NewsProtecting Paradise


Scientists monitor St. Lucie Estuary water quality ahead of tropical system

Water releases from Lake Okeechobee not imminent
Posted at 7:34 PM, Jun 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-03 22:10:31-04

STUART, Fla. — Local scientists are feeling confident this weekend's storm will not have a major impact on Treasure Coast estuaries and water quality.

Lorae Simpson, the director of research and conservation at the Florida Oceanographic Society, said conditions right now are a perfect baseline as the rainy season ramps up.

Seagrass is growing and salinity levels in the water, along with many conditions they track, are looking good.

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Lorae Simpson, Florida Oceanographic Society, June 3, 2022
Lorae Simpson speaks about the water quality levels of the St. Lucie Estuary ahead of potential Tropical Storm Alex.

Lake Okeechobee is also only around 12.5 feet, which is a good starting point for the rainy season.

Releases from the lake into the St. Lucie Estuary are not imminent.

"It's hard to start the rainy season when the estuary is already in peril, but we’re in a good place this year and hopefully we can move forward and see that for coming years," Simpson said.

She said local runoff sometimes can be flushed out of the inlet.