The Ugly Truth: Lake Okeechobee’s Dirty Discharges Ruin Business for Local Diver and Trainer

Stuart business owners feeling effects of Lake Okeechobee water discharges

Diver Russell Singson, owner of Barracuda Dive Service in Stuart, has been struggling with decreased visibility and murky water due to discharges from Lake Okeechobee. This has led to delays in servicing boats and smaller paychecks for his business. Meanwhile, Nancy Husk, operations manager at At the Helm Training located down the St. Lucie River, has also noticed a significant decrease in bookings for training sessions due to concerns about the cleanliness of the water caused by these discharges.

Husk particularly notes the impact on younger clients who are hesitant to rent boats and engage in water activities due to current conditions. Both Singson and Husk are hopeful that the Army Corps of Engineers will take action to reduce discharges into their area. Singson mentioned that they have a plan underway to release less water in their direction, while Husk emphasized the urgency of addressing this issue before it results in severe algae blooms like those seen in 2018, which could harm local businesses and deter visitors from enjoying the area.

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