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BlogConditions in South Florida’s Ecosystem following Hurricane Ian

October 27, 2022
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One month after the storm—forward we go. Our focus is on improving water quality and rebuilding the communities that depend on it.

Hurricane Ian ripped through southwest Florida on Wednesday, Sep. 28th, leaving in its wake a level of destruction seen only a few times before in U.S. history. Thousands of homes, businesses, and livelihoods were completely destroyed or radically changed forever. For the past few weeks, we’ve been exclusively focused on providing relief to the impacted communities as well as beginning the recovery and rebuilding processes. Since day one, we’ve been on the frontlines simply doing whatever we could to help with those recovery efforts in the short term, from gathering supplies to cleaning up debris to setting up a guide service for access to the islands.

But, as the initial dust begins to settle, we’re serious when we say that it’s going to be a very long road to fully rebuild. Cleanup is ongoing, and certain aspects of civilization are returning, but “normal” is nowhere in sight—we’re talking years not months. The communities that have been so critical to clean-water progress over the past several years are the same ones that have been severely impacted by this storm, and we’re truly committed to supporting them throughout the entire rebuild process. The waters that Captains was founded to protect are facing a threat no one could’ve predicted—complete devastation of the businesses, communities, and landscapes that make up the very foundation of SWFL’s water-based economy.

We’re currently developing long-term programs to support those communities and guides as they rebuild, and the outpouring of generosity thus far from the outdoor industry, our nationwide CFCW family, and others will be crucial to ensuring that happens. So, thank you all for that support—it will continue to make a difference.

https://i1.wp.com/captainsforcleanwater.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Untitled-2153-×-1211-px-2.jpg?fit=1200%2C675&ssl=1
On the Water

At the same time, of course, we’re also committed to continuing progress for Everglades restoration and water quality, our primary mission and the shared passion that unites our community at large. That effort needs our attention now as much as ever, and after the storm, a chief concern of ours is the effect the hurricane’s reach will have on our ecosystems in south Florida. In varying ways, the storm created drastic disturbances to our ecosystems, from the Everglades to north Florida and beyond, from the catastrophic damage around the Caloosahatchee River and Charlotte Harbor, to 100-year flooding in the Kissimmee River Basin. In one way or another (some much worse than others) all those impacts will continue to play a role in the dynamics of our delicate ecosystems for seasons to come.

The obvious, most troubling concerns center around all the damage, debris, and pollution that has now flooded into the Caloosahatchee River Estuary as well as Charlotte Harbor. Entire households, cars, oil, sewage, plastics, and mass amounts of organic matter have been deposited into the surrounding waters. Anecdotally, fire units are spending more time extinguishing flame-ups on the water than they are on land, a result of the amount of fuel and oil in the water. Mangrove shorelines in San Carlos Bay near Fort Myers Beach look like they’ve been decorated early for Christmas, still covered in shredded debris that reached the treetops during the storm’s peak surge.

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That’s devastating and could lead to catastrophic environmental damage that will significantly impact water-quality for some time—the specifics of those impacts are still to be determined and likely won’t be fully realized for months or years.

Water-quality monitoring is in full swing

However, there are numerous ongoing efforts to evaluate those specific impacts. The potential for a significant red tide bloom is particularly concerning, as blooms recently detected off Sarasota and Venice have brought back memories of Hurricane Irma for many, when the late-2017 storm created favorable conditions for a red tide that turned into an all-out water crisis the following summer when high-volume, damaging discharges from Lake Okeechobee wreaked havoc on southwest Florida. That’s why there is a great deal of research underway right now to assess the presence of red tide offshore, from standard FWC monitoring to weeklong marine expeditions, like the one carried out by The Water School at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) and Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) aboard Florida Institute of Oceanography’s Research Vessel W.T. Hogarth.

https://i2.wp.com/captainsforcleanwater.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/53C3CC97-DF41-4A0D-9077-C5873B6A98AC.jpg?fit=1200%2C1200&ssl=1

The typical means of monitoring has been made significantly more challenging by the storm’s damage to the area, so measurements south of Venice have taken longer to acquire and required more unique research efforts. But endeavors like the Hogarth trip seek to get a better grasp of red tide presence and conditions going forward. With the new flush of nutrients in the estuary after floodwaters receded from the landscape, scientists worry those nutrients could provide fuel to any red tide blooms that were stirred up by storm-induced upwellings offshore. As our science partners continue gathering data around current red tide blooms, we will provide updates regarding the long-term forecast and likelihood of significant blooms.

Other water sampling is also happening inshore, where various teams from FGCU, the University of Florida (UF), SCCF, and others are gathering data on contaminants in the water. One of our local fishing guides, Capt. Eric Davis, recently chartered Christine Angelini, Director of UF Center For Coastal Solutions, out on the water to sample several areas from the lower Caloosahatchee to Pine Island to San Carlos Bay. She was joined by Sarina Weiss of Coastal & Heartland National Estuary Partnership (CHNEP) collecting samples to test for PFAS (widely used, long lasting chemicals that pose an emerging threat to Florida’s waters and beyond), nutrient levels, dissolved oxygen, and fecal indicator bacteria for a handful of other agencies.

She was also investigating the presence of vibrio, often referred to as “flesh-eating bacteria,” which is made even more worrisome under the current conditions due to the presence of debris in the water. That debris presents a safety hazard that could lead to cuts or scratches, which create an opportunity for vibrio to entire a person’s system. That’s why experts say people should stay out of the water for now.

https://i1.wp.com/captainsforcleanwater.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/IMG_9269-e1666892367191.jpg?fit=1200%2C1244&ssl=1

Angelini said that her most immediate concerns—outside of the potential for excess nutrients to exacerbate Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs), like red tide or blue-green algae—are bacteria levels and dissolved oxygen content. The threats from bacteria, like vibrio or fecal indicator, are pretty self-explanatory, and dissolved oxygen content plays a major role in the overall health of the water system. Limited oxygen content can lead to a condition called hypoxia, which can result in significant fish kills, among other things. On this most recent trip on Oct. 25th, Angelini reported overall good oxygen levels in the lower Caloosahatchee and around Matlacha, but on a previous outing a couple weeks prior, nearly hypoxic conditions around the Peace River had her attention.

She also noted some troubling signs with certain mangrove shorelines, indicators that those particular stands could be at risk. In areas around J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge near Sanibel, some mangroves showed signs of stress, and a strong sulfur smell in the area could be the result of the plants dying off. She theorizes those mangroves are struggling after highly salty seawater flooded their bases during the surge, and then persisted for an extended period following. When that happens, it can choke the roots, suffocate the soil, and create reactions that kill the mangroves, which happened to some pockets of the Everglades following Hurricane Irma.

Unprecedented flows in the watershed after Ian

Water turbidity and salinity levels in the estuaries are also something to watch closely as runoff from the storm continues to feed into the system. Such significant runoff from the watershed can create an imbalance in salinity and water clarity conditions that, if persistent, can harm important seagrasses and oysters. Flows from the Caloosahatchee watershed have started to slowly recede, but SCCF recently reported the following in their Oct. 25th water conditions report:

“The Caloosahatchee Estuary experienced an extreme discharge event of >24,000 cfs and was inundated with debris after Hurricane Ian on September 28, 2022. Flows were in the damaging flow envelope preceding and following Hurricane Ian for a total of 45 days.”

Those flows need to continue declining to allow salinity levels to rebalance, clear out the murky water, and ultimately improve conditions for the seagrasses and oysters. Thankfully, the Army Corps of Engineers, open to recommendations from local stakeholders and understanding the needs of the system, is not releasing flows from Lake Okeechobee. In recent years, they’ve adopted more balanced, flexible lake operations that reduce the likelihood of requiring high-volume, damaging discharges. They kept the lake lower this past summer—as a result, they’re not forced to discharge right now, which would only compound the existing issues. So, for now it’s just a matter of the remaining runoff from the storm percolating out and further rainfall being limited, which hopefully, as we enter the dry season, conditions will support.

The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) has also been busy since the storm hit, applying triage to the record amounts of water that piled up in central Florida and assessing potential impacts throughout the peninsula. They recently provided an update at the annual South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force meeting in Washington D.C. Their report outlined some of the impacts we can expect now and in the coming seasons. The information below was compiled from that SFWMD report, starting at the Kissimmee watershed and working down to the Everglades and Florida Bay.

Kissimmee Chain of Lakes

Record amounts of rain in that area caused flooding well beyond normal shorelines. 730,000 acre-feet fell on Kissimmee upper basin—that’s equivalent to about 1.7 feet of water on Lake Okeechobee, where all that water will eventually flow. Flooding is good for productivity of wildlife in the area, though—for breeding, fish spawning, wading birds, etc.

https://i1.wp.com/captainsforcleanwater.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Screen-Shot-2022-10-27-at-1.50.37-PM.jpg?fit=1074%2C834&ssl=1
Kissimmee River

Floodplain went from near-drought to flood conditions in 2 weeks. Rapid increase in flows and water depth led to dissolved oxygen crash and fish kills. Could lead to loss of plants and nutrient export downstream.

  • Rainfall and rapid increase in flows/water depths cause oxygen crashes/fish kills
  • Loss of plants, nutrient exports downstream
  • Excessively deep inundation of floodplain, temporary shifts to more aquatic habitat, can “reset” vegetation trends
  • High flows encourage river channel migration, maintaining diverse habitat (sand, woody debris)
  • Periodic disturbance is an essential part of maintaining diversity and productivity
Lake Okeechobee

Overwhelming winds drove mass volumes of water from the south end to the north end of the lake. Resulted in mild fish kills in south end and sediment disturbance throughout the lake that has created very turbid/murky conditions. Turbid water will likely inhibit photosynthesis of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) and lead to a loss in SAV coverage over the next year. Large inflows and nutrient loads create the potential for increase in algal blooms next spring.

https://i0.wp.com/captainsforcleanwater.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Picture1.jpg?fit=506%2C302&ssl=1
Lake levels

Went from 12.53 feet to 14.53 feet in one month largely from the storm. Still unsure what level the lake will rise to as the incoming water from the north flows down, but if it tops out around 16 feet before the levels begin receding during the dry, winter months (like it did last year), SFWMD feels comfortable with how the lake can be managed heading into next season.

Caloosahatchee River Estuary

Again, the biggest concern here is all the damage, debris, and pollution that has now flooded into the Caloosahatchee River Estuary and Charlotte Harbor. That is under analysis now, but the data was limited at the time of this briefing. However, below are some potential impacts based on the measurable data that did exist:

Potential impacts of Hurricane Ian on seagrasses:

  • Could get buried or damaged by sand and debris from wind and storm surge
  • Wind damage could break seagrass blades
  • Persistent turbid, murky water from storm and continuing runoff could reduce photosynthesis and lead to die-offs
  • Need the waters to clear out and reduce turbidity

Potential impacts of Hurricane on Oysters:

  • Massive peak flow of 29,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) in river during/after storm. That mass flux of freshwater is always cause for concern in salinity balance for habitat, like oysters.
  • Oysters could have been covered with sand or debris from wind and storm surge
https://i0.wp.com/captainsforcleanwater.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Screen-Shot-2022-10-27-at-1.52.46-PM.jpg?fit=1026%2C996&ssl=1
Central Everglades/Water Conservation Areas

Prior to storm, area was in drought conditions. After the storm, it is significantly better hydrated. Sloughs that connect the central everglades to the southern glades and Florida Bay—Taylor and Shark River Sloughs—now have hydro connectivity to move water south.

Southern Everglades/Florida Bay

Rainfall in the area mostly fell directly onto Florida Bay, which was beneficial to immediately bring salinity levels back down to more optimal levels than where they had been. This helps to prevent harmful hyper-salinity conditions in the near term, but long term, for the rest of the dry season, maintaining ideal salinity levels will depend on the amount of rain that falls in the area over the coming months, as there was not as much precipitation in the southern Everglades that would percolate into the system over time.

Mangroves did not experience nearly as much wind damage as they did during Hurricane Irma.

Florida Bay is very churned up right now, very turbid, which may be playing a part in partially clearing up a persistent algal bloom that has been present for several months in the bay. Will have to watch that over time to see if the bloom continues clearing up.

One month after the storm—forward we go. Our focus is on improving water quality and rebuilding the communities that depend on it.

Hurricane Ian ripped through southwest Florida on Wednesday, Sep. 28th, leaving in its wake a level of destruction seen only a few times before in U.S. history. Thousands of homes, businesses, and livelihoods were completely destroyed or radically changed forever. For the past few weeks, we’ve been exclusively focused on providing relief to the impacted communities as well as beginning the recovery and rebuilding processes. Since day one, we’ve been on the frontlines simply doing whatever we could to help with those recovery efforts in the short term, from gathering supplies to cleaning up debris to setting up a guide service for access to the islands.

But, as the initial dust begins to settle, we’re serious when we say that it’s going to be a very long road to fully rebuild. Cleanup is ongoing, and certain aspects of civilization are returning, but “normal” is nowhere in sight—we’re talking years not months. The communities that have been so critical to clean-water progress over the past several years are the same ones that have been severely impacted by this storm, and we’re truly committed to supporting them throughout the entire rebuild process. The waters that Captains was founded to protect are facing a threat no one could’ve predicted—complete devastation of the businesses, communities, and landscapes that make up the very foundation of SWFL’s water-based economy.

We’re currently developing long-term programs to support those communities and guides as they rebuild, and the outpouring of generosity thus far from the outdoor industry, our nationwide CFCW family, and others will be crucial to ensuring that happens. So, thank you all for that support—it will continue to make a difference.

https://i1.wp.com/captainsforcleanwater.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Untitled-2153-×-1211-px-2.jpg?fit=1200%2C675&ssl=1
On the Water

At the same time, of course, we’re also committed to continuing progress for Everglades restoration and water quality, our primary mission and the shared passion that unites our community at large. That effort needs our attention now as much as ever, and after the storm, a chief concern of ours is the effect the hurricane’s reach will have on our ecosystems in south Florida. In varying ways, the storm created drastic disturbances to our ecosystems, from the Everglades to north Florida and beyond, from the catastrophic damage around the Caloosahatchee River and Charlotte Harbor, to 100-year flooding in the Kissimmee River Basin. In one way or another (some much worse than others) all those impacts will continue to play a role in the dynamics of our delicate ecosystems for seasons to come.

The obvious, most troubling concerns center around all the damage, debris, and pollution that has now flooded into the Caloosahatchee River Estuary as well as Charlotte Harbor. Entire households, cars, oil, sewage, plastics, and mass amounts of organic matter have been deposited into the surrounding waters. Anecdotally, fire units are spending more time extinguishing flame-ups on the water than they are on land, a result of the amount of fuel and oil in the water. Mangrove shorelines in San Carlos Bay near Fort Myers Beach look like they’ve been decorated early for Christmas, still covered in shredded debris that reached the treetops during the storm’s peak surge.

default

That’s devastating and could lead to catastrophic environmental damage that will significantly impact water-quality for some time—the specifics of those impacts are still to be determined and likely won’t be fully realized for months or years.

Water-quality monitoring is in full swing

However, there are numerous ongoing efforts to evaluate those specific impacts. The potential for a significant red tide bloom is particularly concerning, as blooms recently detected off Sarasota and Venice have brought back memories of Hurricane Irma for many, when the late-2017 storm created favorable conditions for a red tide that turned into an all-out water crisis the following summer when high-volume, damaging discharges from Lake Okeechobee wreaked havoc on southwest Florida. That’s why there is a great deal of research underway right now to assess the presence of red tide offshore, from standard FWC monitoring to weeklong marine expeditions, like the one carried out by The Water School at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) and Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) aboard Florida Institute of Oceanography’s Research Vessel W.T. Hogarth.

https://i2.wp.com/captainsforcleanwater.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/53C3CC97-DF41-4A0D-9077-C5873B6A98AC.jpg?fit=1200%2C1200&ssl=1

The typical means of monitoring has been made significantly more challenging by the storm’s damage to the area, so measurements south of Venice have taken longer to acquire and required more unique research efforts. But endeavors like the Hogarth trip seek to get a better grasp of red tide presence and conditions going forward. With the new flush of nutrients in the estuary after floodwaters receded from the landscape, scientists worry those nutrients could provide fuel to any red tide blooms that were stirred up by storm-induced upwellings offshore. As our science partners continue gathering data around current red tide blooms, we will provide updates regarding the long-term forecast and likelihood of significant blooms.

Other water sampling is also happening inshore, where various teams from FGCU, the University of Florida (UF), SCCF, and others are gathering data on contaminants in the water. One of our local fishing guides, Capt. Eric Davis, recently chartered Christine Angelini, Director of UF Center For Coastal Solutions, out on the water to sample several areas from the lower Caloosahatchee to Pine Island to San Carlos Bay. She was joined by Sarina Weiss of Coastal & Heartland National Estuary Partnership (CHNEP) collecting samples to test for PFAS (widely used, long lasting chemicals that pose an emerging threat to Florida’s waters and beyond), nutrient levels, dissolved oxygen, and fecal indicator bacteria for a handful of other agencies.

She was also investigating the presence of vibrio, often referred to as “flesh-eating bacteria,” which is made even more worrisome under the current conditions due to the presence of debris in the water. That debris presents a safety hazard that could lead to cuts or scratches, which create an opportunity for vibrio to entire a person’s system. That’s why experts say people should stay out of the water for now.

https://i1.wp.com/captainsforcleanwater.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/IMG_9269-e1666892367191.jpg?fit=1200%2C1244&ssl=1

Angelini said that her most immediate concerns—outside of the potential for excess nutrients to exacerbate Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs), like red tide or blue-green algae—are bacteria levels and dissolved oxygen content. The threats from bacteria, like vibrio or fecal indicator, are pretty self-explanatory, and dissolved oxygen content plays a major role in the overall health of the water system. Limited oxygen content can lead to a condition called hypoxia, which can result in significant fish kills, among other things. On this most recent trip on Oct. 25th, Angelini reported overall good oxygen levels in the lower Caloosahatchee and around Matlacha, but on a previous outing a couple weeks prior, nearly hypoxic conditions around the Peace River had her attention.

She also noted some troubling signs with certain mangrove shorelines, indicators that those particular stands could be at risk. In areas around J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge near Sanibel, some mangroves showed signs of stress, and a strong sulfur smell in the area could be the result of the plants dying off. She theorizes those mangroves are struggling after highly salty seawater flooded their bases during the surge, and then persisted for an extended period following. When that happens, it can choke the roots, suffocate the soil, and create reactions that kill the mangroves, which happened to some pockets of the Everglades following Hurricane Irma.

Unprecedented flows in the watershed after Ian

Water turbidity and salinity levels in the estuaries are also something to watch closely as runoff from the storm continues to feed into the system. Such significant runoff from the watershed can create an imbalance in salinity and water clarity conditions that, if persistent, can harm important seagrasses and oysters. Flows from the Caloosahatchee watershed have started to slowly recede, but SCCF recently reported the following in their Oct. 25th water conditions report:

“The Caloosahatchee Estuary experienced an extreme discharge event of >24,000 cfs and was inundated with debris after Hurricane Ian on September 28, 2022. Flows were in the damaging flow envelope preceding and following Hurricane Ian for a total of 45 days.”

Those flows need to continue declining to allow salinity levels to rebalance, clear out the murky water, and ultimately improve conditions for the seagrasses and oysters. Thankfully, the Army Corps of Engineers, open to recommendations from local stakeholders and understanding the needs of the system, is not releasing flows from Lake Okeechobee. In recent years, they’ve adopted more balanced, flexible lake operations that reduce the likelihood of requiring high-volume, damaging discharges. They kept the lake lower this past summer—as a result, they’re not forced to discharge right now, which would only compound the existing issues. So, for now it’s just a matter of the remaining runoff from the storm percolating out and further rainfall being limited, which hopefully, as we enter the dry season, conditions will support.

The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) has also been busy since the storm hit, applying triage to the record amounts of water that piled up in central Florida and assessing potential impacts throughout the peninsula. They recently provided an update at the annual South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force meeting in Washington D.C. Their report outlined some of the impacts we can expect now and in the coming seasons. The information below was compiled from that SFWMD report, starting at the Kissimmee watershed and working down to the Everglades and Florida Bay.

Kissimmee Chain of Lakes

Record amounts of rain in that area caused flooding well beyond normal shorelines. 730,000 acre-feet fell on Kissimmee upper basin—that’s equivalent to about 1.7 feet of water on Lake Okeechobee, where all that water will eventually flow. Flooding is good for productivity of wildlife in the area, though—for breeding, fish spawning, wading birds, etc.

https://i1.wp.com/captainsforcleanwater.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Screen-Shot-2022-10-27-at-1.50.37-PM.jpg?fit=1074%2C834&ssl=1
Kissimmee River

Floodplain went from near-drought to flood conditions in 2 weeks. Rapid increase in flows and water depth led to dissolved oxygen crash and fish kills. Could lead to loss of plants and nutrient export downstream.

  • Rainfall and rapid increase in flows/water depths cause oxygen crashes/fish kills
  • Loss of plants, nutrient exports downstream
  • Excessively deep inundation of floodplain, temporary shifts to more aquatic habitat, can “reset” vegetation trends
  • High flows encourage river channel migration, maintaining diverse habitat (sand, woody debris)
  • Periodic disturbance is an essential part of maintaining diversity and productivity
Lake Okeechobee

Overwhelming winds drove mass volumes of water from the south end to the north end of the lake. Resulted in mild fish kills in south end and sediment disturbance throughout the lake that has created very turbid/murky conditions. Turbid water will likely inhibit photosynthesis of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) and lead to a loss in SAV coverage over the next year. Large inflows and nutrient loads create the potential for increase in algal blooms next spring.

https://i0.wp.com/captainsforcleanwater.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Picture1.jpg?fit=506%2C302&ssl=1
Lake levels

Went from 12.53 feet to 14.53 feet in one month largely from the storm. Still unsure what level the lake will rise to as the incoming water from the north flows down, but if it tops out around 16 feet before the levels begin receding during the dry, winter months (like it did last year), SFWMD feels comfortable with how the lake can be managed heading into next season.

Caloosahatchee River Estuary

Again, the biggest concern here is all the damage, debris, and pollution that has now flooded into the Caloosahatchee River Estuary and Charlotte Harbor. That is under analysis now, but the data was limited at the time of this briefing. However, below are some potential impacts based on the measurable data that did exist:

Potential impacts of Hurricane Ian on seagrasses:

  • Could get buried or damaged by sand and debris from wind and storm surge
  • Wind damage could break seagrass blades
  • Persistent turbid, murky water from storm and continuing runoff could reduce photosynthesis and lead to die-offs
  • Need the waters to clear out and reduce turbidity

Potential impacts of Hurricane on Oysters:

  • Massive peak flow of 29,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) in river during/after storm. That mass flux of freshwater is always cause for concern in salinity balance for habitat, like oysters.
  • Oysters could have been covered with sand or debris from wind and storm surge
https://i0.wp.com/captainsforcleanwater.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Screen-Shot-2022-10-27-at-1.52.46-PM.jpg?fit=1026%2C996&ssl=1
Central Everglades/Water Conservation Areas

Prior to storm, area was in drought conditions. After the storm, it is significantly better hydrated. Sloughs that connect the central everglades to the southern glades and Florida Bay—Taylor and Shark River Sloughs—now have hydro connectivity to move water south.

Southern Everglades/Florida Bay

Rainfall in the area mostly fell directly onto Florida Bay, which was beneficial to immediately bring salinity levels back down to more optimal levels than where they had been. This helps to prevent harmful hyper-salinity conditions in the near term, but long term, for the rest of the dry season, maintaining ideal salinity levels will depend on the amount of rain that falls in the area over the coming months, as there was not as much precipitation in the southern Everglades that would percolate into the system over time.

Mangroves did not experience nearly as much wind damage as they did during Hurricane Irma.

Florida Bay is very churned up right now, very turbid, which may be playing a part in partially clearing up a persistent algal bloom that has been present for several months in the bay. Will have to watch that over time to see if the bloom continues clearing up.