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Diver Russell Singson, owner of Barracuda Dive Service in Stuart, has been struggling with the murky waters caused by the discharges from Lake Okeechobee. The water has become so cloudy that visibility is almost impossible, making it difficult for his divers to complete their work efficiently. 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.

On the other side of the St. Lucie River, At The Helm Training is also facing challenges due to the water quality issues. Operations Manager Nancy Husk stated that their bookings are down by 50% compared to last year, attributing it to concerns about cleanliness and safety of the water. Clients have expressed worries about participating in boating activities due to these concerns.

Husk is concerned about the continued discharges and recalls the severe algae bloom in 2018 that caused health problems for many people who were swimming or fishing on the river. 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 adjustments can be made by the Army Corps of Engineers to reduce the impact of these discharges on local businesses and communities.

Overall, both Barracuda Dive Service and At The Helm Training are feeling negative effects from Lake Okeechobee’s discharges on their businesses and customers’ perceptions of safety and cleanliness of boating activities on St Lucie River.

The Army Corps of Engineers has been responsible for controlling Lake Okeechobee’s waters for decades, but its current management strategy seems to be causing more harm than good. As a result, local businesses like Barracuda Dive Service and At The Helm Training are having a tough time keeping up with their clientele due to concerns about water quality.

Singson expressed his frustration with Lake Okeechobee’s discharges and hopes that changes can be made before it causes any further damage to local ecosystems or businesses like his own.

In conclusion, Lake Okeechobee’s discharges have had significant impacts on both marine life and human activity in Florida’s coastal areas. Business owners like Russell Singson and Nancy Husk must continue fighting for solutions while also educating their clients about safe boating practices during these challenging times.

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