-free fishing days provide an excellent opportunity for those who don't yet have a fishing license to experience fishing, take youth fishing, or for avid anglers to introduce a friend to fishing without having to purchase a license. Try your hand at saltwater fishing Saturday, June 6, and Sunday, June 7, without needing a saltwater fishing license. License-free fishing days provide an excellent opportunity for those who don't yet have a fishing license to experience fishing, take youth fishing, or for avid anglers to introduce a friend to fishing without having to purchase a license. The saltwater waiver applies to any recreational harvest requiring a saltwater fishing license (e.g., crabbing, lobstering, scalloping, etc.)
Florida river dying for freshwater, needs emergency help
TEQUESTA, Fla. Water officials in South Florida say the region's only nationally-recognized wild and scenic river is being poisoned by a lack of fresh water as dry conditions allow the ocean to sour the unique ecosystem. The Palm Beach Post reported that Albrey Arrington, executive director of the Loxahatchee River District, asked the South Florida Water Management District board for an emergency infusion of fresh water to stave off further damage before wet season rains arrive. The Loxahatchee River, which traditionally receives a stipend from Grassy Waters Preserve to fight saltwater intrusion during the dry season, has been cut off from that tap for weeks with preserve waters themselves running low. Its a similar step to emergency measures taken last month by the district that installed pumps to gush water into a dry Everglades National Park. The river needs supplemental water and you were able to raise a segment of the Everglades eight-tenths of a foot, Arrington said Thursday.
Video: 3 giant sawfish spotted in Indian River in Melbourne Beach
MELBOURNE BEACH, Fla. – With fewer people out enjoying Florida’s water, some sea creatures you don’t see too often have been spotted in local waterways. Three giant smalltooth sawfish were captured on video next to a dock in the shallow water in the Indian River in Melbourne Beach. Alavarez said, “Got to witness something amazing this morning in Melbourne Beach in the Indian River. The FWC says sawfish sightings are now less common because they were unintentionally over fished. Alavrez reported the sighting to the FWC so the agency can better understand which areas the sawfish are in.
Brevard County residents asked to limit water usage as dry conditions continue
BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Officials are asking residents of Brevard County and Mims to reduce their water usage until further notice. The request comes after dry conditions continue in Florida and the demand for water remains high. Brevard County Utility Services is asking residents to reduce water usage for non-essential activities until further notice. The request is limited only to customers on the Brevard County Utility Services water system. Officials said the water is safe to drink.
Melbourne City Council votes 4-3 to keep fluoridating drinking water supply
MELBOURNE, Fla. – Melbourne will continue to fluoridate drinking water for customers across roughly 100 square miles of southern Brevard County. The City Council voted 4-3 on Tuesday to do so, according to our news partner Florida Today. In addition to customers within city limits, Melbourne provides drinking water for Indialantic, Indian Harbour Beach, Melbourne Beach, Melbourne Village, Palm Shores, Satellite Beach, West Melbourne and unincorporated Brevard County south of the Pineda Causeway. During Tuesday's meeting, West Melbourne City Council members Daniel Batcheldor, Pat Bentley and John Dittmore spoke in favor of fluoride. There was not one council member that was supportive of the city of Melbourne discontinuing optimal fluoridation of the drinking water," City Manager Scott Morgan told Melbourne officials.
Red tide: Everything you need to know about the outbreak in Florida
While most Floridians are at least somewhat familiar with the phenomenon, there are still many mysteries surrounding red tide and how it can be stopped. The following information, provided by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, outlines everything we do and don't know about the red tide outbreak and its deadly repercussions. Anyone with a pre-existing respiratory ailment such as asthma should avoid coastal areas during a red tide outbreak. If dead fish are accumulated, the water should be avoided entirely since those dead fish are likely associated with harmful bacteria. You can also click here to see FWC's weekly red tide status report.
These Florida maps show where red tide, blue-green algae are the worst
Many Floridians don't realize exactly how widespread the problems with blue-green algae and red tide are. Red tideThe Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has been monitoring the Karenia brevis bloom, also known as red tide, on the Gulf Coast for months. Each week, FWC posts the latest counts and conditions on a special section of its website dedicated to red tide monitoring. Bright red dots indicate where the bloom is the worst, while orange dots show where levels are in the medium range and yellow dots illustrate areas where red tide is present but in low levels. Florida's red tide, blue-green algae make dining complicated]Weekly change is also noted on the page, meaning Floridians can see where red tide conditions are improving and where they're getting worse.
Dead manatee found floating in Marco Island
MARCO ISLAND, Fla. – A dead manatee was found floating in a residential area in Marco Island Tuesday as that area and much of the Gulf Coast battles red tide, according to WINK News. As of Saturday, FWC had counted 103 manatee deaths in Florida that were confirmed or suspected to be due to red tide so far in 2018. The total number of manatee deaths in Florida this year is 538, with cold weather and red tide being blamed as the biggest killers. Story continues belowThose manatee deaths are also in addition to the tons of dead fish and other marine animals that have been scooped up from shores along the coast since the bloom began in October. For information on what the state is doing to battle red tide and other water woes in the Sunshine State, click here.
Toxic algae covers half of Lake Okeechobee
JACKSONVILLE, Fla – The algae bloom in Lake Okeechobee now covers half the lake after expanding from 40% in July. The major bloom of blue-green algae has plagued the state's largest lake all summer. Florida Sea Grant says blue-green algae blooms prefer warm water, and they outcompete other kinds of algae in those conditions. The nutrients and fresh water fueling naturally occurring blue-green algae growth also comes from local stormwater runoff and septic tanks. Unfortunately, no effective large scale treatment method exists to remove blue-green algae blooms.
Florida wildlife rescuers brace for manatees living, breathing, eating toxic red algae
ORLANDO, Fla. – Manatees and other wildlife living in Florida's coastal waterways infected with toxic red algae blooms are at risk of falling comatose and drowning. Florida wildlife rescue groups are bracing as the red tide on Florida's Gulf Coast is expected to last into next year, SeaWorld Rescue team members said this week. Groups including SeaWorld Rescue, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Partnership are working daily to save wildlife living, breathing and eating the harmful algae, known as Karenia brevis. Necropsies will have to be performed to determine if they were killed by the effects of red tide. SeaWorld Orlando has used its facilities to treat more than 46 critical manatees in the last year.
Red tide cited after manatees, thousands of fish found dead in Florida
CAPE CORAL, Fla. – There’s a water crisis in Southwest Florida that is wreaking havoc on wildlife. Thousands of fish and several manatees have washed up dead because of red tide. On Tuesday, three manatees washed ashore, and WINK News reports that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission claims this year there are higher than normal manatee deaths from red tide. “I hate to say it, but it’s like a natural disaster if you ask me,” said Englewood resident Jane Tellor to WINK News. It’s so bad that Lee County commissioners declared a local state of emergency and need funding to remove the massive amounts of dead fish.
Red tide is to blame for spike in sea turtle deaths in Florida waters
SANIBEL, Fla. – Researchers are reporting a spiking number of sea turtle deaths in Florida waters plagued by a red tide algae bloom. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has documented 287 sea turtle deaths in Gulf of Mexico waters along the southwest Florida coast since the toxic bloom started in October. Allen Foley of the commission's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute said Thursday that's about double the average number of turtle deaths in those waters every year. Foley said turtles living in the area become sick and die when their food gets contaminated by the toxins. Loggerhead and Kemp's ridley sea turtles are the two species primarily affected by the bloom.