Murky Waters: How Lake Okeechobee Discharges Affect Business and Tourism in Stuart

Stuart business owners feeling effects of Lake Okeechobee water discharges

Every day, diver Russell Singson puts on his suit to clean boats in Stuart. He says that business has been struggling due to the murky water caused by discharges from Lake Okeechobee. This makes it difficult for divers like Singson to see clearly underwater and do their job efficiently. As the owner of Barracuda Dive Service, Singson has seen firsthand how the decreased visibility affects his business, leading to smaller paychecks and delays in servicing boats.

Nancy Husk, operations manager at At the Helm Training located down the St. Lucie River, shares Singson’s concerns about the water quality. They have seen a significant decrease in bookings for training sessions due to worries about the cleanliness of the water from Lake Okeechobee discharges. Husk highlights that this is particularly affecting younger clients who are hesitant to rent boats or engage in water activities because of current conditions.

Both Singson and Husk are hopeful that changes will be made by the Army Corps of Engineers to reduce discharges into their area. While Singson mentions that they have a plan underway to release less water in their direction and remains optimistic that it will happen, Husk emphasizes that addressing this issue before it escalates into severe algae blooms is crucial for local businesses and tourists alike.

In conclusion, while there may be some challenges faced by divers like Russell Singson due to murky water caused by Lake Okeechobee discharges, there is hope for improvements thanks to ongoing efforts by both individuals and organizations such as At the Helm Training and Barracuda Dive Service.

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