The Battle Against Lake Okeechobee: Two Businesses Face Challenges Amidst Discharges

Stuart Business Owners Feeling Effects of Lake Okeechobee Water Releases

In the waters of the St. Lucie River, two different businesses are facing challenges due to the discharges from Lake Okeechobee. On one side, Barracuda Dive Service owner Russell Singson is struggling with murky water that has made it difficult for his divers to complete their work efficiently. On the other side, At the Helm Training’s Operations Manager Nancy Husk is seeing a 50% drop in bookings compared to last year due to concerns about water quality.

Singson shared videos comparing the clear water in January to the murky water caused by the lake discharges that began in mid-February. This has resulted in smaller paychecks for his divers as they are unable to clean as many boats in a day. He also expressed concerns about sanitation after diving in the darker water.

Husk, on the other hand, is concerned about the continued discharges and recalls the severe algae bloom in 2018. She fears that if the discharges persist, it will deter younger clients who enjoy renting boats and visiting sandbars. Despite these challenges, Singson remains hopeful that the Army Corps of Engineers will adjust their approach to reduce the impact of the discharges.

Sophia Reynolds

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