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King tides may help improve water quality of the St. Lucie Estuary

Posted at 5:29 PM, Oct 09, 2018

Around 11 a.m. Tuesday morning, the water came up over the street on Marine Way in Delray Beach.

"It was up 2 feet plus very very fast," said John Ball.

It's nothing new along the Intracoastal Waterway and the coast.

About 60 miles north of Delray Beach in Stuart, there may be a King Tide cleaning going on.

"One of the silver linings is it's going to help the estuary recover," said John Maehl, Martin County's ecosystem manager.

He says King Tides help with salinity levels and will probably reduce nutrients in the estuary.

That's a win-win situation with discharges from Lake Okeechobee stopping last Friday.

"Salinity levels have gone up at least 10 parts per thousand and the discharges have stopped," said Maehl.

The key is keeping the gates of the St. Lucie Lock closed.

"Of course our big concern when you got tropical systems coming across our state. We might get rain over Central Florida and that might result in the resuming of fresh-water discharges," said Zack Jud at Florida's Oceanographic Society.