Stuart Business Owners Feeling Effects of Lake Okeechobee Water Releases

Diver Russell Singson has been cleaning boats underwater for years, but lately, he’s had a tougher time of it. He owns Barracuda Dive Service and has noticed that business in Stuart has been suffering due to the discharges from Lake Okeechobee. The water has become so murky that visibility is nearly 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. He also expressed concerns about sanitation after diving in the darker water.

On the other side of the St. Lucie River, At the Helm Training is also facing challenges. Operations Manager Nancy Husk mentioned that their bookings are down by 50% compared to last year, attributing it to the water quality issues. Clients have expressed worries about the cleanliness of the water, impacting their willingness to participate in boating activities.

Husk is concerned about the continued discharges and recalls the severe algae bloom in 2018. She fears that if

By Aiden Johnson

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